Knob and Tube removal

Why You Should Consider Knob And Tube Wiring Removal

Knob and tube wiring is a type of wiring that not many people know of in the modern day. Even though this type of wiring is rarely seen today, if you are living in an apartment or house that has been around for decades, there is a high chance that you are under a great electrical risk that could come through knob and tube wiring. Therefore, keep on reading to find out why this type of electrical wiring is considered such a headache and you need to consider getting a knob and tube replacement or removal as soon as possible. If you are looking forward to getting a knob and tube removal by well-versed electricians, at Absolutely Electrical, we have highly proficient electricians who can aid you with the removal and get you out of such fire risks.

What is a knob and tube wiring?

knob and tube removal

Knob and tube wiring is an early kind of electrical wiring that got its name because of the way it looks. Its wires are wrapped in fabric or rubber tube run through ceramic knob for keeping the wires away from contacting the wooden frame. Knob and tube wiring requires two lines that are separated from each other in order to prevent short circuit the two lines are: a neutral wire, and a hot wire. This is unnecessary in contemporary wiring as modern insulation itself is,sufficient for the prevention of short circuits.There is no ground wire in knob and tube wiring, as a result, electrical outlets usually had only two prongs instead of three. Having a ground wire is a potentially life saving addition to your building and should be at every electrical device. It is so critical that insurance companies nowadays want to see this type of wiring installed if it is not already present.

How should you know if you have a knob and tube wiring?


Knob and tube wiring is commonly found in homes that were built from the 1800’s to the early 1950’s. Even though this type of electrical wiring is still occasionally used, it is a rare thing in the present-day. Back in the


1800’s and 1900’s, knob and tube wiring was considered ultramodern. Therefore, if your home was built around that time, here are some ways you can find out if you have a knob and tube wiring:

  • Observe the exposed unfinished areas of your home that are visible and see if you can spot any knob and tube wiring, as you will not be able to look through the walls to find out if there is any hidden wiring underneath.
  • knob and tube wiringThis type of wiring is more commonly found in the attic or basement.
  1. Attic: Go up the stairs into the attic and trail the wiring that is exposed. You may be required to get rid of some insulation as the wiring in the attic is typically covered up by insulation. Warning: Do not step on any hidden wire as it can damage them. If you happen to find out any wiring connected to white small ceramic pieces, then your home does have knob and tube wiring.
  2. Basement: When you go down to your basement, you need to look for the same thing as the attic. The knob and tube wiring is generally under the floorboard above. As there is no ceiling in a basement, you can simply notice the floorboard by looking up. If you happen to come across any wiring connected to ceramic pieces, then that is another proof that your home has a knob and tube wiring.
  • Other than the attic and basement, knob and tube wiring can also be hidden in the walls and ceilings of your home which you will not be able to find out on your own. In order to do so, you need to access the electrical box that houses the circuit breakers. However, you are not advised to do this on your own unless you are an expert, because accidently touching a live wire in the electrical box could be lethal. To be on the safe side, you can contact us to do the task for you instead as we are professionals in this sector. If you choose to access the electrical box on your own, search for wires coming in that have two strands as this would mean a knob and tube wiring.

Dangers of knob and tube wiring

knob and tube replacement

Now that we have discussed what knob and tube wiring is and how to identify them, let us take a look at why exactly we have we been stressing about the importance of getting a knob and tube removal and re-wire.

  • Like we have mentioned before, knob and tube wiring is two-stranded, with a neutral wire and a hot wire. There is no ground wire. However, most electrical appliances in the modern day including video game systems, refrigerators, and computers come with three prongs. Therefore, there is no protection at all when a fault occurs. As a result, knob and tube wiring increases the risks of fire and shocks.
  • For insulation, knob and tube wiring makes use of sheathing. However, they tend to easily break down over time. Moreover, the problem is increased as the buildings and houses that use these type of wirings are old. On the other hand, modern wiring uses better materials for insulation and are a lot safer.
  • Before the 1950’s, electrical systems made use of knob and tube wiring however, most circuit wires were fused with 15 amps. Over time other systems have been added and this could cause an unacceptable load on a fused circuit. This means that the wire is passing more current that it is meant to handle which could potentially lead to excessive heat and fire.
  • Before the 1950’s, electrical systems did not undergo high ampacity loads. As a result, the additional loads could cause the insulation to become fragile resulting in exposing a bare wire and the capacity to overheat. This could also cause fires.

By laying down the dangers associated with this ancient wiring, we hope that you understand the need to get a knob and tube replacement. Without getting a knob and tube removal, you not only expose yourself but also your family and loved ones to such risks. Moreover, majority of insurance companies do not cover insurance for buildings that have this kind of wiring. Due to the dangers involved, we urge you to not hesitate to contact certified electricians like us, as soon as possible, to get knob and tube replacement for your entire home.

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