Profile picture for DebbieVecciaPeskar

Outdated KNOB & TUBE electrical

Became aware in areas of interest in purchasing house, have old KNOB & TUBE electrical....Does anyone know what homeowners/buyers are doing--if anything at all, to correct this safety issue????   Especially these times of microwaves, computers etc
  • November 12 2012 - US
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Answers (6)

Profile picture for srq34241
I suggest replacement.  Aside from not being adequately sized and grounded, those old wires are usually old, brittle, and bare in spots due to pests over the years.
  • November 20 2012
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Profile picture for Kabaju42
I bought a home 5 years ago with similar electrical problems. It didn't have kknob and tube, but it did have fuses instead of breakers and the outlets ddidn't have grounds. In my offer I had the stipulation they had to update the electrical.
  • November 20 2012
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Debbie,

Your question underscores the need for a full home inspection once you find the home you want to make offer on.

When conducting home inspections on older homes, I regularly discover concerns such as yours with knob and tube, outdated, rusted, dangerous fuse panels, lead pipes, lead paint, insulation that contains asbestos, improper or failed sewage pipes / systems, mold, moisture, pests etc.. The owners of the home with serious issues ALL have something in common. They did not see the value in a home inspection and bought the money pit. Now they are stuck with it unless they too can find someone to buy who also is foolish enough to not have a home inspection performed. For $300 to $500 a full home inspection may save a person from making a mistake that will cost $1000.00's. With a home inspection report most buyers are successful in renegotiating a lower purchase price and/or repairs performed at the expense of the seller. Good luck with your home purchase!


Patrick Erb
Erb Home Inspection Services
AL# HI3083

  • November 15 2012
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I would definitely get a licensed electrician out to give you a bid before making any offer on the property.  
  • November 14 2012
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Knob and Tube is dangerous even without heavy loads. I would get an electrician out to give you an estimate on replacing the knob and tube before purchasing the home.
  • November 14 2012
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Profile picture for hpvanc
In addition to your concern about your ability to operate the microwave and computer, you may have to correct it to get a fire insurance policy.  Many insurance companies won't write new policies on houses with the knob and tube wiring (or charge more if they do offer it). 

It is usually possible to run new wire with minimal damage to closed walls and ceilings by fishing the new wire through the open cavities (wall and ceiling insulation is a definite fire hazard with knob and tube since it needs airspace to cool).
  • November 12 2012
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