Is Knob and Tube Wiring Safe?
In the late 19th and early-to-mid 20th centuries, knob and tube wiring was considered state-of-the-art. Most houses that were built during this time period do have knob and tube wiring—that is, if it hasn’t been replaced. If your home still has knob and tube and wiring, professionals do recommend replacing it.
At the very least, you’ll have trouble getting an insurance company to write a policy for a home with knob and tube wiring. But what is it that makes this wiring so unsafe?
At Zo Electric LLC, our New Jersey electricians can provide you with a safety inspection to help ensure that every part of your electrical wiring system is as safe and functional as possible. Our experts electricians have also weighed in on what exactly makes knob and tube wiring so dangerous:
Knob and Tube Wiring is Two-Stranded
Knob and tube wiring systems consist only of two strands: a hot wire and neutral wire. They lack ground wires, which are a key part of what make modern electrical systems as safe as they are.
Ground wires provide electrical current an easy path to the ground should there be a sudden surge of electricity. Once the electricity is redirected, it can be reabsorbed into the earth. Ground wires prevent electrical shocks and electrocutions, thereby keeping your home as safe as possible.
Its Insulation Degrades Rapidly
Modern wiring is insulated with plastic, while knob and tube wiring uses a rubber insulation. That rubber insulation is unfortunately very susceptible to damage, and it degrades and breaks down very quickly. While it’s totally usable and safe for a short period, knob and tube wiring often needs to be replaced because its insulation has worn out, exposing wires to air and moisture, which increases the change of an electrical short or fire.
Knob and Tube Wiring Systems Can’t Handle Modern Electrical Needs
Older electrical systems had much fewer circuits than are used in modern electrical systems. They were built for the electrical needs that homeowners had a century ago. Today’s homeowners use much more electricity, so it’s easy for knob and tube wiring systems to get overloaded. In the short term, that can be irritating problems like flickering lights and broken fuses. In the long term, it could cause a house fire.
Replacing Knob and Tube Wiring
Replacing your knob and tube wiring in New Jersey is the best way to keep your home’s electrical system safe and functional. Our professional New Jersey electricians can inspect your home’s wiring system and let you know whether all or part of the system should be replaced. We’ll do whatever it takes to keep you electrical system working well and functioning safely.