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Old 02-20-2009, 04:15 PM   #1
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How do I decommission section of K&T?


I've fished a path from the basement to the third floor (!!) and am pulling romex tomorrow. Now, what do I do with the old circuit?

I want to take my bathroom off of an ancient K&T circuit, but I cannot kill the entire circuit right now. While I have the walls and ceilings open I'd like to remove the old cable so no one (including myself) makes a bad mistake later on.

Specifically I need to know what (in theory) I can cut out and how to reconnect it so the rest of the circuit keeps working. K&T is essentially a big loop, right? If I need to I will map the whole bloody thing out, but I'd like to kiss.

Thoughts?

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Old 02-20-2009, 05:09 PM   #2
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How do I decommission section of K&T?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Leah Frances View Post
I've fished a path from the basement to the third floor (!!) and am pulling romex tomorrow. Now, what do I do with the old circuit?

I want to take my bathroom off of an ancient K&T circuit, but I cannot kill the entire circuit right now. While I have the walls and ceilings open I'd like to remove the old cable so no one (including myself) makes a bad mistake later on.

Specifically I need to know what (in theory) I can cut out and how to reconnect it so the rest of the circuit keeps working. K&T is essentially a big loop, right? If I need to I will map the whole bloody thing out, but I'd like to kiss.

Thoughts?
Just like anything else you have to figure out where it junctions and what it connects to, then make splices in an accessible junction box. Technically, I don't think you can even modify a K&T circuit as you propose because it is an ungrounded circuit and once it is modified (feed to the bath removed) then it would have to be brought up to current code (with a ground).

My thoughts, cap it off in an accessible junction box if you must. I would kill it all and rip it out. No power is very motivating in getting your project done. But I understand you might not feel like this is an option for you.

I don't know about K&T being a big loop, none of it appeared that way in my parents house, just K&T to device to next device like regular ac wiring.

Jamie

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Old 02-20-2009, 05:15 PM   #3
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How do I decommission section of K&T?


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technically, I don't think you can even modify a K&T circuit as you propose because it is an ungrounded circuit and once it is modified (feed to the bath removed) then it would have to be brought up to current code (with a ground).

Jamie
Can we get a cite on this?
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Old 02-20-2009, 05:17 PM   #4
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How do I decommission section of K&T?


Put a junction box at the end you wish to cut out. Then connect to another junction at the other cut end and reconnect with a piece of Romex.
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Old 02-20-2009, 05:24 PM   #5
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How do I decommission section of K&T?


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Can we get a cite on this?
I am almost positive that I have read Thekctermite say that is how the code is enforced, if a circuit is modified, that it needs to be brought up to current code. I am searching for the posts right now, if he is around maybe he can jump in.

Jamie
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Old 02-20-2009, 06:32 PM   #6
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How do I decommission section of K&T?


If it is the middle of the circuit I would leave it alone. If it is at the end of the circuit, follow it back to the next junction and cut it off.
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Old 02-20-2009, 06:34 PM   #7
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How do I decommission section of K&T?


What would be a junction? The last place it goes to an outlet (switch or rec)?
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Old 02-20-2009, 06:40 PM   #8
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How do I decommission section of K&T?


Part of the reason I want it out is to insulate the joists between living space and attic. K&T = NO insulation.
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Old 02-20-2009, 06:53 PM   #9
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How do I decommission section of K&T?


Most of the time, knob and tube wiring is spliced "mid-air" without a box. (Legal) In order to decommission part of the circuit, you would have to trace the branch back to the point where it splices into the main run.


Quote:
Specifically I need to know what (in theory) I can cut out and how to reconnect it so the rest of the circuit keeps working. K&T is essentially a big loop, right?
K & T is electrically the same as any other sort of wiring system. The only difference is that it is using individual wires instead of cables. You wouldn't have to reconnect it (Whatever that means) You just need to remove the portion of the circuit that you don't need. Do you have any part visible?

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Old 02-20-2009, 06:58 PM   #10
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How do I decommission section of K&T?


