Renovating is no simple task, but with the help of a reliable family owned electric company, it can be done on time and in budget. If you own a business and have commercial real estate, the same goes for you. Sanford Electric Company II, Inc. is here to serve Orlando, Sanford, Lake Mary, and more. Today, we are discussing tube and wiring and what to do if it’s found during your remodel.
Tube and Knob wiring:
Sure, it sounds simple. If you find tube and knob wiring, it needs to be removed. But what all does that entail? What are home owners in for?
First off, experienced electricians must deal with this matter as it is not a simple fix. As you may already know, tube and knob wiring is very outdated. Knob and tube wiring was used from the 1880s to the 1930s.
However, some electricians even used this type of wiring in new contraction up until the sixties and seventies. Nowadays, some home owners are finding knob and tube wiring hidden in areas of their newly purchased homes and are left puzzled as to how to proceed.
Many home owners wonder if knob and tube is safe enough to keep in their houses. This has been a recently discussed issue. Knob and tube wiring is unlike present day wiring. It only has two wires compared to modern day wiring which has three wires.
Knob and tube wiring is comprised of a hot black wire and a neutral white wire. This means there is no ground wire in the system. If there is excess charge or in the event of a short, you’re out of luck. This is one reason why professional recommend removing knob and tube wiring from your home or business.
Knob and tube wiring gets its name from the ceramic knobs that are used to keep the wires in place. This sort of wiring includes ceramic tubes that act as protective casings for wires running through wall studs or floor joists.
The outlets in a knob and tube home may be a giveaway that you have knob and tube even before looking inside the walls. Outdated outlets used with knob and tube wiring only have two prongs, not three as in modern electricians installations. For those that cannot afford to replace all of the tube and knob wiring, an electrician may opt to install GFCIs, or Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters.
When a GFCI senses an imbalance between the hot and natural wires, they can trip. Because they can cut the electrical current when needed, it can be assumed they are safe even though there is no ground wire.
As opposed to modern wiring that can be bundled together, the hot and natural wires in a knob and tube set up are run and sheathed separately and places about one in apart. Knob and tube wiring installations are usually restricted to sixty-amp service.
Knob and tube dangers:
Knob and tube wiring that is perfectly still intact and working should pose no immediate danger to your home and family. However, because of the age of the installation or modifications made by unscrupulous professionals, problems often arise.
One of the most common issues associated with this type of wiring is the insulation. The insulation is made of rubber instead of plastic like in modern day wiring. As time passes, rubber degrades.
This leaves wires exposed to air and moisture. Exposed wires greatly increase the risk of a short or fire. If knob and tube wiring is found in a home, first thing electricians look for are extra circuits. Knob and tube wiring only allowed for twelve circuits in a home.
Previously, home owners would hire an electrician to add new circuits to the panel or simply splice the existing wires. These modifications increase the risk of overloading the electrical system.
See you next time:
Next time, we will discuss how homeowners in Sanford, or any Central Florida area, can go about replacing knob and tube wiring with modern electrical installations. As we know, many Floridians love the charm of homes with history and charm. Problems and financial investments come attached to that charm most often, unless they are recently renovated.
As you begin a historic house search, consider all areas that may need updating. Call us today for our expert opinion and invest in a thorough house inspection. As hurricane season approaches us, confirm the integrity of your electrical system with our trusted electricians. Take a look at our past generator blogs. Electricians often book up after hurricanes leave their damage, so book soon.