What is Knob-and-Tube Wiring?
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What is Knob-and-Tube Wiring?

If your home was built sometime between 1880 and the 1930s, it’s possible that your home’s electrical system may be running on a “knob-and-tube” (also known as K&T) wiring system.

This outdated electrical system can be identified by copper wiring that is encased in black wire tubes surrounded by white ceramic knobs. If you’ve already completed an electrical wiring upgrade recently throughout your home, then you are probably in good shape. However, if you are unsure whether or not your home electric is being powered by knob-and-tube wiring, here’s what you need to know:

Where is Knob-and-Tube Wiring Located?

Knob-and-tube wiring is typically located in attics, basements, and crawlspaces. To find knob-and-tube wiring in these areas, inspect all exposed joists thoroughly. If you notice threaded tubing through white ceramic knobs nailed to joists, then a knob-and-tube electrical wiring system exists.

What are Some of the Safety Issues and Inconveniences?

Knob-and-tube wiring is not the most secure and practical option for electrical wiring. Today’s modern homes require more electric power to run than the days of old. Here are some reasons to consider upgrading your electric from a knob-and-tube wiring system:

  • Lack of Ground Wiring
    An ungrounded electrical wiring system near areas where water is present, such as kitchens and bathrooms, could present hazardous situations. K&T wiring lacks a ground wire. It’s two-stranded with hot and neutral wires only. Without ground wiring, shocks and electrical fires can occur.
  • Two-Prong Receptacle
    Because a K&T system uses two-prong receptacles, it limits the use of appliances and electric devices that have 3-prongs.
  • Inadequate Insulation
    The materials which are used to insulate K&T wiring usually consist of rubber and cotton cloth. These insulation materials are prone to deterioration over time.

If you discover your home is running on knob-and-tube wiring, contact a professional electrician to inspect your home and make assessments. Never attempt to remove or replace a knob-and-tube wiring system on your own. AAA Service has a team of highly trained and skilled electricians to ensure the job is done safely and effectively. The trained electricians at AAA Service are here to help! Call or schedule an appointment online today.

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