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Old 04-14-2010, 07:00 PM   #1
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Help! on old wiring 1950 house


I just bought a 1952 home with fuse box and tube wiring. I plan on hiring an electrician to upgrade the panel to circuit breakers and rewire the kitchen and bathroom that have both been torn out (plaster walls ) so new wire is easy.

How difficult and expensive is it for an electrician to rewire the rest of the 1400 sq feet WITHOUT removing the plaster? there is some access to the attic.

My second question is.... The electrician stated I could still use the fuse box for the rest of the house???? can anyone help me, I know nothing about electric and could be a sitting duck for big dollar signs! haha thanks Maureen

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Old 04-14-2010, 07:15 PM   #2
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Help! on old wiring 1950 house


how many stories is the house?
If the electrician has access to the attic then it's not so bad if the house is a bungalow. It's still going to prove costly to have all your knob and tube taken out. Depending on where you live the fuse panel may be ok to leave. I've seen larger knob and tube jobs get bid at upwards to $14000 but that's with a service upgrade...new breaker panel...and all wiring replaced the CORRECT way not the cheater way by only removing the visible knob and tube. Having two of your rooms open would decrease this cost immensly especially as the kitchen is the most electrical intensive room on most houses.
I will say this and this is all personal opinion but i think it's better to remove knob and tube and replace with breakers all at once. It may seem costly but it's a better install and will actually increase the selling price of your house if you ever do sell. So you put out some money now and make some money later...and in the meantime don't have to worry about old wiring causing problems

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Old 04-15-2010, 05:59 PM   #3
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Help! on old wiring 1950 house


Your reply is appreciated. It's 1300 sq ft. The plaster walls and ceiling in the kitchen and bath have been removed. So this area, with the most updating is not a problem.
It has a basement with open area and then 3/4 crawl space around the perimeter so this should help. There is an upstairs with 2 small rooms that I don't need to use so if I don't have anything up there for awhile, it's ok. Along the front of the house is full access walk-around so I think he could fish wire there too.
I was quoted $1500. for the new panel upgrade and $1000 to wire the kitchen and bath. He is unsure what it will cost, at this time, to finish the rest of the house.
I think he may be able to reach the dining room overhead, and the back bedroom with the kitchen and bath ceiling open.
I am progressing slowly. I only closed 1 week ago and have already almost completed the demo of the plaster in the kitchen and bath. Hard labor with no electric makes us appreciate so much! haha gee to have a kitchen and bath with electric will really be a God send! thanks for your help
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Old 04-15-2010, 10:13 PM   #4
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Help! on old wiring 1950 house


1950 seems way late for a knob and tube job. The latest date I can honestly say I've seen a K&T job is around 1913. Maybe it's just me livin' in the big city.
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Old 04-16-2010, 06:07 AM   #5
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Help! on old wiring 1950 house


Iguana---Please clarify one or two things.

You said something about 'TUBES'--Did you mean conduit? (Pipe or tubes)

Long ago there way a wiring method called 'knob and tube' -exposed wires perched on porcelain knobs
and tubes used to pass the wires through floor joists.

That style of wiring dates back to the earliest installations.(pre 1920)


If you house has conduit the job is much simpler---Tie the new wires to the old ones and pull.
The biggest time consumer is dealing with modifications made to the original system made over the years .


Please put your location in your profile---Codes and wiring styles vary state by state and country by country. That will help the electricians here offer area specific suggestions.

---Mike--
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