Explain this. The premise in question is served by a metallic water
line lateral connected to an underground water system that stretches
over several hundred square miles. No how many stakes; what we here
call rods; will it take to have a better grounding electrode system;
what you folks call an earthing array if I remember correctly; than that
public water system. Hint it can't be done.
"This alternating current stuff is just a fad. It is much too dangerous
The gospel according to the US NEC is that you can. viz
"250.130 Equipment Grounding Conductor Connections.
Equipment grounding conductor connections at the source of separately
derived systems shall be made in accordance with 250.30(A)(1). Equipment
grounding conductor connections at service equipment shall be made as
indicated in 250.130(A) or (B). For replacement of nongrounding-type
receptacles with grounding-type receptacles and for branch-circuit
extensions only in existing installations that do not have an equipment
grounding conductor in the branch circuit, connections shall be
permitted as indicated in 250.130(C).
(C) Nongrounding Receptacle Replacement or Branch Circuit Extensions.
The equipment grounding conductor of a grounding-type receptacle or a
branch-circuit extension shall be permitted to be connected to any of
(1) Any accessible point on the grounding electrode system as described
(2) Any accessible point on the grounding electrode conductor
(3) The equipment grounding terminal bar within the enclosure where the
branch circuit for the receptacle or branch circuit originates
(4) For grounded systems, the grounded service conductor within the
service equipment enclosure
(5) For ungrounded systems, the grounding terminal bar within the
service equipment enclosure"
Copyright 2002 the National Fire Protection Association
Well we aren\'t no thin blue heroes and yet we aren\'t no blackguards to.
FWIW ... At $40K, is perhaps most of the value in the land? If so, then
I'd be wary of the buyer that's just looking for a way to get the price
down ( a buyer might be buying to demolish and rebuild ... that's what
going on around here). But first, if you haven't already done so, you
really need to get an appraisal done to establish the value as is. And
if it was me I'd avoid all that electrical and whatever else, and sell
as is ... with my lawyer taking over once I had a written offer that I
liked in my hand.
FWIW: Last year I had the old side of the house rewired (was knob and
tube) in order to get insurance renewed. Two story 1911 home ... cost
was $6000 cdn and the 100A breaker panel was previously installed ...
$500. I am just now finishing up patching and painting ... walls and
ceilings are full of circular 4" holes to run the new wiring. So
there's more to the rewiring than just the wiring. Or ... if you go
ahead with the wiring and aren't prepared to do the patching and
painting, then cost that in too.
So from my experience, I'd sell as is. Now if it was $650,000 property,
that might make a difference :-)
connecting ground wires to a cold water pipe:(:(:( BAD.
Imagine the water meter removed for some reason or poor connection
electrically thru meter, say from rubber washers......
A electrical fault to ground:(
Touching any part of the water system can KILL, like stepping in a
sell them home as is or discount the cost of rewiring, or tear home
down cause you cant sell it...........
For $40,000 the buyer should expect a few things not to be perfect.
A buyer insisted I pay for a new roof. Sure, it needed a new roof, but so
The next week I sold for the full asking price.
So, unless $40,000 is too high you shouldn't be thinking of fixing anything.
when was that? sorry its no longer a sellers market and the fact
remains most insurance companies will not write new policies on home
with K&T and a buyer CANT buy a home without homeowners insurance and
even a cash buyer will want homeowners.......
Thje OPs home isnt saleable as is and this problem must by law be
disclosed to all future buyers.
It cost big bucks to keep a vacant home alive, insurance, utilities,
might be better off to reconsider that buyer................
there is NO FIX short of rewiring that will make that K&T disappear
How is it a "problem" if everything is code compliant? Yes, he should
tell prospective buyers that the house is wired with K&T so they aren't
surprised but that would not fall under the category of disclosing a
fault. UNLESS - of course - the receptacles are grounding type and are
not really grounded. that would be a violation that ought to be disclosed.
replace "fly" with "com" to reply.
How is it a "problem" if everything is code compliant? Yes, he should
The OP reported the following which NOW must be told to any and all
perspective buyers as part of every states disclosure law. failure to
disclose this leavesthe seller at lawsuit risk and it will be hard to
find any buyer to purchase a home requiring complete rewire, ulnless
the new buyer happens to say be a electrician
quote from OP
An electrician hired by a potential buyer said : "to correct the
wiring to the existing receptacles and removal of the knob and tube
complete rewiring of the residence would have to be done which would
increase the size of upgrading the electrical panel to 200 amps to
First of all, the word is "prospective". And what makes you so sure that
the (prospective) seller *must* disclose it? The report came from an
electrician hired by a prospective buyer: are you a real estate lawyer,
and can therefore tell us that this makes disclosure mandatory? I'm not,
and I can't.
Not that he shouldn't, of course; besides which, no buyer in their right
mind should buy the house before determining the type and condition of
wiring in the house.
In any case, it's far from a show-stopper for selling the house. Lots of
old houses have old wiring that should be, or has to be, replaced, and
buyers are (or should be) aware of this. It all comes down to figuring
it into the selling price.
