The Dangers of Knob-and-Tube Wiring
Used in America from 1880 to the late 1940’s, knob-and-tube wiring is an early style of electrical wiring identifiable by its white, ceramic, spool-like knobs. It still exists in some old homes, and it presents several dangers to modern-day tenants. If you happen to have some in your home, be sure to let us know so we can help you replace it with modern wiring.
Here are five of the dangers knob-and-tube wiring presents to homeowners:
- Age. On average, knob-and-tube wiring ranges from 70 to 130 years old. Even if it has been working for a while, this old wiring doesn’t have the capacity needed for modern homes. This means it can overload easily and start a fire. In addition, the wiring is less resistant to damage than normal wiring. This represents another fire risk to homeowners.
- No ground wire. Knob-and-tube wiring is incompatible with modern 3-plug appliances. Because of this, anything plugged in is more liable for damage due to voltage fluctuations and surges. This is yet another fire hazard and can also cause electrical shocks.
- Bad against moisture. In addition to being ungrounded, knob-and-tube wiring is not rated for moisture. This makes it especially dangerous in wetter areas such as kitchens, bathrooms, and outside.
- Easily overlooked. Knob-and-tube wiring often gets buried in insulation and pushed into contact with building materials and other clutter. Since knob-and-tube wiring is designed to release heat freely into the air, this presents yet another fire hazard. Insurance companies often won’t insure buildings with that wiring because the National Electric Code (NEC) states that knob-and-tube wiring has to stay away from insulation.
- Improper DIY modifications. Out of all the kinds of wiring, unsafe DIY modifications are most often seen with knob-and-tube wiring. Part of this is from how easy it is to access for splicing. It’s not uncommon to see someone use masking or Scotch tape (instead of electrical tape) in their DIY connections. Even worse, DIY rookies often install fuses with an amperage too high for the wiring, overloading the wires and making another major fire risk.
Why should I trust Ryan Gath Electric with my property’s electrical repairs?
Ryan Gath Electric has served the people of the Chelmsford, MA area with years of electrical experience. Whether it’s a residential or commercial property, we know how to handle your electrical systems. When we say ‘We’ll Fix it Right the First Time – Every Time,’ we mean it! If your wiring needs changing, call us today!