Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Electrical

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 08-16-2012, 11:19 AM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Tacoma, WA
Posts: 285
Rewards Points: 0
Share |
Default

Knob & Tube Wiring?


About a year ago my friend bought house from the 30s, advertised as being completely renovated (new plumbing, electrical, flooring, ect..) The inspector came out and said and said the place looks great for the price, commented that the service panel was less than 5 years old and all the wiring is the same, and that all of the visable knob and tube wiring in the attic is not active and may be removed is wanted. Fast forward to yesterday. My friend asked if I could help install some new light fixtures. I cut the power and pulled the fixtures, all of which are hooked up to the old knob and tube wiring. The home inspector was wrong, all of the old wiring is still active. (I am not here to bash inspectors, as with any profession there are the good and bad).

So what happens at this point? My friend thinks he house is going to burn down now, he cant afford to re-wire the house. He would of not even bought the house if he knew this wiring existed. Again the real estate agency listed as new electrical, and the inspector confirmed this, do either accept any sort of liability for the mistake?

I guess the big question is, is it even safe to have knob and tube wiring hooked up to a modern service panel? Keep in mind there are no grounds on the lights or power sockets, yet he has 3 prong sockets.

Also I was thinking, if the inspection report reads all the electrical is newer, does the insurance company base their rates off of this? I got to thinking what if his house burns down due to an electrical fire caused by this wiring, could the insurance company say oh this says you have new wiring, can they get around his claim this way?

cbzdel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2012, 11:31 AM   #2
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Nashua, NH, USA
Posts: 6,951
Rewards Points: 16
Default

Knob & Tube Wiring?


Just because it is hooked up to a modern panel does not make knob and tube wiring more unsafe.

Actually the wiring can last much longer provided you do not put insulation batting or foam or cellulose around it.

Only crumbling wire insulation, leaving bare spots, (or the insurance company's insistence) would make it necessary to decommission the K&T wiring immediately.

Did the seller say that the wiring was all modernized? If so he could be held responsible for misrepresentation. Owning up to the responsibility could involve helping to pay for rewiring as opposed to taking back the house and refunding the amount paid.

Take action now. Don't wait for the insurance company to find out you have the K&T wiring.

__________________
Stop wasting time re-adjusting the pattern. Have several lawn sprinklers, one for each pattern.

Last edited by AllanJ; 08-16-2012 at 11:40 AM.
AllanJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2012, 11:50 AM   #3
Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Tacoma, WA
Posts: 285
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Knob & Tube Wiring?


It was a bank owned property, but the agent in charge of the listing specifically stated "updated electrical", he still has a copy of the originally listing. And the inspector confirmed that the electrical was updated.

He looked at a house prior to this one, and it in fact had active knob and tube wiring and he could not even get a loan on it unless he agreed to upgrade the wiring, so he wanted nothing to do with that house. If the bank knew about the wiring on this house he would of never been able to buy it..

Last edited by cbzdel; 08-16-2012 at 11:54 AM.
cbzdel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2012, 01:40 PM   #4
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: The Great State of Tennessee
Posts: 37
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Knob & Tube Wiring?


Quote:
Originally Posted by cbzdel View Post
It was a bank owned property, but the agent in charge of the listing specifically stated "updated electrical", he still has a copy of the originally listing. And the inspector confirmed that the electrical was updated.

He looked at a house prior to this one, and it in fact had active knob and tube wiring and he could not even get a loan on it unless he agreed to upgrade the wiring, so he wanted nothing to do with that house. If the bank knew about the wiring on this house he would of never been able to buy it..
Your friend needs to pull the paperwork and contract and see what he signed for. If it is not what he agreed to buy then see a good real estate attorney.

The experts will chime in, I'n no electrician, but many houses have this wiring and are fine. No reason to panic now.
saladdin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2012, 01:54 PM   #5
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 89
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Knob & Tube Wiring?


K&T wiring is usually fine until it starts to get brittle from overheating. Once that starts to happen, then the insulation on the wires starts to crumble off, causing exposed live conductors.

Exposed live conductors touching an ungrounded piece of metal can cause the metal to heat up, which in turn can cause a fire.

I don't like working with the stuff because it seems like all the instances I have found have been really brittle and just touching it makes it crumble apart.

Technically he has "new electrical" because of the new panel. Does not mean all the wiring has been replaced.

without a "ground" then you cannot have 3-prong receptacles. An electrical inspector should have caught that but I believe you are talking about a "home inspector". If someone remodeled the house and put in new 3-prong receptacles then the electrical inspector did not catch that, then they need a new electrical inspector. Most likely the work was done without a permit or inspection.

I could be wrong, but I believe you can feed older K&T with a new panel, but I probably would not have any breaker over 15A just to help prevent overheating of the wires.
parman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2012, 06:16 PM   #6
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Cairns Australia
Posts: 2,507
Rewards Points: 30
Default

Knob & Tube Wiring?


There are a lot of "maybe's" in this story !
Many grey area's, legal people could drag this one out for many years !
If there is concern, then get an electricain in to bring it up to code !
Cause usually the cost of repairs is less then the replacement cost
of the house, (should it burn down).
In the mean time, if you have an electricain instal gfci's
on all circuits, this will reduce the risk of major problems.
Get it done, then worry about the lgal issue's involved.
Cause it will not be sorted out quickly.
dmxtothemax is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2012, 07:02 PM   #7
Licensed electrician
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Maryland
Posts: 7,586
Rewards Points: 6
Default

Knob & Tube Wiring?


Quote:
Originally Posted by parman View Post
without a "ground" then you cannot have 3-prong receptacles. An electrical inspector should have caught that but I believe you are talking about a "home inspector". If someone remodeled the house and put in new 3-prong receptacles then the electrical inspector did not catch that, then they need a new electrical inspector. Most likely the work was done without a permit or inspection.
You can use 3 prong receptacles on a two wire system. They can have a grounding conductor added to the old wiring or be GFI protected and be labeled "No equipment ground".
__________________
Answers based on the National Electrical Code. Local amendments may apply. Check with your local building officials.
Jim Port is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2012, 06:05 AM   #8
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 89
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Knob & Tube Wiring?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
You can use 3 prong receptacles on a two wire system. They can have a grounding conductor added to the old wiring or be GFI protected and be labeled "No equipment ground".
Yes I am aware of these exceptions. I was making a lot of assumptions based on the OP's descriptions of the situations and assumed neither of those options were in effect.
parman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2012, 06:33 AM   #9
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: As always..beside myself.
Posts: 4,226
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Knob & Tube Wiring?


[quote=AllanJ;990244

Did the seller say that the wiring was all modernized? If so he could be held responsible for misrepresentation. Owning up to the responsibility could involve helping to pay for rewiring as opposed to taking back the house and refunding the amount paid.

.[/quote]

True.

Its all in the wording. If the listing and the Seller claimed it was ALL new wiring, then it is definitely misrepresntation.
If they said "some updated electrical" or even just "updated electrical" a court might not rule in the sellers favour.

creeper is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
knob and tube wiring diybuck Electrical 3 04-22-2011 12:13 AM
A question on how to handle my knob and tube wiring: larrybud Electrical 3 12-10-2010 08:15 PM
Knob and tube wiring PAULYBOY Electrical 1 03-28-2007 06:20 PM
Knob & Tube wiring - How concerned should we be? hotdiggitydog Electrical 6 04-11-2006 07:52 PM
Installing new lighting on knob and tube wiring drichard Electrical 1 03-05-2006 02:55 PM




Top of Page | View New Posts

Copyright © 2003-2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.