Older house wiring puzzle

Page 4 of 10  

bob haller wrote:

Still too lazy/stupid.

That begs the question of whether K&T is significantly more hazardous than other wiring. You have still not provided a reliable source that says it is. The only relevant link in this thread is that an insurance company, which employs actuaries to get casualty information, did not show K&T was a hazard when challenged.
Where is your evidence. All you provide is FUD.

Also begs the question of whether existing K&T is significantly more hazardous.
I have read that K&T has been 'recently' used in areas subject to flooding because it dries out faster. K&T is allowed to be used by "special permission".
--
bud--

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

you ignored my questions and failed to respond to the specific issue.
would you pay more for homeowners insurance so people with K&T could get insurance
please supply a link to the info of K&T being used today. does it have a ground conductor? GFCI? arc fault breaker? boxes for connections?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
bob haller wrote:

Still too lazy/stupid.

You continue your compulsive FUD.
The links to state agencies that have been provided say: - an insurance company did not provide any justification for not insuring a house with K&T - an Illinois investigation of insulation around K&T found no record of hazard - apparently you think they ignored the intrinsic hazard of the K&T???
You have provided no reliable evidence that K&T is hazardous.

It is a red herring. Where is the casualty information that K&T is more hazardous. Maybe you could call your buddies at State Farm and get it.

All I have read is that it was used 'recently'.
--
bud--

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
when anyone wit K&T decides to sell their home would they please report back here with what happens?
I asked a realtor about this question yesterday, they had sold my oms house, I bumped into them at the grocery store.
they said its not very common here anymore, at least partially because you cant get homeowners insurance. at home resale time house must be rewired to current code, or no insurance no sale.
he did report one derelict home sold, the buyer paid cash for a home under 20 grand. he said the new owner had a home fire, not caused by wiring and lost his entire life savings. owner was attempting to heat house in winter totally by fireplace, chimney failed.
everyone should have homeowners insurance
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

my moms house
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

(Electrical Safety Authority) inspection provided by us to obtain insurance. Of course, the major load circuits had been replaced previously with current code wiring and a 200A service panel had been installed. K&T was still present in some second floor lighting and wall plug circuits.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
bob haller wrote:

There is no possibility houses have to be rewired to the 2008NEC. AFCIs on most circuits? Kid-proof receptacles in most locations? Receptacles at current spacing requirements? Ufer earthing electrode required? Boxes have light fixture or fan rating? All wiring has a ground? All grounded receptacles? Eliminate almost all of the GFCI exceptions? Replace old stove/dryer circuits that have a neutral but no ground? Garages must have a ground wire in the feeder? Everything meets the UL standards in effect now?
Either you misunderstood the agent or he is as wacked-out as you are.
K&T is code compliant.
Still missing - a reliable source that says K&T is hazardous.
--
bud--

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

if you cant get homeowners insurance then a major upgrade of wiring is necessary. once its a major upgrade and not just a repair curerent codes must be met...........
as they must with other safety issues.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
bob haller wrote:

The idea that you cant get insurance unless the house meets "current code" is more wacko than your comments on K&T. What insurance company requires all the features above?
As I have said several times, Minnesota required State Farm (probably) to drop a surcharge for older services. Insurance companies, at least in some states, are not allowed to do whatever they want.
If wiring is upgraded, only the parts of the system that are modified must meet "current code", just like a "repair".
Existing K&T can be picked up in a rewire - it is allowed by the code. The NEC does not require replacement of K&T. So in your "major upgrade" K&T can remain.

Still missing - a reliable source that says K&T is hazardous.
--
bud--

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Any wiring that is in poor repair is hazardous and this is usually the case with K&T.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
JIMMIE wrote:

In many years of doing trouble calls I have not seen that. It certainly was not "usually the case".
The 2 sources in this thread, from state agencies, do not indicate a particular problem with K&T.
Where is a reliable source that says K&T is hazardous.
--
bud--

