Knob and Tube BETA-33

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hey cool, heres a quote paste from this site:)
More importantly perhaps, some insurance companies are now refusing to provide home owners insurance on houses with existing knob & tube wiring.
It can not be run in or under insulation. This often happens when outside walls or attics are insulated. Old wiring was installed in open spaces so that it would stay cool. The insulation around the wires was made of rubber that burns at a relatively low temperature. If surrounded by house insulation, the wires will not cool and could heat up enough to burn. It is important that if an old house is to be insulated that any knob and tube wiring be re-wired first.
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On Thu, 7 Feb 2008 09:50:37 -0800 (PST), " snipped-for-privacy@aol.com"

I think everyone here agrees that K&T should be replaced. Just not TODAY, like you seem to indicate.
The points you make about the problems with K&T are valid and anyone buying/selling a house should be aware of them. We get it.
Thanks
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if they are properly fused, there's no heat . So one cannot blame the insulation. One can only blame over fusing or no fusing. And in these cases, they'll overheat and burst into flames with or without insulation. And as a matter of fact, with fire retardant cellulose, they'd probably be safer, because they wouldn't have access to oxygen.
s
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

This must be the stupidest thing you have written. (Recently.)
Obviously you haven't read http://www.waptac.org/sp.asp?idq90 a report specifically covering K&T in insulation.
K&T was installed to keep the wires apart. Far as I know the same insulated wires were fished into pipes.
And still missing: Links that show a hazard of K&T wiring in contact with insulation. Links that show the fire hazard of K&T wiring.
And a link that says rubber insulation "burns at a relatively low temperature".
--
bud--

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do tell? if the originally werent concerned with overheating why run wires thru tubes?
have you read the pastes i posted from others who couldnt get insurance?
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They ran it on insulators, exposed. Tubes and loom were used where it went through wood or needed protection. I'm sure many people who couldn't get insurance had K&T that was screwed with over the years and deemed unsafe. That doesn't mean that ALL K&T is in poor condition... Except in your mind

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to prevent chaffing. just like why we have to staple romex within a certain number of inches from a box. Both rediculous unnecessary rules. I guess frequent earthquakes could rub the wires over a couple centuries.
s

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Ok, so i've read the first 10 links on the AOL search you linked me to. Only ONE (1) sited an insurance company by name. The rest only speculated that "some" insurance companies "may" refuse coverage on K&T. One other link stated a state farm user that wasn't questioned about the wiring. So, i guess there's still no documented proof that "insurance companies deny coverage on K&T wired homes". I can't imagine the other 90 hits being any different than the 10 most popular.
but thanks for playing.
steve
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geez are you incapable of just calling state farm and ask?
I pasted the reports of people who couldnt get homeowners because of K&T yet you ignore these posts.
just HOW EXACTLY does one prove wiring which has been almost totally buried in walls for a 100 years is in good condition? a electrician would have to open walls to check the condition of the wiring.
one more little thing, notice its called knob and tube, the wires go thru the tubes when wires have to pass thru framing. specifically ceramic insulators
this was done to prevent overheating of wires to cause a fire,
now doesnt it make sense that insulation could also cause a fire?
i bet you have K&T covered with insulation..........
and are burying your head in the sand over this as a known hazard
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RE: Homeowners Insurance and Knob-and-Tube Wiring... clip this post email this post what is this? see most clipped and recent clippings
Posted by Vermonster (My Page) on Wed, Nov 9, 05 at 14:45
We were unable to get homeowners insurance with knob and tube energized. Agreed to de-energize circuit and update. Policy is through Vermont Mutual. VT
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No, i've removed it from the rentals we have and rewired them. As for my own place, it was built in 1877 but not wired until the early fifties. All cloth covered romex. I've removed all that also. Believe me, I have a big pile of it in the back waiting to be burned.
s
i bet you have K&T covered with insulation..........
and are burying your head in the sand over this as a known hazard
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locally I helped gut a home after a fire, that wasnt electrical in nature. cat knocked over a lamp 139K in damages.
I could see places where the K&T had overheated, the house was on breakers, K&T connections were buried in walls, not accessible, much of the wiring was missing its insulation even in areas undisturbed by the fire.
no where did i say rewire today
but its a good thing to replace, at least off all outlet circuits.
hey at resale time buyer will want discount for rewiring, or just plain not buy.
and K&T isnt getting any newer, and insurance just more picky.........
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snipped-for-privacy@coldmail.com says...

