Knob & Tube Removal

Knob & Tube Removal

Knob and Tube Wiring Replacement

Knob and Tube wiring also known as open wiring, is outdated wiring which was placed into homes during the 1920’s. In today’s day and age, this insulation breaks down and becomes a fire hazard due to the fact the wiring has no grounding and the wires are completely bare. This then leads to insurance companies refusing to insure your home if you have knob and tube wiring. Colman Electric can help you solve this problem, by coming in and removing the old wiring, followed by updating the wires in your home!

What Exactly Is Knob and Tube Wiring?

Knob and Tube wiring uses two wires, one “hot” wire and another neutral wire. The unsafe thing about knob and tube wiring is that there is no ground wire, which reduces the risk of electrocution and fire by dispelling excess electrical charges in the event of a short. The two wires are supported by “knobs” and “tubes” and were often installed side by side.

  • Knobs assist in securing the wire that is parallel to the joists inside walls and serve as a pivot point to chance the direction of the wire. This prevents the wire from coming into contact with the wooden frame of your home.
  • Tubes are essentially ceramic sleeves that protect wires that need to run through the frame of your house.

Safety Concerns

When knob and tube wiring was at it’s height in usage, requirements for wiring installations were much less demanding compared to today. In comparison to today’s electrical wiring standards, there are several technical shortcomings of knob and tube wiring.

  • Knob and tube wiring never included a safety grounding conductor
  • Knob and tube wiring did not confine switching to the hot conductor meaning if a circuit trips the hot wire is still energized and could result in a person being shocked
  • Knob and tube wiring permitted the use of in-line splices in walls without a junction box

When first implemented, knob and tube installations were adequate for the electrical loads of the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. In contemporary times, they can not adequately carry the demands of today. Knob and tube wiring becomes worn down by the amount of power consumption required today, which leads to the wiring to become brittle. Eventually, knob and tube wiring splices will heat up which creates a fire hazard.

Knob and tube wiring often become susceptible to overuse by homeowners who would often replace blown fuses with fuses that are rated for higher current. This over-fusing of the circuits subjects wiring to higher levels of current and risks heat damage or fire. This can cause the wiring to become brittle and dried out.

Knob and tube wiring also can be compromised by renovations to buildings. The cloth and rubber insulation of the wiring has a tendency to dry out and become brittle.

Additionally, as existing knob and tube wiring gets older, insurance companies may deny coverage because of the increased risk. Some companies won’t write new homeowners policies unless all knob and tube wiring is removed, or that an electrician confirms the wiring is in usable condition. Also, many institutional lenders are unwilling to finance a home with the relatively low-capacity service typical of K&T wiring, unless the electrical service is upgraded.


Knob and Tube Solutions

The best option to fix the issues knob and tube wiring can cause, is realistically a complete removal and replacement. If there is knob and tube wires in your home or building, it implies they have been their since the early 20th century, back when electrical systems were operating at a very low level. Replacing knob and tube wiring with the much more efficient copper wiring allows you to meet contemporary Electrical Safety Code standards. In addition to new wiring, it is a good idea to install a new electrical service panel which brings you up to speed for today’s electrical usage. Feel free to call Colman Electric today for knowledgeable and friendly service and troubleshooting!

Federal Breaker Replacement

Federal Breakers are circuit breakers which were installed in many homes up until the 1980’s. These wires are in fact a fire hazard within their own right due to their inability to trip, which has led to them no longer being approved for homes.  Additionally, Federal Pacific Panel no longer have a UL rating. The concern with Federal Pacific Panel is, the circuit breakers don’t trip when there is an overloaded or short circuit. Failure of the circuit breaker to trip can cause wiring to overheat which can lead to a fire. Colman Electric can come in and replace your outdated Federal Breakers, to ensure your home is as safe as possible!

Learn More about Federal Pacific Breakers here.

Colman Electric specializes in replacing old and unsafe knob and tube wiring! This type of wiring is not safe for a DIY project, and requires the assistance of a qualified and licensed electrician, which is where Colman Electric comes in! We pride ourselves on our troubleshooting capabilities, and we have the knowledge and experience to ensure your home is a safe as possible!