Just as McDonald\'s is where you go when you\'re hungry but don\'t really
care about the quality of your food, Wikipedia is where you go when
I sold a home about 2 years ago, the first buyer backed out after the
home inspection. The realtor said I HAD to give all shoppers access to
the first home inspection since it was now part of the disclosure
I fixed mearly every issue the first inspector found, except the attic
temp which was more than 15 degrees hotter than the outside on a hot
july day. Home inspector one said I had to add vent fans even though I
had ridge and gable end vents. oddly the second inspector said it wasnt
today selling a home is a minefield of hassles even when your home is
in great shape.
first home inspector complained no GFCI on sump pump, second inspector
complained it WAS protected, I had added a GFCI for the pump.
No disrespect, but IMHO, that statement holds about as much water as a
paper bag. K&T wiring is grandfathered in by the NEC. If a real
electrical inspector, as the AHJ (Authority Having Juresdiction), made
the determination that the wiring was faulty, then it would be a fault
that would require disclosure.
Not trying to date myself, but maybe some history from an electrician
who has been through 10 NEC cycles (30 years) will help.
The only real problem with K&T is that much of it has been abused and
misused over the years. If the wiring is brittle, usually from
overheating from air conditioners and such, or kitchen circuits, or
light fixtures, yes, it's time for it to go. OTOH, some K&T, usually
in well maintained historic sections have been well taken care of and
is still good. I've seen more bad K&T than good, though. That's
probably one reason many insurance companies won't touch it with a 10
OTOH, some insurance companies and financial institutions usually only
require that the service be upgraded and some kitchen circuits be
added. In a 900 Sq. Ft. house with gas appliances, that's about all
that would be needed. In some areas that's all that would be required.
In my area, not so, not only do we have to re-wire everything, but
must also tear out all of the K&T.
I remember in the late '80's when the NEC rule that allowed 3 prong
receptacles to be installed on 2-wire circuits (including K&T) as long
as they were GFCI protected came about, that the COMPETITIVE bid for a
re-wire for the area that I was working in at the time dropped from
$3500 (US) to about $2200 simply because as long as the K&T was in
reasonably good shape, and to this day, all one has to do to meet NEC
is replace the first outlet in a circuit with a GFCI, slam in some
regular 3 prong receptacles in the rest of the circuit outlets and call
it a done deal.
Even the 60 amp panel would probably calculate out OK, however, NEC and
many financial institutions now require 100 amp minimum, regardless of
the service calc. However, an existing 60 amp service is grandfathered
Even grounding in old houses is grandfathered. As you probably know,
until the late 1980's it was not uncommon to use the interior water
pipe to ground a service, or ground a receptacle, as long as the water
meter and water heater were jumpered. In fact, there is no doubt that
many of these installations still exist and are grandfathered and safe
as long as no one comes along and installs plastic without jumping it.
If not for plastic, we would probably still be using the old rules.
I'll take an underground water pipe (at least 20 feet) any day as a
good ground. In fact, NEC still requires it if available. IMO, ground
rods should be outlawed as the only grounding means, in favor of an
easily installed (during new construction) Ufer ground.
As an electrician, I try to convince people to get rid of K&T,
regardless of the condition, however, the intent of the NEC is not to
cause undo hardship on folks.
You see there are TWO ISSUES NEC which grandfathers stuff in and
mortage and insurance companies who set their OWN RULES.
Now its IMPOSSIBLE to inspect all the K&T since its buried in walls,
lacks boxes and is often abused by ACs and other heavy loads. Honestly
wouldnt it cost more to inspect it than rewire?
The last part of his post says from a PRO ............ not only replace
it all but rip out all the old K&T thats so someone doesnt decide to
reuse it in the future
disclosure isnt limited to code violations. LONG list, age of roof?any
ANYTHING THAT EVER WENT WRONG and how it was fixed.
fail to disclose, item causes trouble seller pays for repairs, and
worse it will be a high class high cost job.
neighbor had bad sewer line terracotta pipe, everyones is bad. tree
roots:( plus illegal install at time homes were built over 50 years
ago. Sewer line also under slab drain.:(
anyhow the buyer sued the seller and won over 10 grand for sewer line
replacement and yard / driveway restoration...........
the old days of cover it up buyers trouble are long gone
I agree that "disclosing" the presence of K&T is the right thing to do.
I don't think anyone is suggesting otherwise. However, I think the OP
was scared by the electrician's use of the word "correct" in his quote.
If there is no code violation there's nothing to "correct." "Upgrade"
would be a more accurate word. The real question is, has the OP had
any electrical issues? If no, then IMHO he should still tell
prospective buyers about the presence of K&T wiring in the interest of
an amicable and fair negotiation, however if everything is working
correctly there is no fault that needs to be corrected.
Again, if there are grounding-type outlets without grounds, or
insulation blown in around pre-existing K&T wiring, those *ARE* issues,
but the OP did not mention either.
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