Knob-and tube wiring is quite common in elderly homes, and so is somewhat contentious. However, having knob-and-tube wiring in your home isn’t necessarily a problem and in actuality, it isn’t poor to modern wiring in a lot of ways, as most think. Understanding knob-and-tube wiring and its own common issues can allow you to figure out whether or not it has to be replaced.
So what’s knob-and-tube wiring? This wiring has been used in homes until approximately 1950. The cable gets its name in the ceramic knobs which encourage it and also the ceramic tubes which protect the cable as it moves through wood framing members like floor joists. This is link to a knob and tube wiring pictures.
One of the chief differences between modern wiring and knob-and-tube is that the black and white wires are conducted independently and are spaced a few inches apart from knob-and-tube wiring. In modern wiring, the black wire, white wire and ground wire are all wrapped up in one cable. Another distinction is that the wire insulation. Modern wiring is coated with plastic whilst knob-and-tube employs rubber. The breakdown of the insulating material with the years on knob-and-tube wiring is often the reason it’s replaced. It is important to be aware that this is often the end result of overheating or mechanical abuse.
The simple fact that the copper cable used in knob and tube is bigger diameter compared to that in the modern cable is an edge for knob and tube. Bigger wires remain cooler as electricity flows through them. The simple fact that the cable is old and has been in service for several years is a drawback of knob-and-tube, of course. Another is the lack of a ground cable, which generates an emergency route for stray electricity which will help prevent shocks. Modern cable includes a ground cable, knob-and-tube doesn’t.
A number of the other common problems you can come across with knob-and-tube comprise:
Poor Connections: Problems with knob-and-tube cable almost always lead from amateurish connections created after initial installation.
Damage: Knob-and-tube wiring is always old and might have been exposed to numerous handymen, mechanical abuse and wear and tear through the years.