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

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

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 04-10-2006, 01:14 PM   #1
Newbie
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 3
Share |
Default

Knob & Tube wiring - How concerned should we be?


We saw a house that we would like to put an offer on. However, we have some concerns. The electrical was updated (or at least the box was) in 1995. In the basement we can see both Romex wiring and the old knob & tube wiring.

We can see where several light fixtures in the basement were run with Romex. However, there is at least one fixture that we could see the knob & tube wiring running to it, but no Romex.

My husband opened an outlet to look for cloth wiring as instructed, but could only see plastic.

The kitchen in this house has been updated probably in the last 3 to 4 years. Same with the bathrooms. We can see the GFCS (?) outlets in the bathrooms, and kitchen.

There are no extra or new outlets in the rooms except for the rooms that have been redone (kitchen & bathrooms).

How concerned should we be about the Knob & Tube wiring? And it is costly to have it removed and replaced?

And insulation was blown into the attic in 1990. Or so the current owns think it was blown. I read that certain types of insulation can be a fire hazard with the knob & tube wiring.

hotdiggitydog is offline  
Old 04-11-2006, 09:36 AM   #2
Electrical Contractor
 
jbfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Newnan GA
Posts: 5,634
Default

Knob & Tube wiring - How concerned should we be?


I have never seen K&T wiring in person. The best thing you can do is to talk to a local electrician that has worked with it before and ask them the same questions.

__________________
Yes I am a Pirate, 200 years too late. "Jimmy Buffett"
jbfan is offline  
Old 04-11-2006, 12:16 PM   #3
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 2,083
Default

Knob & Tube wiring - How concerned should we be?


If you do plan on buying the house put a contigency in the purchase offer that there needs to be an inspection. If the inspector finds that not all the wiring is up to code than you can have the seller update the electric (at the sellers expense) or the seller can lower the price by the amount that it would cost to update the electric.

If half of the house is updated with new electric than the cost to the the other half can range from $1,500 to $2,500. It depends on many factors.

Any older wiring is unsafe with insluation. It is wise to update the electric in the walls. Do the walls have any insulation?

How old is the roof?
How many layers of roofing on the house?
Is the siding vinyl, wood or other?
Are the widows newer?
How old is the water supply?
Are the pipes copper for the water supply?
How old are the sewer drain lines?
Any foundation problems?
redline is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to redline For This Useful Post:
Johnny'sHotDogs (07-20-2012)
Old 04-11-2006, 12:54 PM   #4
Newbie
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 3
Default

Knob & Tube wiring - How concerned should we be?


We were able to have a home inspector check the electrical today. He went to the attic and found that the knob & tube wiring was warm to the touch, and there was definate blown insulation in the attic. He also saw where the KT was spliced into in the basement. The sellers were there during the inspection. The inspector told me they had already contacted an electrician. Now whether or not they will have the work done or not is to be seen, as we have to do a counter offer today.

The pipes in the house are copper. The roof is 9 yrs old and no curling is visible. Some windows have been replaced. Siding about 10 years ago, furnace and hot water heater are newer.

I did speak to an electrician. He said they leave the knob & tube in the walls and usually replace just the visible, which is attic and basement. Does this sound right? Will this be a problem in the future? He said it would probably cost around $5K to do the job. The house is 1700 sq ft, but couldn't say for sure without looking at it. The other thing he mentioned was as long as the circuit wasn't overloaded, the knob & tube in the walls should be fine. The box has been updated.

I love the house! But am very concerned because of saftey and we have 2 small children.

Just want to make sure we are making the right decision.
hotdiggitydog is offline  
Old 04-11-2006, 02:23 PM   #5
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 2,083
Default

Knob & Tube wiring - How concerned should we be?


I did speak to an electrician. He said they leave the knob & tube in the walls and usually replace just the visible, which is attic and basement. Does this sound right? Will this be a problem in the future? He said it would probably cost around $5K to do the job. The house is 1700 sq ft, but couldn't say for sure without looking at it. The other thing he mentioned was as long as the circuit wasn't overloaded, the knob & tube in the walls should be fine. The box has been updated.

__________________________________________________ ________________________-

How long have you been looking for a house? Is this your first house purchase ever?

I am not sure why the electrican said that they only replace the visible. The KT does not have a ground wire with it but the newer style does. How can he replace just the visible when there still will not be a ground wire to the old KT?

Did you get a full report from the inspector?

Where there any other major problem areas on the report?

What part of the country is the house in? Does this area need insulation in the house or is it down south?

You can still negotiate a lower price for the house if you want to have the electrical done thru your own electrican.


If you really like the house and it has no other major problems (roof leak, sewer problem, foundation problem...) then you can make a lower offer o the seller because the inspection found the problem with the electrical. It sounds like the electrical is not up to code becuase it will not have a ground wire if the KT is left inside the walls. Does your local area require GFCI outlets in the kitchen and bathrooms? Do they have GFCI outlets? Are the gfci outlets connected properly?


Is the $5,000 to replace ALL the KT or just the visible?

If it was me and this was the only house that I really liked then I may either lower the purchase price by $2,000 to $3,000 to cover some of the cost to update the electrical.
redline is offline  
Old 04-11-2006, 06:55 PM   #6
Remodeler
 
MinConst's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Spring Hill FL.
Posts: 436
Default

Knob & Tube wiring - How concerned should we be?


There is nothing wrong with Knob and Tube wiring. Unless it is brittle and you are working with it. I have heard many times that it is the safest wiring as there is so much space between the hot and neutral. If you look where the knobs are you will see they are around 5" to 6" apart. They enter junction boxes in separate knock outs. The only problem I have seen is when you need to do something with them. The insulation is generally pretty dried out and brittle.
I don't know about the blown in insulation you asked about. I'm sure your inspector would know if there is a danger there.
__________________
Minichillo's Construction
I will never leave you hanging!
Web
One Man Shops
MinConst is offline  
Old 04-11-2006, 07:52 PM   #7
Licensed Electrical Cont.
 
Speedy Petey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: NY State
Posts: 6,772
Default

Knob & Tube wiring - How concerned should we be?


I'm not sure what redline means by "up to code". Up to code when the wiring was installed? Or to today's code?
Up to today's code is just unreasonable, unless it is new wiring we're talking about. If a violation can be proved from the original installation, or later renovation, that can be noted.
K&T is not inherently dangerous, but it is very old. The blown in IS a concern. It should not have been blown into K&T wiring. That many be a bargaining point, but just having K&T should not...unless they tried to hide something.
The K&T is there, the seller knows it and you know it. You buy the house knowing this. A "home inespector" will find many things that are not real issues so take what is noted with a grain of salt.

__________________
Sometimes I feel like if I answer any more questions it is like someone trying to climb over a fence to jump off a bridge and me giving them a boost.
Answers based on the 2008 & 2011 NEC. If you're on the '14 already I feel sorry for you.
Speedy Petey is offline  
Closed Thread


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 PAULYBOY Electrical 1 03-28-2007 06:20 PM
Installing new lighting on knob and tube wiring drichard Electrical 1 03-05-2006 02:55 PM
How safe is knob and tube wiring? jackdp Electrical 8 10-29-2005 10:50 AM
knob & tube wiring TrevJo Electrical 3 06-08-2005 02:14 AM
Cost of replacing old knob ant tube wiring in house bikerboy337 Electrical 3 03-26-2005 08:50 AM




Top of Page | View New Posts

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