wiring question Knob and Tube

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N8, I could be wrong but I think that means you're living in a fire trap

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I don't think so... house is all masonry up to 2nd floor, and I've been systematically going through and inspecting all the wiring and replacing when necessary. As soon as it becomes consistently warm I'm going to rewire the whole 2nd floor...
nate
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> RBM wrote: > >> N8, I could be wrong but I think that means you're living in a fire >> trap
Nate Nagel wrote: > I don't think so... house is all masonry up to 2nd floor, and I've > been > systematically going through and inspecting all the wiring and > replacing > when necessary. As soon as it becomes consistently warm I'm going to > rewire the whole 2nd floor... >
I took it to mean your cars (or related their age) - a la hallerb.
-- bud--
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Bud-- wrote:

Well I'd be lying if I said the Stude hadn't tried to catch itself on fire, but that was due to an aftermarket fuel pump... not the car's fault.
nate
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I'm sure insurance companies base their concern in part by statistical information regarding old wiring. The problem with K&T is that it's easily recognized as "old wiring" with little to determine its actual age, which dates anywhere from the late 1800's into the 1960's and in rare instances later. Rather then judge its present condition, it's easier to condemn it, as many people do largely out of ignorance. Armor cable of various types has been in use from just before 1900 and a variety of non metallic cables not long after that, neither seems to rate the same negative attention paid to K&T, which I'd attribute to the general inability to distinguish its age. Today, we use a grounded electrical system, and as none of these old wiring methods had grounds or at least adequate ones, IMO, it would make sense to install new wiring as the opportunity arose
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Agreed as well. My recent experience was in response to an insurance company concern where their report had simply shown a check mark in the "Yes" box beside K&T wiring.
In my case, however, the service panel had already been upgraded to 200 A and current code wiring for the major circuits had been installed previously.
I requested, and paid for, a provincial agency (Ontario ESA) inspection and, on the basis of their assessment, had some relatively minor modifications made, including the addition of some GF outlets for protection.
The major concern was therefore only for the remaining lighting circuits.
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Clearly K&T has issues, such as blown insulation, but I'm bothered by the knee-jerk reaction to it. Where's the checkmark on the insurance form for pre 1920 wiring of all types?
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My agent didn't even mention wiring. I'm sure most don't.
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Steve Barker




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I know of three occasions recently where insurance agents have solicited information, at policy renewal time, on electrical service capacity and wiring type, plumbing supply type (iron vs copper), and heating system including specifics of furnace age, fuel oil storage (tank age, irrespective of condition).
In one case, inspection of one property was undertaken at the insurance agent's request/suggestion under the pretext of "making sure that coverages were adequate".
If they don't ask, then I suggest you don't tell.
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com says...

Renewal is not always guaranteed, companies will occasionally re- underwrite their policies on renewal, usually if they've had too many losses of a particular type and want to identify homes at risk for similar losses.

It's possible that was the real reason for the inspection, many people never tell their agent about remodeling or improvements, and end up significantly underinsured.
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Some companies do have a general age surcharge -- my own home has a "pre-1930" surcharge at the moment, until I've finished some other upgrades and rewrite the policy. No surcharge for having K&T.
Many companies have a very general guideline such as "wiring that is obsolete, deteriorated, or in need of replacement." K&T is one obvious thing to look for, but it's not the only thing -- depending on the underwriting, they may decline coverage because of fuse panels, ungrounded circuits, aluminum wiring, etc.
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Makes perfect sense to me. I would expect that the older a house is, the closer its infrastructure should be examined

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some negativity is because of fires caused since the connections arent in boxes buried in walls..........
insurance doesnt like K&T because of increased fire risk from a system likely a 100 years old.
what other things do we own that last a 100 years?
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We have a rental property we bought back in '94 that was built in 1923 give or take and it came to us with nothing but K&T wiring and a whole host of other more serious problems such as really bad & leaking roof, plumbing that was leaking on both the hot-n-cold and sewer.. Anyway, we had to get hazard (big $$) insurance since nobody would otherwise give us a policy.. We quickly found that the majority of the house had been wired into a SINGLE K&T circuit and that had I fired up a larger sized microwave oven we probably would have started charring wires in the attic.. We ended up re-doing the entire wiring system and ditched all of it -- it was a major hack job! Once we faxed a copy of the county inspectors closed-out permit showing replaced plumbing, electric, etc -- we were able to get a good (and cheap) insurance policy that was >10x cheaper than the hazard variety.
YMMV!
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I think that the point here is that your house's infrastructure was in poor condition and as such it's in danger of fire, flood etc. Age alone does not make wiring bad or dangerous. A house built in 23' could have wiring types other than K&T, which in a poorly kept house, could deteriorate as badly or worse than the K&T. In fact, in the book " Old Electrical Wiring" by David Shapiro, he writes there is evidence that K&T was used in the 1980's in New Orleans, in areas that flooded frequently, specifically because it held up under those conditions.
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Point taken.. This place we bought was in fact very poorly maintained over the years -- of course we got a good price on it and would buy another one if given the opportunity (8->
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The K&T wiring is not necessarily something the inspector missed. Perhaps he just didn't see any problems with it.
Answers to your questions: 1. no 2. no
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Steve Barker




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It's worth $2 a pound if you burn the insulation off of it. That's one reason to remove it. So far, I've pulled about 50 lbs of copper out of the two houses I'm doing right now.
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Steve Barker




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