What is Knob-and-Tube Wiring?

knob and wire tubingFor many new homeowners, the first step of homeownership is a remodel and renovation of some of your new home’s long neglected features. While an avid do-it-yourselfer may be able to do much of that, electrical work is different. Residential electrical wiring standards have changed dramatically over the years, and this dangerous work should be handled by professionals.

What’s Knob-and-Tube Wiring?

Knob-and-tube wiring is an old (1890s-1940s) method of running wires where live wires were placed in plastic, rubber, or porcelain ‘tubes’ attached to the wall by ceramic ‘knobs’. These nonconductive materials held wiring away from the wall, but the materials used were very bulky by today’s standards. It was sturdy enough to stay in service for a long time, however, which is why it remains in the walls of so many older homes. But the insulating material of the tubes is only half as sturdy as the rest of the system, and buying a house in 2015 that still uses wiring from 1934 or before has a whole range of problems associated with it – either now or later.

What Kind of Problems?

The first and most obvious is that insulation decaying for half a century can easily become a fire hazard, particularly when coupled with the build-up of dust and debris behind the wall. Secondly, knob-and-tube wiring is illegal and doesn’t meet code in many cities and municipalities, meaning if you discover it in your home you’re legally obligated to replace it. One of the biggest code violations is having spliced wires behind walls where electricians can’t access them, but knob-and-tube is also notorious for having no safety grounding.

In Kirkland, Bellevue and the Seattle Eastside, SkiCo Electric has the expertise you need if you find knob-and-tube in your home. one of the best priced electrical contractors in the Seattle area, call them today for a free estimate!

Upgrade your Old Electrical Wiring with SkiCo Electric

Edited by Justin Vorhees

Expert electrical contractors in Bellevue, Bothell, Brier,
Kenmore, Kirkland, Redmond, Sammamish and Woodinville