12:45PM | 07/12/04
Member Since: 07/11/04
3 lifetime posts
I work for an insurance company in the home inspections department. At times we have to call the clients to update the utility information on their policy. There are two questions however that we always get stuck on:

1. Are any poly-butylene pipes present in the home? And

2. Does the home have any knob-tube wiring present?

My question is how would I explain these two questions to the client? What is the correct definition for poly-butylene pipes and for knob-tube/knob & tube wiring? How would I describe it to the client?


01:13PM | 07/12/04
Member Since: 07/01/03
549 lifetime posts
You could provide photographs of the fittings an pipe. Examples of PB pipe are shown on the settlement web page at This should give you a reference for a verbal description. The affected pipe and fittings also have stamps that identify them.

Knob and tube wiring refers to wire that is routed through framing members using ceramic tubes or under or along framing members with ceramic knobs. Picture of typical is here with a discussion of insurance considerations:

Knob and tube wiring is often covered with fabric insulation, and contains a single wire in each jacket with hot and neutral routed parallel (generally no ground). Modern wires are indivdually insulated and run in a common insulation jacket (hot, neutral, ground).

Hope this helps.


04:49AM | 07/13/04
Member Since: 07/11/04
3 lifetime posts
Thank you so very much for your help, i've gone ahead and printed out your reply to help us explain it, and thanks to the pictures we now know what they look like, rather than guess. I've tried to do the research on my own, but i was never able to find such a thorough explanation as the one you provided. thank you!
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