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
how many links do you want posted?
heres one, i can flood the board if you like.
sadly bud is living in dreamland, where stuff thats 100 years old is just fine
Knob and Tube Wiring William Kibbel III, The Home Inspector Handy homeowners, critters, and time are enemies of this vintage wiring system
Dear Home Inspector: Our home inspector recommended replacing the knob and tube wiring in our home. But my father-in-law says there's nothing wrong with leaving it alone. What is your opinion of this type of wiring?
When installed correctly knob and tube wiring was, in some ways, superior to current wiring practices.
Unfortunately, this system is rarely intact after 80 or so years of use. Things that happen well after the original installation can cause major problems. For this reason, I agree with your inspector.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Time, heat, and possibly hungry critters have caused the insulation on this wiring to disintegrate.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Before I explain the problems, let's examine this old type of wiring. Fairly common in houses built before 1930, the system uses porcelain insulators (knobs) for running wires through unobstructed spaces. Porcelain tubes protect wires that run through studs and joists.
Some of the safety features of the system are:
The porcelain knobs suspend the wire in open air to dissipate heat. The wiring was usually installed along the center of joists and studs away from potential nail punctures. Additional protection is provided by porcelain tubes where it passes through wood. The hot and neutral wires are always separated by at least 3 inches except near a connection to a box or fixture. At these places, an additional protective woven sleeve, or was used from the last knob. Splices were joined by wrapping one wire around another and then soldering the joint. Knobs were then placed within 6 inches of the splices to prevent stress on the connection. Wires were usually never loose or placed on top of joists where they could be easily damaged. The two main weaknesses of this vintage wiring are:
The lack of a ground conductor, and Switches were often placed on the neutral wire, turning off the circuit, but not the current. Improper alterations
Improper alterations are the most consistent problem I find with knob and tube wiring, and they pose a significant safety hazard. Unfortunately from a safety standpoint, the electrical system is one of the few things in a home that can be installed completely wrong and still
Additional branches improperly added to the original wiring is one of the common problems I see. When additional branches or fixtures are added, the fuses protecting the old circuits are likely to blow frequently. Installing larger fuses is an easy, but unsafe, solution. Oversized fuses allow much more current to flow than originally intended, resulting in additional heat in the conductors. This heat causes the insulation protecting the wire to become brittle, and eventually to disintegrate.
Heat and critters
Heat directly above ceiling lights and in un-vented attics can also degrade the wire insulation. Some types of insulation used on knob and tube wiring seem to be a delicacy for the critters that find their way into old homes. They can make short work of the insulation covering the wires.
Thermal insulation problems
Faced with drafty houses and high heating bills, homeowners often add thermal insulation to their attics and walls. Insulation on top of knob and tube wiring is a major fire hazard.
Remember the first good point of knob and tube wiring? The wire suspended in open air allows heat to dissipate. Loose and rolled insulation counteracts the original open air installation of knob and tube wiring.
In 1987, the National Electric Code prohibited the placement of insulation in contact with this type wiring. Later, a couple of west coast states permitted insulation provided the wiring was "certified" by a licensed electrician, foil or paper backed batt insulation was not used and warning signs were placed where the old wiring is concealed by the insulation.
Finally, there seems to be a growing concern about this old wiring from the homeowners insurance companies. I have found one that will not write a policy if there is more than a certain percentage of knob and tube wiring still in use and several will not offer coverage unless it is all replaced.
I would like to agree with your father in law, but my experience has been that previous owners, excessive heat and even critters didnt know to "leave it alone".
About the Author William Kibbel III is a home inspector and restoration consultant specializing in historic residential and commercial buildings. He is vice president of Tri-County Inspection Company, serving Southeastern Pennsylvania and Central New Jersey.
Bill welcomes questions for future columns. You may contact him at snipped-for-privacy@oldhouseweb.com
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Knob and Tube Wiring If your home was built before the mid 1930s it is likely that Knob and Tube wiring was used. Knob and Tube Wiring should be evaluated by a licensed electrician, and in many cases replaced.
The facts about Knob and Tube:
The newest (original) Knob and tube wiring is around 70 years old It is a greater fire hazard It is a greater electrocution hazard It is obsolete to modern use standards More and more insurance providers are denying homeowners insurance on houses with knob and tube wiring It is an open air wire, and not designed to be covered with insulation In most cases the insulation is brittle and damaged (from age) More likely to have improper splicing Return to Table of Contents --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
What is Knob and Tube Wiring March 8, 2008 Filed Under Home Inspections and Home Maintenance Ive recently witnessed knob and tube wiring in some downtown St. Johns homes. Its not a common sight, but when things are uncommon and unknown a lot of questions arise.
So, just what is knob and tube wiring?
Knob and tube wiring is found in older homes dating back to the 1940s. It was the electrical wiring choice at the time due to being inexpensive and practical. Knob and tube is a two wire system consisting of a hot and a neutral wire no ground wire. When the wiring was run through floor joists it was placed in a ceramic tube to prevent the wires from chafing.
If you happen to notice knob and tube in a home you are purchasing (hopefully you have a Home Inspector) asks lots of questions.
In the older days, this method was quite adequate for the electrical loads being produced in a house hold. However as computers, plasma TVs and microwaves became the new way of life, the increase is amperage (electrical current) to run these devices posed a problem for knob and tube wiring. It became subject to repeatedly blowing 15mp amp fuses. Quick fixes allowed homeowners to over-fuse circuits (changing the 15amp fuse to a 20 or 30amp fuse) which in turn caused heat damage to the wiring due to higher levels of current.
Some insurance companies in St. Johns will still insure knob and tube wiring but they require an electrician to inspect the house to make sure that there are no circuits over-fused. Of course there are some insurance companies in St. Johns that refuse to insure knob and tube wiring. No insurance = no mortgage.
Tags: downtown St. John's, electrical, home inspector, homeowner, knob and tube
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Connections to concealed knob-and-tube wiring. In cases where the existing wiring is concealed knob-and-tube, the NEC does allow it to be extended from an existing application. But that is seldom practical because the hardware is no longer readily available, and the existing knobs salvaged from old jobs have internal spacings for old Type R conductor insulation that will not work on todays thinner insulated conductors. Concealed knob-and-tube, as a wiring method, has no equipment grounding conductor carried with it. Over the generations, NEC provisions have changed to the point that it is almost impossible legally to wire anything without grounding it. For example, until the 1984 NEC, what is now 314.4 only required the grounding of metal boxes used with concealed knob-and-tube wiring if in contact with metal lath or metallic surfaces. Now all metal boxes must be grounded without exception.
Meanwhile, grounding has been getting more difficult to arrange to remote extensions of concealed knob-and-tube outlets. Until the 1993 NEC, you could go to a local bonded water pipe to pick up an equipment grounding connection, and then extend from there with modern wiring methods. Now 250.130(C), which governs this work, requires that the equipment grounding connection be made on the equipment grounding terminal bar of the supply panelboard, or directly to the grounding electrode system or grounding electrode conductor. You will not be inspecting grounding connections associated with concealed knob-and- tube wiring in a steel-frame building. Rather you will see this in old wood-frame buildings, probably residential. In such occupancies, even if the water supply lateral is metallic, the water piping system ceases to be considered as an electrode beyond 5 feet from the point of entry. This usually means fishing into the basement. If the contractor can fish a ground wire down to this point, he or she can fish a modern circuit up in the reverse direction and avoid the entire problem.
It is true that some geographical areas have more extensive use of slab-on-grade construction, and here interior water piping is sometimes permitted to qualify as electrodes because the pipes extend to grade for the minimum threshold distance of 10 feet, and thereby allow interior connections. But in almost every case, extensions of concealed knob-and-tube wiring do not do well upon close inspection.
In addition to the grounding issue, beginning with the 1987 NEC this wiring method cannot be used in wall or ceiling cavities that have loose, filled, or foamed-in-place insulating material that envelops the conductors. This effectively means that such cavities cannot be insulated, because the only method of compliance involves opening all the walls to install board insulation products, and no contractor is going to keep this wiring method with the walls open. This rule is particularly controversial because, to the extent enforced in existing construction, it is a powerful economic disincentive for owners to retrofit thermal insulation.3
bud I copied and pasted because obviously you are too lazy to click on links, while you spout dis information it just adds to readers confusion.
this is just a few of the references. who wants a obsolete system that shouldnt be insulated?
few homebuyers will be interested in buying such a home.
rewiring isnt that expensive, when you consider how it increases your homes value.
besides if a homebuyer cant get homeowners insurance its a no sale...... for nearly every buyer out there.
so the seller must rewire, at that point the rewire must meet all current safety codes...............
bud you want a 100 more? or a 1000?
just to discredit you i nwill be happy to keep on posting.:)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Bud now knows I am correct:) The K&T issues are well documented, everything from insulation being a bad idea, to insurance troubles. besides lack of grounds and being obsolete.
Bud glad i was able to help educate you:)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
bob haller wrote:

