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Old 06-06-2010, 01:22 PM   #1
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Old house with a mix of new and knob and tube wiring.


I am in the process of purchasing an older(1924) home. I paid for an inspection and have knob and tube wiring in part of the house. The service panel and drop from the outside has been upgraded and seems that the kitchen, baths and utility rooms have been modernized. My concern is that there is still a fuse box in part of the house that appears to be live. Would that feed the old stuff? Also the overhead power to the garage appears to be pretty old and very thin and only two wire. I plan on upgrading that either overhead or likely underground (it's only 20-30 ft). My wife is afraid of fire though the inspector said the K&T is in pretty good shape. Also the ac has newer wiring. Just getting a feel to see if its a deal breaker. The house is a a little beauty but I don't want to buy trouble or have to open up walls. It has a big attic and open crawl space. I'm in so cal. I am going to get an electrician out to look. I can do the garage but not much background on this really old stuff!

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Old 06-06-2010, 01:24 PM   #2
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Old house with a mix of new and knob and tube wiring.


It will be easier to give you some advice if we know what your question is, and maybe even post some pics. Cheers!

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Old 06-06-2010, 02:48 PM   #3
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Old house with a mix of new and knob and tube wiring.


What I am unsure about is the condition of the fuse box and is it normal in this situation to run from the new panel through the the attic and down to the old fuse box. This box is on the other side of the house from the drop and service entrance. The inspector did not see this box, but I did. He used a wiggy and it showed hot. It also contained the bell transformer, had another smaller box with a switch next to it. Sorry no pics. Called an electrician to inspect this it's worth the bucks I'm sure.
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Old 06-06-2010, 03:30 PM   #4
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Old house with a mix of new and knob and tube wiring.


Quote:
Originally Posted by DaleBelcher2 View Post
...Also the overhead power to the garage appears to be pretty old and very thin and only two wire. ........
Until you can bury this run be extremely careful not to brush against these conductors with any metal e.g. an AL stepladder, as the insulation on any of these overhead runs should be regarded as nonexistent.
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Old 06-06-2010, 05:15 PM   #5
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Old house with a mix of new and knob and tube wiring.


You never mentioned weather this is a single story or two story.

You are wise to have an electrician check out the house before purchase. I doubt if replacing the old knob and tube will require tearing up the walls very much.

Glad to see you are doing your homework.--Mike--
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Old 06-06-2010, 05:26 PM   #6
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Old house with a mix of new and knob and tube wiring.


OK, the house is single story, gable style roof, so it has lots of room in the attic. And yes, the insulation is bad on the line going to the garage. in fact I may run an extension cord for a while. For now it's the safety thing. The house is in pretty good shape, the garage is iffy. I think it may have originally been a dirt floor. But the line just comes out of a hole in the wall and into a hole in the wall, no support, no insulators, just a pair of twisted wires--not good.
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Old 06-06-2010, 06:02 PM   #7
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Old house with a mix of new and knob and tube wiring.


Rewiring a single story house that has an upgraded service panel should not be to bad.

You may be able to get that work done with out any major plaster damage.

Good luck with the new house---Mike---
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Old 06-06-2010, 07:04 PM   #8
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Old house with a mix of new and knob and tube wiring.


Shop around now for insurance companies that will do (write policies on) houses with knob and tube wiring. You don't want to be caught with having to pay three or four times as much for insurance until you can complete your project of rewiring the house.

It is quite normal to run a feed from the new panel to the old fuse box where the latter is treated as a subpanel. A 6-3 cable for a 60 amp. x 240 volt box or a 10-2 for a 30 amp x 120 volt box.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 06-06-2010 at 07:12 PM.
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Old 06-06-2010, 08:16 PM   #9
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Old house with a mix of new and knob and tube wiring.


I have your exact situation. 1925 house with part new and part K&T and then a little of something in between that involves cloth covered wire run in conduit. I have the old fuse box which is now fed by 1 20amp breaker. My house is 2 story and I've started rewiring the upstairs room by room. I was fortunate I have an open access from the basement to the attic. Ran new wires in PVC conduit for a 60 amp subpanel mounted upstairs and when all the upstairs rooms are complete I will remove the K&T in the attic and the fuses which feed it. Got some K&T remaining downstairs as well so will have to replace that before removing the original fuse box entirely. Not sure exactly how I'm going to do that as some of it runs in the first story ceilings. It's not a hard job and a one story would be pretty easy. An electrician could do it in a fraction of the time it's taking me but it's something I wanted to do. YMMV. If you plan to do it yourself get some books on NEC compliant wiring. I ended up with 3 different books. Definitely upgrade the 2 wire feed to the garage and have a new subpanel installed out there.
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Old 06-06-2010, 10:09 PM   #10
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Old house with a mix of new and knob and tube wiring.


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Originally Posted by DaleBelcher2 View Post
What I am unsure about is the condition of the fuse box and is it normal in this situation to run from the new panel through the the attic and down to the old fuse box
It is fairly commmon to feed an old service box from a new panel
Usually with older equipment its Temp until the older feeds can be replaced

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