Lath and plaster remodel work Knob and Tube Wiring

Fishing concealed wiring in walls

Washington Electric wants to make sure that you, your family, and home are safe from fires and other electrical hazards.

One of the ways that we help ensure your safety is to inspect your home to see if knob and tube wiring was used.

Knob and tube wiring was common in the Seattle area from around 1880 to 1935.

What is knob and tube wiring and how do I know if my house has it?

  • Wires were wound around knobs made of ceramic
  • Wires were drawn through ceramic tubes
  • Your home was built between 1880 and 1935
  • You have seen the knobs and tubes in the attic or crawl space

Knob & Tube Wiring in Seattle, Tacoma, Everett, Puyallup & Bellevue

 

Knob and tube wiring is not safe because the wires are not grounded. The system is not able to handle the power loads of today's modern technologies.

If your home does contain knob and tube wiring, we here at Washington Electric suggest a full rewiring of your electrical system. By doing a full rewire, your insurance rates can go down as well as the chance of a house fire due to electrical hazards.

Another advantage of doing a full rewire is that if you decide to refinance your home or sell it, you will have an easier time of finding a lender or buyer. Many insurance and mortgage companies will not insure or lend, respectively, on homes that have knob and tube wiring.

The companies that do may work with you are more apt to require much higher premiums and rates. Some companies will require an inspection by a licensed electrician (which you would pay for out of pocket, most of the time).

Some insurance companies will not insure the house or may not re-insure it at all. If you want to sell your home and you have knob and tube wiring, please consider doing a full rewire before placing your home on the market.

 

Knob and tube wiring, in addition to not being grounded, poses other electrical hazards with your appliances. Over time, the lack of grounding can create a continuous low level damage all of the electronics in the house.

When knob and tube wiring was used, homes did not have entertainment systems, computers, large freezers, multiple refrigerators, and other large power drains on the electrical system. Due to the increase of power required for all of today's conveniences, it is a good reason why you may be blowing fuses or flipping the circuit breakers often.

Homeowners may try to compensate with the lack of power by taking the dangerous path of oversizing the fuses or the circuit breakers. While this will allow a larger amount of electricity to flow, it can cause the system to overheat and catch fire because it is handling more than it was designed to handle.

Another huge hazard of the lack of grounding is that electric shocks can happen at any time – to appliance or person. If an appliance of the system itself malfunctions, it is possible to receive such a shock that could result in serious injury or even death.