You haven't proved or educated anyone you pin headed bastard. No links, no official docs, just a bunch of made up text that had no conclusive results.
s
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
bob haller wrote:

Again looking at http://www.waptac.org/sp.asp?idq90 a report to the Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs - looking at the record of the code change, it was not based on data substantiating a actual problems. The report found that many jurisdictions have modifications to the code prohibition of insulating where K&T is present.
As I have already pointed out, there is no *data* to support the claim that the insulation causes a hazard. The chief electrical inspector for Minneapolis has said insulation was not a problem.

Too lazy - I am devastated. (Have you read my sources?)

My "dis information" came from state agencies and electrical inspectors.
Two of your sources were apparently home inspectors. Two of your sources were completely unidentified.
I want to see a knowledgeable electrical industry source, not home inspector FUD.

In the real world, rewiring to completely eliminate K&T is enormously expensive.

Where is the insurance casualty *data* that justifies insurance denial. Still missing.
Just as it was missing when challenged in Maine and the insurance company "provided no justification for its position that knob and tube wiring per se automatically provides grounds for nonrenewal".

You appear to have no concept of what the NEC requires. A "rewire" only affects the wiring that is changed. A "rewire" does not require all wiring in a house conform to the current NEC. You are really a fount of misinformation.
As I have said, you can "rewire" and leave the existing K&T.

Of course, just like a Jehovah's Witness.
Still missing - *data* that supports your claim. Your buddies at State Farm can't help you?
--
bud--

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Bud ignores the NEC, which prohibits insulation contacting K&T
jeez i wouldnt want to live in a home you worked on.........
you must believe the NEC is advisory only?
you must be smarter than the entire NEC, which must look at all these issues carefully
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
bob haller wrote:

The NEC does not regulate the insulation of houses. AND the K&T wiring is not new enough to be involved in a current inspection process. I've covered miles of it with insulation in multiple rentals. Proper fusing of the circuits is the key. No overamperage= No heat. You should just go hang yourself with some single strand wire you pin headed bastard.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.