my home is like 70 or even more years old (not sure really). I want to
know if i should upgrad the wiring. the electrical panel shows i have
100 amp. I have been told if i have knob 2 wiring then i should change
it to 3 knob wiring. My question, how can I know if i have 2 knob
wireing or 3? in the main floor, i have all power outlet with 2 holes
(+,-) upstair I have power oullet with 3 holes (+,-, ground)
Thanks a lot.
As another poster said, if you're not having problems or symptoms
(including such things as flickering or dimming when turn on large
appliances), likelihood is you're not in terrible shape.
There will be at least one regular who will insist it _must_ be done now
and spout insurance as the reason amongst other ravings.
My real answer is "we can't tell from here".
You need your own system evaluated by an expert who can see and touch it
and determine the state.
Not necessarily. Usually you can find an experienced "expert" (electrician)
who will look at what you have and give you a list of options or
alternatives. And, as RBM wrote, the electrician could explain what you
have now, what is older wiring, what is newer wiring in your house, etc.
It also matters how your house is constructed in determining how easy or
hard it will be to make upgrades or improvements. Since you said that your
second floor has all 3-prong outlets, maybe you have an attic and someone in
the past was able to run wiring up into the attic and then drop lines down
to each room on the second floor for outlets, switches, ceiling fixtures,
etc. If you have a full basement or easily accessed crawl space under the
first floor, it may be possible to rewire the first floor from there -- with
the exception that getting to first floor ceiling fixtures could be a
So, more information would be helpful in terms of people here being able to
give you more feedback. If you have a digital camera, you can take pictures
of your electrical panel etc. and upload them to a website such as
http://tinypic.com/for free -- then that gives you a link that you can post
here and people here can view the pictures you took.
OK Leza, here's the deal. A 70+ year old house can, and probably does
have many types of wiring, possibly including Knob & Tube. The fact that
you have a 100 amp service is a good indicator that some upgrading has
already been done. Older wiring, regardless of type, will be less safe
than current wiring types. This doesn't necessarily mean you should run
out and have it all replaced. It would be helpful if you could post some
pictures of your electric service, the cables entering the service
panel, and any wiring you can see in your attic. With the pictures, a
better evaluation of you situation can be made.
Are your outlets 3 prong?
If you have K&T wiring you might as well replace it now and get some
use out of your money.
Homeowners insurance companies refuse to provide new insurance
policies to K&T homes .........
K&T usually isnt grounded, has few outlets making for more extension
cords a big fire risk.
just call state farm and ask about a new policy with K&T you will get
turned down flat.
if a future home buyer cant get insurance they cant get a mortage
so no one will want to buy your home:(
well maybe a cash buyer at great discount... which isnt good for sales
think of how many new cars and other things you buy in 70 years, to
get modern safe things.
well the electrical system in your home is no different. nothing lasts
Maybe, but I just changed my insurance company and they asked a lot of
questions, because my house was originally constructed in 1970, questions
came up about aluminum wiring, I am sure if the house pre-dated WW2, I would
have had questions about K&T wiring. One cannot make assumptions that apply
to every company, but many are getting particular on who they will insure,
and probably will increase the price if there are additional risks
All i can tell you is that there are probably 2000 early 1900's houses
in the town i live in. And I'll bet 99% of them are insured. AND I'll
also bet there are other towns in the US of A that are very similar.
So, to blanket say "knob and tube can't be insured" is ridiculous.
remove the "not" from my address to email
When my daughter wanted to buy a K+T wired house about 15 years ago, I
specifically asked the insurance agent if K+T wiring was a problem.
He said no, there were many more problems with aluminum wiring causing
fires than K+T wiring.
note you said 15 years........ thats a long time..
before all the wild unpredictable weather that wipes out entire
communities and costs insurance megabucks in losses
plus insurance is a competive business. why should homeowners
insurance companies take on higher risk customers? that hurts their
K&T homes are functionally obsolete, with just ONE outlet per bedroom,
few outlets overall, requiring lots of extension cords, with a long
lifetime to aquire hacked upgrades, like the photo in this discssion.
K&T doesnt use boxes for connections, thats a real hazard. a buddy of
mine has K&T and has connections fry.
will the posters who claim K&T is fine please post if they still have
every time this topic comes up we have the same discussion
FYI, you constantly charge that houses with K&T have ONE outlet per
bedroom. This is pure nonsense. The original wiring was very sparse but
virtually all the houses with K&T that I've worked in have added new
circuits, outlets, central air, breaker panels, etc. over the years,
just like houses built post K&T have done.
you point out part of the problem....... how many of those changes
were done properly?
most were likely piecemeal low cost changes as demoed from the photo
by the OP.
and the OPs homew may be full of such hazards buried in places they
cant be seen:(
As with any type of electrical wiring. It depends upon the person doing
the work. The same is true with wiring installations done fifty years
ago, or done yesterday. Properly done or improperly done wiring has no
more relevance to K&T than any other type of wiring material.
"most"?. Sorry, I don't deal in mindless speculation, and neither do
the insurance companies in my area. The insurance company listing for
wiring in older houses in this area are termed "mixed". If they feel
that there is a need, they hire people like myself to inspect it for
safety. I happen to do this for State Farm, who does not dismiss any
type of wiring out of hand, despite what your brother, aunt, cousin, and
15 neighbors told you. Could just be the area you live in??
True, but no more true for older houses than newer houses. I do
renovations on 25 year old houses and often find all types of buried
That is because every time someone mentions K&T wiring you go off on a
religious rant and if anyone dares to disagree it gores your sacred ox
and you rant all the more. How about we all chant three times "K&T
wiring is evidence of the devils influence in this world and a brazen
manifestation of evil." Will that satisfy your religious fervor on
I will confess here and now that I am one of the devils agents. I
have installed K&T wiring in the last twenty years. The fact that it
was an historic building and that it was installed with money from a
preservation grant will never assuage a true believer but that is OK
Part of our building at work dates back to about 1890. A large storage
closet and a small utility room each have one light fixture with K&T and
neither is ever used. Insurance inspector said they must be changed. The
rest of the building had been rewired decades ago.
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