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Old 12-30-2011, 03:22 PM   #1
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Connecting fused knob & tube to new breaker panel


Greetings All!
My name is Carl & I'm new to DIY board.
I have read all the "dangerous, for info purposes" warnings & will not hold anybody liable for helping me! Ha! Ha! All that being said, I have what should be a simple question, how do I correctly hook up some old fused circuits to my new service panel? I'm renovating my childhood home, which is a two family flat. The lower flat was no problem as there was an updated fuse panel box which I simply transferred circuits/wires. The upper flat has two fuse blocks which I have attached pics of & identified the wires based on test meter.
Can't find anybody at local electrical supply to help? They always say there's some old guy, but I haven't been able to catch him yet?
Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance!
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Connecting fused knob & tube to new breaker panel-fuse-panel-1a.jpg   Connecting fused knob & tube to new breaker panel-fuse-panel-2a.jpg  

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Old 12-30-2011, 04:12 PM   #2
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Connecting fused knob & tube to new breaker panel


Start with some junction boxes.
Terminate the old stuff onto some nice new romex in those boxes.
Run the romex from there to the new panel.

hth

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Old 12-30-2011, 04:34 PM   #3
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Connecting fused knob & tube to new breaker panel


If a "two family flat", will there be renters?
If so, I'd think this falls under commercial use of the property and I'd doubt you can use knob and tube connected to a modern circuit breaker system with a permit. You'd want a permit for insurance coverage. I also don't believe that permitted work involving knob and tube wiring allows you to connect to a CB box; the k and t has to be replaced with modern wiring systems, i.e., romex brand of NM, etc...Again, insurance liabilities.
Also, though it could be safe (whatever that means) and people say their k and t is just fine; updating the house to NM wiring with grounds etc... will provide for better electrical service/convenience, and safety IMO.
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Old 12-30-2011, 06:50 PM   #4
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Connecting fused knob & tube to new breaker panel


Should not have rental tenants in the flat where that fuse block, with exposed live terminals, is located.

At best you will have to run the knob and tube wiring into a panel or a junction box at that location.

You will have to check with your city to see if the K&T is still grandfathered when attached to Romex cable for the final run to a panel in a different location.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 12-30-2011 at 06:54 PM.
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Old 12-30-2011, 07:02 PM   #5
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Connecting fused knob & tube to new breaker panel


Quote:
Originally Posted by TarheelTerp View Post
Start with some junction boxes.
Terminate the old stuff onto some nice new romex in those boxes.
Run the romex from there to the new panel.

hth
Thanks!
Looking at pic for reference, do I take two horizontal sets of wires across two fuses, or two vertical sets of wires across each fuse to make circuit? Yes, I do know that I have to use 1 hot + 1 neutral/ground? As you can tell, I'm not good in knob & tube!
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Old 12-30-2011, 07:06 PM   #6
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Connecting fused knob & tube to new breaker panel


No Renters! Just Me! I've got the old service line connected to 30 amp breaker now, I just want to break up/eliminate fuses?
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Old 12-30-2011, 07:14 PM   #7
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Connecting fused knob & tube to new breaker panel


If it was me, and due to how the 2011 NEC has been written, and that a lot of laws are changing starting Jan. 3rd 2012, I would change it out. If you are saying that all there is, is a 30amp service feeding one whole unit, you will be lucky if you can power anything, without blowing fuses. My average daily use is 535kwh, daily amperage use is about 46 amps. No way is 30 amps going to work.

You need to pull permits and upgrade not only the panel, but the wiring also.
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Old 12-30-2011, 07:25 PM   #8
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Connecting fused knob & tube to new breaker panel


Bit the bullet, this needs to be all redone from the power pole to the breaker box then all the wiring.
Total waste of time and money to change what you have to breakers.
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Old 12-30-2011, 07:26 PM   #9
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Connecting fused knob & tube to new breaker panel


Carlascomputers should know the dangers of running computer systems off of old ,non grounded receptacles.
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Old 12-30-2011, 08:26 PM   #10
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Connecting fused knob & tube to new breaker panel


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Carlascomputers should know the dangers of running computer systems off of old ,non grounded receptacles.
Or how the fact, when it becomes a bonfire, when someone plugs in a space heater, we will tell them I told him so afterwards.
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Old 12-30-2011, 10:12 PM   #11
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Connecting fused knob & tube to new breaker panel


Well done knob and tube has soldered splices and T-joints, and back in those days they used the screw terminals of switches and receptacles. All that is actually less likely to overheat than modern wiring using back stabbed (push in and it sticks) connections at receptacles, etc.
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Old 12-30-2011, 10:21 PM   #12
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Connecting fused knob & tube to new breaker panel


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Originally Posted by carlscomputers View Post
...do I take two horizontal sets of wires across two fuses,
or two vertical sets of wires across each fuse to make circuit?
I'm not going to hold anyone's hand through this sort of process.
If the detail given isn't enough to point you in the right direction then I'm done.

Quote:
Yes, I do know that I have to use 1 hot + 1 neutral/ground?
This mixing up of the neutral and ground terms and statement/question... is really scary.

Quote:
As you can tell, I'm not good in knob & tube!
Find someone who is and hire them.
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Old 12-31-2011, 07:41 AM   #13
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Connecting fused knob & tube to new breaker panel


Knob and tube circuits (also BX circuits and 14-2 w/o ground "Romex" circuits) can be grounded using a separately run ground wire from the desired new 3 prong receptacle down to the new breaker panel following the route of the circuit conductors exactly, approximately, somewhat, or vaguely. I would stretch the exception in the NEC to daisy chain or tap this ground wire to multiple receptacles on the same branch circuit if I wished to.

K&T can also be equipped with ground fault circuit interrupter receptalces or breaker although most outlet boxes of that vintage may be too small to stuff a GFCI receptacle back in amidst all the wires.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 12-31-2011 at 08:06 AM.
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Old 12-31-2011, 11:53 AM   #14
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Connecting fused knob & tube to new breaker panel


Thanks All! I guess I'll take my time & do it right (run new Romex from service panel to upper flat) I reside/run pc's in lower flat which is wired correctly. I'm just gonna use upper flat for home office, no tenants. Was just trying to take the easy/lazy way out?
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Old 12-31-2011, 12:04 PM   #15
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Connecting fused knob & tube to new breaker panel


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Originally Posted by carlscomputers View Post
Thanks All! I guess I'll take my time & do it right (run new Romex from service panel to upper flat) I reside/run pc's in lower flat which is wired correctly. I'm just gonna use upper flat for home office, no tenants. Was just trying to take the easy/lazy way out?
And that is what causes fires with this older wiring, that can not handle the loads of todays use. Keep in mind, that high voltage wiring on poles for 220 are the same copper coated with a rubber coating. It will work until the insulating material starts breaking down, then when things happen, that is when problems arise.

I would pull at least 2 20 amp circuits up to the upper floor office area for computers and such, maybe 4 at the most, depending on how much technology you are going to be running up there. If it is just a laptop, tv, radio, 2 should work. Lighting I would probably split the upstairs into two zones.

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