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Expert Electric Blog

Why is Knob and Tube Wiring Bad?

Knob and tube wiring was a common type of electrical system for homes built between the 1880s and 1940s. Though it was once viewed as an effective method, it has since become outdated and obsolete to the point that most homeowners have never heard of it. Even though knob and tube wiring has not been a popular choice for nearly 80 years, many homes on the market are still equipped with it. Knowing why knob and tube wiring is bad is important for ensuring optimal safety for yourself, your family, and your home. As leading providers of residential electrical services, the team at Expert Electric has provided some important information on the hazards associated with knob and tube wiring.

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Common Hazards Associated with Knob and Tube Wiring

Knob and tube wiring can be dangerous due to the following reasons:

Deterioration Due to Age

Though knob and tube wiring systems still function in many homes, they have likely deteriorated and worn down due to their age. In addition to wear, knob and tube wiring cannot handle the electrical requirements for modern homes as they consume far more electricity than homes in the 1940s. Thus, knob and tube wiring systems are often overloaded, posing a substantial fire hazard.

No Ground Wire

Knob and tube wiring systems lack a ground wire, making them incompatible with modern three-prong appliances and technology. When plugging a device into an outlet, it is more susceptible to voltage fluctuations and surges, increasing the risk of damage, fire, and electrical shocks.

Lack of Resistance to Moisture

While most modern wiring systems are rated to handle low to moderate moisture, knob and tube wiring systems are not. This makes them a poor and potentially dangerous choice for kitchens, bathrooms, and outdoor areas.

Easy to Overlook

Knob and tube wiring systems are often buried in insulation and pushed into other building materials. Since these systems are designed to release heat into the air, this can present yet another fire hazard for your home. Furthermore, insurance companies often will not insure homes with knob and tube wiring as it presents too much of a risk.

Improper Modifications

Instead of investing in a new wiring system for their home, many homeowners will perform their own modifications on existing knob and tube systems. These modifications are often unsafe and can lead to severe electrical hazards. Splicing, masking, and DIY connections are all examples of potentially unsafe modifications that can be performed on knob and tube wiring systems. If your home is equipped with a knob and tube system, a professional electrician can help replace it with a safe and efficient modern system.

To learn more about the hazards of knob and tube electrical systems, reach out to the team at Expert Electric. Our licensed electricians will work with you to provide the perfect solution for your needs.