Knob-and-tube – Unsafe Wiring Lurking in Older Homes

Sound advice from the Edina electrician:  An older, historic home can be charming with old-world features like high arches and ceilings, antique door knobs, crown molding and stained glass, but many also come with their own unique problems like inferior wiring that can be dangerous.

According to the Edina Electrician, older homes do not comply with current safety standards and building codes.  Renovating these homes is not only expensive and challenging, but can pose health risks associated with materials like asbestos and lead paint.

One of the most common issues the Edina electrician finds in homes built during the 1800’s to the 1940’s is the old knob-and-tube wiring.  These antique electrical systems are easy to identify with porcelain knobs anchoring wires to framing and insulated tubes passing wires through the walls.  With knob-and-tube wiring, there is no ground wire to reduce the risk of fire and allow for plugging in items that require a three-prong outlet.

Before the invention of dishwashers and air conditioners the knob-and-tube wiring was sufficient; however, it is not designed to carry the power load of today’s modern conveniences like high-tech electronics and high-end appliances.  Hire an Edina electrical contractor to make the necessary corrections to be safe.

The Edina electrician explains how homeowners and well-meaning handymen attempted to upgrade knob-and-tube systems over the years, often incorrectly to accommodate appliances. This type of wiring is easily compromised with each new junction.  Unsafe modifications are most common with knob-and-tube wiring.  It is always best to hire a qualified, licensed and insured electrical contractor for this job.

Another hazard with knob-and-tube wiring occurs when people add insulation to their homes to improve energy efficiency.  The knob-and-tube wiring is designed to float freely in the air and it can overheat and catch fire if it is covered up by blown in insulation.  Safety standards now prohibit the use of this wiring in hollow spaces inside walls, ceilings and attics where insulation can interfere with the conductors. A qualified Edina electrician can perform a complete inspection and make all the necessary upgrades to your electrical system to ensure maximum safety and efficiency.