COMMUNITY FORUM

AndyC

05:49PM | 12/21/02
Member Since: 11/28/02
7 lifetime posts
Bvelectrical
Hello folks,

My 82 year old house still has lots of knob and tube wiring, which looks to be in excellent shape according to my electrician. He recently upgraded our service to 200 amp (it was still 60)and installed a bunch of new, grounded circuits (the PO were running a washing machine, a dryer etc. mostly on the K+T circuits!) I asked him to give an estimate for replacing it all, and he suggested that not only would it be mostly impossible, but also unnecessary, as long as those circuits are not overloaded. For grounded applications, he's going to install a bunch of new circuits around the house (total bill so far about $3500). Claims that K+T has an undeservedly bad rap, that ours is in excellent shape, and that other types of wiring (first generation sheathed electrical cable and BX, of which we have some also) have been far more truoblesome and dangerous in his experience. However, insurance companies will tell you that houses with K+T are practically doomed to fiery deaths. Who do I believe? I feel like if he can run new circuits all over the house, he should be able to disconnect the K+T and effectively rewire the house, even if the old wire is physically left in place. He claims that he could never get to it all without ripping up some significant amount of plaster.

We'd like to have insulation blown into the walls, but I've heard that it's not wise with functional K+T in place. Who do we believe? Should we talk to another electrican? This one's been great so far, and it's hard to believe that he'd be giving us wrong advice when he could stand to make a serious buck by doing the replacement job.

Sorry for the long post, and thanks for your answers!

Joe Tedesco

04:08AM | 12/22/02
Member Since: 07/27/02
140 lifetime posts
Ask for another opinion, I personally would rewire the place and get rid of the old RUBBER insulation.

Read Article 324 in the 1999 and earlier NEC for some rules related to Knob and Tube.

Electrical Inspector

07:46AM | 12/22/02
Member Since: 09/27/02
73 lifetime posts
K&T was meant to be a free air conductor, not one buried in insulation.

There are consientious insulators whom will refuse jobs on this basis alone....

harold endean

04:31PM | 12/23/02
Member Since: 08/30/02
23 lifetime posts
Another good reason for getting rid of K & T is that there is no grounding conductor. I believe that it would be safer with newer wiring. The K & T wire also has been know to break down in splice boxes over light fixtures. The use of high wattage bulbs in light fixtures tends to make the K & T insulation very brittle, so when you go to change a light fixture, all or most of the insulation falls off leaving bare wires.

Harold

rhagfo

10:55AM | 12/24/02
AndyC, That electrician is a keeper, He sounds like a wise electrician and has given some good advice. K & T wiring, as a system is safer than the NM cable we use today! If they would have had made NM cable made out of those materials in the early part of the century, every house would have burned down by now. Likewise if you used today's cables and installed it in K & T fashion you wouldn't be able to afford it!

Should you replace it, YES, you should, eventually the insolation on the wire will fail. Do you need to rush into it, depends on your electrical needs. If your electrician has put new circuits to the high load areas, TV's Bathrooms, laundry, and Kitchen, you should be OK for a while. Watch out for newer light fixtures, they demand 90 degree wire, if you don't replace the circuit, don't change the fixture.

Work with your electrician, he isn't out to empty your wallet, and totally re-wiring an old house is very labor intensive, the best time to re-wire is during remodeling when the walls are opened up.

I would hold off on the insulation until the outside walls have been re-wired.

Click_to_reply_button
Inspiration_banner

INSPIRATION GALLERY



Post a reply as Anonymous

Photo must be in JPG, GIF or PNG format and less than 5MB.

Reply_choose_button

Anonymous

Post_new_button or Login_button
Register

Greet your guests, indoors or out, with a ghostly garland. A strand of white lantern lights, some white cotton fabric, str... Filling an underutilized area beneath the stairs is a smart way to save space. Doing so with a stash of wood, however, is ... The Audubon Society inspired wallpaper in this Adirondack-styled entryway will get you in the outdoor mood. Grab your coat... Chalkboard paint opens up endless possibilities for customizing your dresser time and time again. Use chalk to label the c... A fireplace in the bathroom creates the ultimate setting for relaxation. Homeowners often choose electric or gas over wood... Yes, a freestanding garage can become its own tiny house. Artist Michelle de la Vega has all the comforts of a modern resi... There’s nothing like a new set of cabinet hardware to refresh a room. The possibilities are endless: Go modern, rustic, or... A kitchen in a greenhouse—who wouldn't enjoy spending time in this light-filled space? Details that enhance the conservato... Chalkboard paint features prominently in this elegant yet unpretentious headboard design. Add a new message daily to reflec... Twine lanterns add pops of crafty—but sophisticated—flair to any outdoor setting. Wrap glue-soaked twine around a balloon ... The indecisive homeowner need not fret over choosing one (or even two) cabinet colors. The kitchen cabinets in this artist... Incorporate nature into your lighting scheme by securing a dead tree in a concrete mold and draping your pendant lamp from... Simple and striking, a couple of pieces of "lovingly used" furniture creates a special kind of charm. A weathered chair fo... The Infinite Artisan Fire Bowl from Eldorado Outdoor is made from glass-fiber reinforced concrete, and offered in Oak Barr... The vibrant green of Granny Smith apples make a beautifully natural alternative to the traditional evergreen wreath. Brigh...
Follow_banner_a
Newsletter_icon Google_plus Facebook Twitter Pinterest Youtube Rss_icon
 
webapp1