Older house wiring puzzle

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Currently the United States NEC forbids use of loose, blown-in, or expanding foam insulation over K&T wiring.[5] This is because K&T is designed to let heat dissipate to the surrounding air. As a result, energy efficiency upgrades that involve insulating previously uninsulated walls usually also require replacement of the wiring in affected homes.
you must be buds realtive or something:) your rentals are at some risk from fire.......
you need to check current codes, but heres the wikipedia reference
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knob_and_tube_wiring
As existing K&T wiring gets ever older, insurance companies may deny coverage due to increased risk. Several companies will not write new homeowners policies at all unless all K&T wiring is replaced or unless an electrician has certified that the wiring is in good condition.
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bob haller wrote:

I'm not worried about your so called "codes" and i'm CERTAINLY not reading ANYthing from MF wikipedia.
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bob haller wrote:

"Obviously you are too lazy to click on links." Insulating K&T is the subject of the link to the Illinois Dept of Commerce. But you could just read what I posted that came from that link: "No record of hazard was found in the large number of K&T installations that had insulation added around them."
If you knew anything about the NEC you would know it has no intrinsic authority and is in effect only as it is adopted by enforcement jurisdictions.
If you read the Illinois report you would know that many jurisdictions, including 5 entire states, have modified the NEC prohibition on insulation.

Lacking competent sources you attack others. Your level of stupidity is amazing.

Your understanding of the NEC is minimal.
As you consistently ignore, the NEC does not require removal of K&T. A "rewire" can just refeed K&T.
If you read the Illinois report on insulation around K&T you would know that "looking at the record of the code change, it was not based on data substantiating a actual problems."
But why would you want to read - you would just get confused. Zealots don't like conflicting information.
Still missing - *data* that supports your claim that K&T is intrinsically hazardous. Or *authoritative* sources.
Still missing - data that indicates significant hazard from insulation around K&T.
--
bud--


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so the NEC prohibition means NOTHING?
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heres a interesting link including info on 3 homefires caused by encapsulating K&T with insulation.
http://www.pct.edu/wtc/docs/articles/KnobTube_Report_WTC.pdf
so bud what do you think of the photos of hacked K&T wiring?
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bob haller wrote:

That page will not load. Probably being caught by the bullshit filter.
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On Mon, 28 Sep 2009 18:53:17 -0500, Steve Barker

Loaded just fine for me. You DO need a reasonably recent vesion of a PDF reader.
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snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

hmmmm. have version 9.1.3 still no load.
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On Sep 28, 9:54�pm, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

ignore NEC rules home has fire caused by ignorance, contractor is in deep trouble, with major insurance hassles, and likely loose their business.
perhaps his cmputer is aged like K&T:)
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that page is interesting stating homes over 40 years old have a electrical fire risk 1.5 times greater than newer homes.
I believe that nearly had a fire here once, from insulation failure in a overhead light that put shower of sparks all over our bed.
replaced all overhead fixtures because of that!!!
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bob haller wrote:

Approximately 2% of the total fires. There is NO info on the fires.
And "these fires do no constitute a probability sample." In other words, the 2% rate in the reported fires has no general significance because it was not a random sample.

I didn't see much hacked K&T. Fig 3 - *Romex* in and out of a fan with no connectors. No K&T. Fig 5 - only *Romex* is seen, no mention of K&T Fig 7 - an open splice does not appear to involve K&T Fig 8 - open taped splice in extension cord does not include K&T For an article about K&T most of the horror pics weren't K&T. But you probably didn't notice.
My kid's house had hacked wiring, none of it K&T.
Fig 1 shows K&T wiring at a lightning fixture where the insulation has been damaged by heat. This is a fixture problem, not a K&T problem. As I have said, I have seen BX and Romex above light fixtures where the insulation cracked off when you moved the wire. It is why modern light fixtures have temperature ratings for the supply wiring and a lot of fixtures have thermal insulation in the base. So another illustration that is a general problem, not a K&T problem - I am not impressed by the failure in the report to distinguish.
And I am also not impressed by taking volt drop measurements at 20A and comparing to a recommended 5% max drop. Most K&T wiring is #14 designed for 15A.
The report said "properly installed and unaltered K&T wiring is not an inherent fire hazard."
And "insulating over knob and tube wiring, when the wiring is free of problems, is rarely, by itself, a fire problem. However, insulating over wires can be a critical contributing factor to creating a fire hazard when other problems, faults or abuse are present." Most of the 'abuse' in the report was not K&T. Not much of the abuse I have seen has been K&T.
Still missing - *data* that supports your claim that K&T is intrinsically hazardous. This report didn't support your claim.
Still missing - data that indicates significant hazard from insulation around K&T. Didn't see that in the report either.
--
bud--

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GOOD you at least read the link, progress.
the trouble with K&T the connections are all buried inside walls etc no boxes. So its impossible to inspect properly and if you open walls you might as well replace it, and upgrade to more than one outlet per room:)
do ask the 3 people who had home fires from encapsulating K&T in insulation wether its a fire hazard.......
and stand back they might want to throw something at you.
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bob haller wrote:

You're a real idiot.
If you actually read your source you would have found it does not agree with you.

