Knob & Tube Wiring...

Home Inspector with Complete Home Inspections, Inc. TN Lic#050

complete home inspections, brentwood tnKnob & Tube Wiring...

has been around for several years, and is quite prevalent in many of the older, more established neighborhoods in Nashville, TN and other markets across the country. These are relatively safe systems IF, like sleeping dogs, you let them lie.

However, folks just L-O-O-OVE toknob and tube wiring, knob & tube wiring tinker. And for some reason, they just L-O-O-OVE to tinker with electricity. ((sigh)) They just get out the tape and wire nuts and go at it and leaving things as they are. Talk about dangling participles... 

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Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
"Franklin MA Homes"

Michael....I've been told that as long as the cloth around the wire is not unraveling, it's is fightening to look at though....the bx cable in your photo looks safer.

Nov 27, 2009 10:51 PM #1
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Michael - Now THAT is cute!  Insurance companies are still asking people if the house they are buying has knob and tube wiring for a reason!  Even when the house is built in 1999...

Nov 27, 2009 11:01 PM #2
David Jirasek
Jirasek Realty - Temple, TX

Michael, I have a rent house with knob and tube wiring. To upgrade for the additional demand of modern day conveniences (refrigerator, A/C, etc.), about 15 years ago, I had a master electrician get rid of the old fuse boxes, adding breakers, change weatherhead, and add seperate lines (at current code) so not to add into the old system. Eventually, it may need to be rewired, but so far, there have been no problems.

Nov 27, 2009 11:53 PM #3
June Piper-Brandon
Remax New Beginnings - Baltimore, MD
Piecing Dreams One Home at a Time

Michael,  I see a lot of knob and tube wiring here in Baltimore.  Mostly it gets removed for more modern means.  But, tape and wirenuts are also prevalent, it's very scary sometimes!!  And, like Jay says, the insurance companies are asking if it has knob and tube for a reason.

Nov 28, 2009 12:00 AM #4
Mary Strang
Viroqua, WI

Yikes, really was that supposed to be an improvement? I do run into some in our market place too. When it is found it usually gets replaced prior to closing as getting home owners insurance makes it an issue as well.  

Nov 28, 2009 12:00 AM #5
Stephen Kappre
KW Hometown - Mantua, NJ
Helping You Home

Great stuff - I get knob and tube in some of the older homes around here. Interesting point about leaving it alone. Thanks for the descriptive pictures - it helps !

Nov 28, 2009 12:08 AM #6
Brian Madigan
RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage (Toronto) - Toronto, ON
LL.B., Broker



In Toronto, it's difficult to find an insurance company that will insure a property with knob and tube wiring.



Nov 28, 2009 12:38 AM #7
Mike Parks
Residential Building Inspectors - Circleville, OH

Replace the K & T. Period.

I have yet to see an existing installation that is safe.

If you find one let me know and send me pictures.

Nov 28, 2009 12:14 PM #8
Carra & Shae Riley
Brokers Guild Cherry Creek Ltd - Westminster, CO
Helping people Transition at all ages!


That insulation looks creepy... Good thing you know what is code and what is not... looks like  a mess to me. 

Nov 28, 2009 03:05 PM #9
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Michael, in Washington State we actually have a law that supersedes the NEC which allows for burying knob & tube wiring in insulation----go figure.

Nov 29, 2009 09:09 AM #10
Mike Parks
Residential Building Inspectors - Circleville, OH


You have to be kidding but I know that you are not.

Very dangerous.

Nov 30, 2009 12:55 AM #11
Robert L. Brown - Grand Rapids, MI
Grand Rapids Real Estate Bellabay Realty, West Mic

That can be some serious stuff. I've seen alot of this in my tenure in the business.

Dec 13, 2009 05:00 AM #12
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