I just bought a new (old) house and I have a couple of questions. Our
underqualified although state licensed (Wisconsin) inspector missed
some extremely obvious Knob and Tube wiring which turns out to be half
the house so I'm rewiring most of the house. The first question is:
Do I have to remove all of the dead knob and tube wiring?
The second question is:
I'm running armoured cable to the attic to replace the Knob and Tube
and the cable is running in an open cavity between two bedrooms. Do I
have to open the wall and secure this every four feet?
Just shows how old the house is. I like that.
BTW is an inspector unqualified just because he doesn't note K&T.
AIUI, it's still legal. Does he fill out a detailed report, or is he
only supposed to note violatons?
On 5 Mar 2007 06:28:13 -0800, mission_modern_and email@example.com
Before you do anything, I would suggest you get a qualified
electrician. Although you want to do the work yourself, you can pay
him/her to show up now and then to help guide you.
As for your questions, I would remove the wire so no confusion later.
With the securing question, I believe the NEC addresses this by
allowing it be unsecured in areas where inaccessible with a remodel.
Check just in case. ;)
tom @ www.Consolidated-Loans.info
Are you sure you want to replace it? Really. K&T is a very good
wiring system. You would not put any new in, but assuming what is there has
the capacity for what you need, why replace it?
Are you assuming that the inspector is bad because he failed to note
K&T? To the best of my knowledge (limited as it is) K&T is legal as
grandfathered in. There are times you do need to change it out, but I don't
believe it is universally illegal.
I can't imagine not wanting good insulation, esp. with fuel costs the
way they are today. I'll be doing my upstairs as soon as it warms up
enough to rewire. The second floor of my house, which has uninsulated
frame walls, is a good 5 degrees colder (62 vs. 67 degrees) than the
downstairs, which is masonry - and it's only in the mid-30s here.
In my case it's not an issue that there's K&T in the walls; the wiring
is old cloth covered non-metallic. the issue is that the wiring is
ungrounded and I want to split the floor into two different circuits
and add the now-required bathroom circuit, and just don't want to mess
around fishing wire through cellulose.
What about old 60 degree Romex that was commonly burried in insulation
and carried both conductors together. Both conductors generated heat,
and were adjacent if insulation failed. Maybe Romex should be replaced.
IMHO insurance restrictions on K&T are largely the latest redlining scheme.
is a report to the Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs
on adding building insulation around existing K&T wiring. No record of
hazard was found in the large number of K&T installations that had
insulation added around them. At the time of the report, adding
insulation was permitted some places, not in others.
What a great find!
I snipped this from it as part of the history and origin:
"Mr. Sargent had no knowledge of fire loss data pertaining to this
amendment, and suggested that the code change may have been a preemptive
move based on the original design of knob-and-tube wiring. In this view,
knob-and-tube wiring was designed to function in free air , and thus
encasement in an insulating material represents a practice contrary to
the original design."
HaHa A "pre-emptive move" based on little more than hot air.
House inspectors know if they kill a deal, they'll never get a call
from a broker again. When you're buying a house, it's difficult to
call in an inspector from out of town (who won't be influenced by the
potential loss of business), because it will cost you big.
It's inevitable for an old house to need improvements and upgrades.
I'm really angry at the last inspector who came for my current home;
he missed a bunch of things, but I ultimately blame myself for
overlooking them, since I was involved in the inspection. When you
want a house you tend to rationalize past items in order to keep the
I have that K&T in the attic, and the problem I have with it is mine
doesn't have a ground, and it's difficult to work with when upgrading
ceiling lights or adding fans. In addition, in my house the wires are
laying on the studs so if I have to go up into the crawl space
(rarely) unless I want to have to avoid live wires, I got to cut off
As far as asking an electrician to come out and give you advice, I
called one and he wanted $90 an hour portal to portal; so if he came
out and spent an hour, it would cost me nearly $300 because I live in
Also the textbook suggestion would be to maybe check with your county
building department to see if a permit is required for the work you
are planning, and if your jurisdiction permits the homewoner to
perform electrical work themselves.
You do not necessarily have to identify yourself when you call, just
to ask a rhetorical question.
That way you can have your project inspected, and you can be sure they
will re-access your property and bump up your taxes. By the nature of
your question, and the comments you made regarding how you plan to
upgrade your wiring, you are obviously wanting to do a reasonably good
job and not jeopardise your safety or your home's value.
In my experience the guys working the electrical aisle at the
homecenters are retired electricians, and offer good advice and
direction, or tell you who to ask if they don't know the answer
hope this helps
In my area, home inspectors are generally furnished by the selling realtor,
after an accepted offer. Their job is to find as many "defects" as they can,
not to kill the sale, but so the buyer can re-negotiate a lower price.
In most cases, you should never add outlets to existing K&T. When it was
installed, it did a limited number of outlets and works fine for light
loads, especially lamps and fans and such, that don't use a ground. If you
need new outlets, run new circuits
many home inspectors are complete jerks, and have no idea what they
example me selling home with sump pump. Inspector, You MUST have GFCI
protection!! Completely unsafe!!!
I add GFCI buyer backs out........
Second home inspector TERRIBLE you should never GFCI a sump pump!!!
I had a bunch of examples...........
home inspectors are a buyers best friend, and a sellers worst enemy.
I thought the inspector that came and looked at my place was pretty
good, and fair. He found lots of little greebly stuff, but I made it
clear to the seller that I wasn't going to screw him on that, I only
wanted two things checked out (a backdrafting water heater flue and a
weeping pipe, both of which he fixed for not much $$$.)
The only thing he MISSED which was not his fault was the bootlegged
grounds on the upstairs receptacles, but he would have had to physically
remove a receptacle to find it.
replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
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