Knob and Tube Wiring
Knob and tube wiring was the most commonly practiced way of installing residential electrical systems between about 1880 and the 1930s. Nowadays, it’s simply outdated and should be viewed as a very dangerous fire hazard. If you have knob and tube wiring in your home, make sure you replace it as soon as possible to prevent serious malfunctions from taking place.
Whether you live in Ambler, Abington, Lansdale, North Wales, Doylestown, or anywhere else throughout Bucks County, PA or Montgomery County, PA, there’s a possibility that you still have knob and tube wiring in your home. If so, make sure you call our skilled team of electricians here at Wes Carver Electric to perform a replacement; we’ll keep your home and, especially, your family out of harm's way!
Here are a number of reasons as to why these systems were popular for close to 50 years:
- The wires can effectively release heat since porcelain knobs were used to suspend the wires in open air.
- Since they were installed near the center of joints and studs, the wiring was usually threaded safely away from dangerous nails.
- The porcelain tubes add more protection where the wires pass through wood.
- There’s at least a three-inch separation between hot and neutral wires except for where the wires are connected to a box or fixture. Here, a protective woven sleeve is used for safety measures.
- To join splices, you would wrap one wire around the other and solder the joint. Knobs were then positioned within six inches of each splice to help eliminate stress on the connection.
- The wires were usually tight and also lined strategically on top of joints where it's less likely that they’d get damaged.
Now, here are all the downfalls of knob and tube wiring, and why you should ask our experts to perform a complete replacement:
- These systems have no grounding wire; instead, they have only hot and neutral wires that create shocks--which is why they’re considered a fire hazard.
- Switches were usually installed on the neutral wire, allowing the circuit to be turned off but not the current.
- The outlets are all two-prong, making them incompatible with the needs of modern technology.
- The systems are old and brittle. The overheating caused by modern energy demands combined with natural aging leads to degradation; this will only get worse in the future.
- While homes today normally use about 200-amps of electricity, knob-and-tube wiring systems were designed to handle only about 60-amps!
- Over the years, improper alterations jeopardize the general safety of the system. When more branches are added, for example, the fuses used to protect old circuits can blow time and time again. Installing larger fuses may be simple, but they’re also very unsafe; they allow more current to run through than what was originally planned. This adds more heat in the conductors, causing the insulation that protects the wires to become brittle and eventually fall apart.
- Heat generated from ceiling lights and attics with insufficient ventilation can also cause serious degradation to the wiring.
- All sorts of critters seem to love chewing on the insulation of these wires.
- Since knob and tube was initially designed so that suspended wires could dissipate heat, installing thermal insulation within proximity of the wires is counteractive; so anyone trying to eliminate drafts and keep warm air inside of their home will be increasing the risk of a fire.
- Insurance companies often see knob and tube wiring as a liability, and will not offer coverage unless it’s all replaced.
Knob and Tube Replacement
From Abington and Ambler to North Wales, Lansdale and Doylestown, you can count on our team of experienced electricians here at Wes Carver Electric to replace your knob and tube wiring with a much safer, more dependable system. Our professionals have significant experience performing replacements in a variety of homes, as well as finding solutions to any of the challenges they may face. We’re committed to doing everything that we can to help local residents eliminate any and all electrical hazards inside of their homes!
Don’t wait any longer to gain peace of mind about the safety and overall functionality of your electrical system! Complete a contact form on our homepage or call 215-855-3340 to learn more about our knob and tube replacement services!