K&T is sometimes likened to be a big loop because sometimes the neutral does not follow the same route back to the panel the hot wire took.

K&T can enter an outlet box and daisy chain from there to another outlet box just like more modern wiring. In order for the rest of the K&T circuit to stay energized, the K&T conductors have to remain there, wire nutted as before minus the pigtail or tap to the receptacle or fixture, and counting as box fill points or else relocated to another junction box nearby.

If the K&T has a junction in the middle of nowhere consisting of a power feed, a daisy chaining continuing on, and a long "pigtail" going over to the outlet box you are redoing, you can cut off that "pigtail" (now a stand alone loose end) and the K&T can be quickly re-energized until you are ready to decommission more of it.

Even if in the form of a "big loop" the K&T does have an "end of the line". If this "end" is the outlet box you are redoing, the K&T hot and neutral become stand alone loose ends. These can be cut back as far as you can, including down to one of those junctions in the middle of nowhere or down to another outlet box. If you cannot cut it back that far, the loose end has to be put in a new or existing junction box.
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Old 02-20-2009, 07:03 PM   #11
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How do I decommission section of K&T?


Here's the one pic I shot today. The two lines on the right are part of circuit '2' - the one I want to disconnect from. The hot on the left is part of circuit '4' - un-related - I'm not sure where the neutral comes back up for that one yet.

[IMG]ttp://www.diychatroom.com/members/leah-frances-17071/albums/st-aubins-projects/1518-kt-attic.jpg[/IMG]
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Old 02-20-2009, 07:10 PM   #12
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How do I decommission section of K&T?


You can utilize existing K&T and leave it as it is, or you can tap it with modern wiring. What you can't do is install new K&T circuits in a home.

The critical thing with tapping it is to do it in a junction box. The cloth "loom" insulator on the wire must insulate it where it enters the box through the grommet or romex connector and to the point of the connection to the modern wire.

As for how your K&T is laid out...Hard to say. Not too sure I've answered the question but maybe its a start.
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Old 02-20-2009, 07:14 PM   #13
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How do I decommission section of K&T?


While I was prodding through county code I came across this gem:

All classified electrical work and electrical installations performed in Talbot County, Maryland, except the installation of one single-phase, 20-ampere (or less), electrical circuit, shall be inspected and certified for compliance with the provisions of the code.

So, CLEARLY I could do my whole rewire without inspection, so long as I do it one circuit at a time?
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Old 02-20-2009, 08:19 PM   #14
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How do I decommission section of K&T?


When I was in school, k&t wiring was taught. After graduation, I never had reason to use k&t techniques again!
K&t wiring was more akin to the branches of a tree, rather than a loop. The neutral tree didn't necessarily mirror the hot tree! It was as if the neutral tree was run to all the outlets and the hot tree was run to the switches and then a leg run to to the device! Generally, a house would have two fuses!
And a lot of these had penny's inside the fuse holder!
When Romex came along a device, similar to the F head service entrance fitting was used to make the k&t connection.
The Romex was stripped back about a foot. The fitting, with its plastic cap (with 2 holes) was slipped onto the Romex and its clamp tightened onto the sheath. This would be connected to k&t wiring in a section between 2 knobs where the insulation was stripped off a 2" section. The long Romex pig-tails were striped back about 4" and then wound around and around the k&t conductor! This joint was then soldered, wrapped with rubber tape. The rubber tape was then protected by cotton friction tape.

In other cases, I've seen where 'Loomex' was used to run the k&t conductors into a metal box, where it was connected to Romex in the usual manner!
This 'Loomex' was a flexible tube made from asbestos, so any of this, that is come across should be disposed of properly!
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Old 02-20-2009, 09:56 PM   #15
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How do I decommission section of K&T?


If there is a load at one end and a source at the other end, you could put an incand. lamp in series with the hot lead.

Whichever end of the incand. is at a lower voltage, with respect to neutral or ground, is the load end. The power would flow from high voltage to low voltage.

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