Your source said "properly installed and unaltered K&T wiring is not an inherent fire hazard." That contradicts to what you say.
The problems shown in your source were almost all not identified as involving K&T wiring.

Your source said the data did not have statistical significance.
The "Illinois" report found no record of hazard in the large number of K&T installations that had insulation added around them.
Many jurisdictions, including 5 states, allow insulating around K&T.
Your source insulated around much of the K&T wiring.
Still missing - *data* that indicates significant hazard from insulation around K&T.
Still missing - *data* that supports your claim that K&T is intrinsically hazardous. Your source directly contradicts you.
--
bud--

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statisticall significant is 100% for those who had fire from insulating K&T the article clearly states this occured
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From what I have seen, it's not common to find "unaltered" K&T wiring. A house wired to what was common and needed 70+ years ago couldn't meet the needs of what is minimal in homes today. Today homes need more outlets, more capacity, more fixtures, etc. Things like a simple window AC unit that you can buy for $100 didn't exit then. So, it's common for these K&T systems to have been added on to, expanded, partially replaced, etc with a variety of more modern wiring. And a lot of that work was done by the homeowner or some hack so that you have dangling splices, no junction boxes, etc.
I think it's unfair to accuse the insurance companies of "redlining" because they have concerns about K & T wiring and demand that they prove K&T itself is the problem. If it is in fact unaltered and still used as intended, it may still be safe. But in practice, it's rarely left alone and still used the same way. Personally, I would not trust it in any home I was going to live in. Is that redlining?
Would it make you happier if instead of saying they won't insure homes with K&T insurance companies instead said they won't insure homes older than 70+ years if they still have the existing wiring ?

Bud, you jump on Bob for not giving you any relevant authority or data. In the case of insulation around K&T, he has showed that the NEC doesn't allow it. Yet, when he does, your response is many jurisdictions allow insulating around it. I don't know about you, but I'd give more credibility to the NEC before the local electrical inspector, building dept, etc.

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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

In my experience in the field I didn't see that much hacked K&T. I saw a lot of K&T that had other independent electrical circuits added. And I saw a lot of other electrical that was hacked. I see no reason to believe that K&T is more of a problem than other wiring. Most of the hacked wiring in the report halerb found was not identified as involving K&T. As for hazard, I would rather see K&T than the early 2 wire Romex with non-plastic sheath (tarred paper?).

As I said above, I have seen no reason to believe K&T is more of a hazard than other wiring. Insurance companies employ numerous actuaries to determine risk. I want decisions to be based on casualty data, not opinions.
Although I have heard NJ is a hotbed of hacked electrical. It may be justifiable to not insure the whole state.
And last I heard (about 15 years ago) large areas of PA had no electrical inspection. Maybe insurance should not be available in those areas.
As I have said several times, State Farm (probably) had a surcharge on houses with 'older' services in Minnesota (they didn't have to be very old). The state insurance regulator disallowed the surcharge. It is an example of insurance companies imposing limits they can't justify.
With no casualty data to justify the decision I see no reason to believe K&T exclusion is not redlining. Insurance companies have redlined in the past.

You can do whatever you like. But I wouldn't buy a house in NJ or PA.

I would buy maybe requiring an inspection by an electrician, such as is required by some jurisdictions that allow insulation over K&T. Maybe it should involve other wiring if there is evidence of problems?
Making housing stock that is over 70 years old uninsurable is a bad idea and may have legal problems, not to mention problems with governmental units that have such housing.

If you read the "Illinois" report, which looked at the record of hazard with K&T, you will find that "looking at the record of the code change, it was not based on data substantiating a actual problems." (If you look at the record of proposed code changes in general, a high percentage of them are rejected because there is no "substantiation" of the need for a change.)
In the record of the code change, a comment from the chief electrical inspector of Minneapolis said there was no record of a problem in the large number of houses with K&T that have been insulated.
In 5 cases, the change to the NEC requirement was not just the local electrical inspector. The change was state wide.
I see no reason to allow the NEC decision, based on no data, to be used as an authority when other high level electrical professionals (entire states) disagree - AND there is NO RECORD of a significant hazard. Don't you think horror stories would have surfaced? Don't you think halerb has looked for them?
halerb did successfully find yet another source, a report after an investigation, that doesn't show a problem.
--
bud--

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bob haller wrote:

No, they don't regulate insulation practices.
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bob haller wrote:

Apparently you are too stupid to understand the NEC.
Let me try for at least the 3rd time: The NEC has no intrinsic authority and is in effect only as it is adopted by enforcement jurisdictions. The Illinois report said many jurisdictions, including 5 entire states, have modified the NEC prohibition on insulation.
--
bud--

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it does if homeowners insurance REQUIRES its removal and once the homeowner faces that it requires things like GFCIs
the NEC must be a nuisance to you, soft shoe shuffling past safety cdes and requirements
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bob haller wrote:

The insurance DOES NOT require the removal of it. And you have not provided any documentation to the effect that it does.
s
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