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Old 12-29-2008, 10:35 PM   #1
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Knob and tube Rewire


I have a 130 year old home with knob and tube. I am looking into rewiring it since it has 0 insulation and for insurance costs. I've never rewired a home, but I have done lots of wiring of new things. To rewire everything, do you typically have to break open walls or is there a trick such as to snip one end of the wire, attach the new wire and pull it through? Doesn't seem like this would work since its tied down in so many spots, but any other ideas?

I know the brute force way to do it, but I'm looking for any good tricks to save me from opening up every wall and floor.

Thanks for the help.

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Old 12-29-2008, 10:50 PM   #2
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Knob and tube Rewire


It can be done by fishing, you can cut holes in walls, or in most situations, just drill a hole from the basement or attic and push wire to a box cutout and put an old work box in.

If you do have to cut holes in wall, plaster lath may not be super easy to patch.

Are you having a service upgrade, what panel do you have? Rewiring means you have to conform to current codes, such as 20 amps in kitchens, bath, etc.

Even afcis, what code cycle do you run under?

While your doing this, make sure to install rg/6 and phone to rooms and run them to the phone and cable entrances.

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Old 12-29-2008, 11:03 PM   #3
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Knob and tube Rewire


Yes I do have lots of plaster and lath. Right now I have a circuit breaker with a date of 1982 on it. The upgraded the panel but not the wiring.

After I run the new wire, what happens to the old wire? Does it get snipped when it goes into the wall and left? The knob and tube seems to be tied down and clamped at every white tube junction.

I have lots of coaxial cables run everywhere buts its a rats nest. Is there an easy way to see if they are connected right without subscribing to cable? This place is a mess right now so I'm not living there. I have the same issues with the phone line. Someone snatched the copper and left all the wiring in a mess.

I'm remodeling everything right now, so it seems like the best time to do it.
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Old 12-29-2008, 11:07 PM   #4
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Knob and tube Rewire


You can leave the old wire. You should put labels on it as abandoned in place where it's visible.

You can get a wire tracer that generates a signal on coax and other wires. You then use a probe to follow the signal and find which wire is which.

If you are remodeling everything and will be taking the wall coverings off, then this is an excellent time to rip out as much of the old wiring as you can. The knob and tube insulators can be sold as antiques even.
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Old 12-30-2008, 12:55 AM   #5
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Knob and tube Rewire


I would install phone with a basic cat 3.

What size coax is it? I would get rid of any rg 59, splices and taps.

Yes, leaving it in place is ok. Make sure to mark any open k&t with "abandoned in place".


What brand panel is it, what amperage, and what new appliances may you install?
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