Not all insurance companies deny coverage to all K&T wiring, but many insurance companies do prohibit all K&T wiring. It's more commonly prohibited in newer areas where only a small fraction of the housing suppy is old enough to have K&T.
Underwriting guides are generally confidential company documents, you probably won't find them posted on line, and I'm certainly not about to violate any contracts by posting excerpts, but I assure you, they do exist, and many insurance companies really do prohibit insuring homes with K&T wiring, enough that it has become a serious problem in some markets.
On the other hand, many insurance companies rely on agents to report whether a house has K&T or other prohibited conditions, and if the post- insurance inspection doesn't catch it, a house with K&T can get insured despite the prohibitions.
Once it's insured, the policy generally won't have an exclusion for damage caused by K&T wiring, it's an underwriting issue, not a coverage issue.
DISCLAIMER: I am not your insurance agent.
--
snipped-for-privacy@phred.org is Joshua Putnam
<http://www.phred.org/~josh/
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hey thanks!!!
do you agree insurance companies are more pickey today about home condition?
like poor sidewalk trip hazards, bad roofs, rotted porches, lack of railings on public steps leading to homes.
if i were a insurance company i wouldnt want to insure something that was a obvious hazard.
thats akin to insuring a repeat DUI driver. if they get coverage it naturally costs a lot more
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snipped-for-privacy@coldmail.com says...

Earthquakes are much too large a movement to worry about. Ordinary mechanical vibration can be enough to cause long runs of wire or pipe to chafe, e.g. the regular shaking from a washing machine's spin cycle.
--
snipped-for-privacy@phred.org is Joshua Putnam
<http://www.phred.org/~josh/
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wrote:

So what you are saying is he could have this: (The "Lazy Susan" switching arrangement)
http://i29.tinypic.com/2ebs4ck.jpg
So he should be looking for a splice in the two wires that go between each switch.
I don't know how close you have been following the thread, but he used an inductance pocket tester and has verified that no wire is hot at either switch or at the light.
I am starting to get a K&T fetish.
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Even if he has a Carter three way, he still has to have a hot leg somewhere in the system. If he's tested with an inductive tester, that he knows is working, and gets no light, he's got an open hot leg. He should be able to check for a grounded leg using a grounded pipe or extension cord and continuity tester. Once he finds the leg that's grounded, he should be able to determine which leg should be hot, and backtrack from there
wrote:

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Terry wrote:

Yup. The continuity measurements fit that circuit assuming all wires read a few ohms max.

But not between the switches. A bad connection from a hot to the wiring connecting the switches.

I believe the voltage tester uses capacitance coupling to the wire.
*IF* the tester is sensitive enough to provide an indication when 3 or 4 inches from a hot wire, BETA might be able to trace the wire with the voltage tester. That requires making the dead wire hot. Kill any circuit that may possibly have originally fed the light. Bring power to the switch location with an extension cord. Connect a small light bulb (like with a pigtail socket) to the extension cord hot. Connect the other side the light bulb to wire 1 then 2. The light bulb should light up when connected to the neutral (an alternate method of finding the neutral to RBM's post). Connect the light bulb to the other wire, which should be the wire that no longer connects to the building hot. Trace the wire through the walls with the voltage tester. This has worked for me on occasion. But don't try it unless you understand how it works and the significant safety issues. And check that the voltage tester is sensitive enough (in ceilings you may need more than 4 inch sensitivity).
For one K&T problem I cut at least 6 holes in a ceiling so I could insert a voltage tester and mirror to follow the wire. K&T can be a pain.

Geez - you and hallerb could start a club.
--
bud--

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wrote:

Lets say we have enough information to say that this is the switching arrangement he has. (finding continuity from one of the travelers to neutral would verify this) Should he try to repair it?
Having a 3-way switching arrangement like this causes the screw shell of the light fixture to be hot in two of the 4 positions. (even with the lamp off)
I think the only acceptable fix would be to find the splices in the travelers and disconnect them. Then run a new hot and neutral to the light and make a proper 3-way connection.
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