What is Knob and Tube Wiring?
If you own a heritage home or your home was built prior to the 1950’s chances are you may have knob and tube wiring running through your home. Knob and tube wiring is a type of electrical wiring system that uses wire conductors made from copper, which run inside walls and ceilings through porcelain tubes and knobs insulators.
Fast forward to today and these antiquated wiring systems are an electrical safety hazard in your home.Here are the top four reasons why we believe you should consider replacing your knob and tube wiring:
- Increased Fire Risk
Having knob and tube wiring means your home was built with an electrical system designed to support the electrical needs of the early 1900’s. The electrical panels were designed to handle a maximum of 60 amps and built with limited amount of circuits. This means that older homes with knob and tube wiring cannot handle the electrical demand of today’s electrical load and can lead to circuits overloading and overheating causing the circuit breaker to trip. However, if the breaker does not trip and it malfunctions it can lead to a fire.Moreover, the sheathing or jacket that covers the wire is made out of rubber and overtime it begins to wear out and eventually exposes the bare electrical wire. This wire which can become very hot can spark a fire or even worse, it can cause electrical shock or even electrocute someone if they come in contact with it.
- Absence of Ground Wire
Unlike modern wiring systems Knob and tube wiring systems lack any ground wiring. This creates a high risk for electrical fire because ground wires protect the home whenever there is a short circuit and it redirects the electricity to the ground. However, not having this ground wire means that in the event of a short circuit you run the risk of electrical shock or a house fire.
- DIY Renovations
Having an older home means that previous owners could have done DIY renovations, or hired someone to do partial renovations. Renovations means that owners may add additions such as insulation, leading the knob and tube wire to be covered by this insulation, and because this is designed to trap the heat within small spaces it can lead to wires becoming too hot and eventually sparking a fire.
- Issues with House Insurance
If you are in the market to buy or sell a home with knob and tube wiring system, chances are that home insurance providers may not insure this home. Insurance companies are hesitant to provide coverage due to the safety hazard this wiring system can cause and they foresee future claims and thus they rather not take those chances. For that reason it is very important that a licensed electrical contractor inspects your home first. In the case that the Electrical Safety Authority determines that the knob and tube wiring is safe than insurers may insure your home. However if the knob and tube wiring is deemed unsafe the licensed electrical contractor will recommend that you replace the current wiring with a new one that complies with the electrical code regulations.
How do I know if I have my home has knob and tube wiring?
If your home was built in the 1800’s-1950’s it is very likely that you will find knob and tube wiring systems in your home. You may also be able to tell by simply looking and seeing the knob and tube wiring on the walls and ceilings. However, in many cases the wiring is hidden and it is very difficult to find. In this case we recommend that you do not try and search for it yourself, this could be very dangerous, in fact you could run into exposed wiring and you could have an electric shock. Instead we recommend that you call MADE Electric and book an investigation call with one of our licensed electricians who will guide you on what your next steps should be.
MADE Electric licensed electricians are available in Toronto and the GTA. If you want to learn more about our services, wish to book an appointment or speak to one of our licensed electricians about rewiring your home please contact us at 1-833-MADE-247 or firstname.lastname@example.org.