If your home was built before the 1950s and has never undergone whole-house rewiring, there’s a pretty good chance that you could have a wiring system known as knob and tube running throughout your home. This old-fashioned wiring system was phased out of new constructions in the 1950s but is still in place in many older homes that have never been rewired. Though you may not know what the term knob and tube mean, it’s important that you have your electrical system inspected by an electrical service company due to the dangers associated with this obsolete wiring.
If you suspect that your home may feature knob and tube wiring, electrical services in Orlando, FL, can help you determine the safety or your wiring and provide rewiring services if necessary. In the meantime, read on to learn what you should know about knob and tube wiring and why replacing it with more modern wiring may be in your best interests.
The name knob and tube derive from the physical components of the system. Common features of knob and tube wiring are that it features a hot wire and a neutral wire with no third ground wire. The insulated wire runs through porcelain knobs as it weaves through the house, and the knobs hold the wire away from the structural components of the home such as timber trusses and studs. The tubes accompany the wiring through wooden components when necessary, providing an extra layer of insulation and protection so that the wiring isn’t directly pressed against the wood.
When knob and tube wiring was first implemented, most homes didn’t feature high-draw appliances, and there were few household items that needed a ground. However, over time the demand for amperage evolved, and knob and tube wiring were no longer capable of adequately meeting the needs of the average home. Therefore, wires were stressed and became overheated, which led to fires. Compounding the issue was the insulation on the wiring, which can become frayed and degraded over time, resulting in bare wire arcing hazards.
Modern electrical wiring designs feature a ground wire which safely siphons off excess power from your system and redirects it harmlessly into the ground. However, without a ground wire, there’s nowhere for that extra electricity to go, which can lead to overheated wiring that increases the risk of fire. Knob and tube wiring have no ground, which means the only method for averting overheating is the space between the wire and structural components such as timbers in your home. Also, because of the lack of ground, knob and tube wiring isn’t compatible with modern household power usage demands. Even modest residential power usage can put a great deal of stress on an old knob and tube wiring scheme.
Rewiring your entire home to rid yourself of knob and tube wiring is a worthwhile endeavor. The cost of it, depends on the size of your home. It is recommended to update the wiring in segments, beginning with the kitchen, then moving throughout the house when possible. For more information about this service and the cost, it’s a good idea to have an electrical service evaluate your risks and provide you with a rewiring estimate. Contact In Phaze Electric, Inc. at (405) 599-7777.