Old Knob And Tube Circuit Extension Needed. - Electrical - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum


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Old 08-08-2011, 04:42 PM   #1
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Old knob and tube circuit extension needed.


I am moving two light switches about 10ft. After taking apart the wall, the wiring is knob and tube. Each conductor has a cloth like insulation that makes the 12AWG wire approximately 1/8", then that insulation has a much thicker cover that makes the whole wire approximately 1/2" in diameter.
There are 4 wires total.

The wires go up towards the second floor, but I do not have access to the entire route.

I know I cannot have splices in walls and I know the "proper" way to take care of this is to remove the old wiring... but I do not know how to do that.

I am leaning towards securely splicing and soldering, then wrapping each splice with heavy electrical tape.

There are numerous outlets and light fixtures on this circuit, so to do it right, I would have to abandon the entire circuit and rewire each node.

Thoughts? This is my own residence and I won't be getting an inspection.

(as I re-read my post, it is occuring to me that no one on here is going to suggest I make the splice... )

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Old 08-08-2011, 05:03 PM   #2
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Old knob and tube circuit extension needed.


Use twisting and soldering as you suggested to make the splices. Just twisting and tape is not good enough, even for 21'st century style (Romex) work.

A twisted and soldered splice is as secure as a continuous length of wire.

If the wire ends enter a junction box with an exposed cover, wire nuts can be used.

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Last edited by AllanJ; 08-08-2011 at 05:14 PM.
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Old 08-08-2011, 05:11 PM   #3
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Old knob and tube circuit extension needed.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AllanJ View Post
A twisted and soldered splice is as secure as a continuous length of wire.
Yeah, to a Layman... but I am sure it is against NEC.
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Old 08-08-2011, 05:15 PM   #4
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Old knob and tube circuit extension needed.


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Originally Posted by edro View Post
Yeah, to a Layman... but I am sure it is against NEC.
I didn't say it (or any other part of the OP's project) will pass inspection.

Putting the wire ends into a box before using wire nuts will permit troubleshooting in case a wire nut fell off.
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Old 08-08-2011, 06:24 PM   #5
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Old knob and tube circuit extension needed.


Quote:
Originally Posted by edro
Thoughts? This is my own residence and I won't be getting an inspection.
What you propose is not allowed by the NEC (extending old K&T); neither by your local authority. Your HOer insurance will drop you.
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Old 08-12-2011, 04:56 PM   #6
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Old knob and tube circuit extension needed.


Buuuut, what my HOer insurance doesn't know won't hurt them.
If it is safe, I will still do it.
There is not a single house in America that is 100% NEC compliant.
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Old 08-12-2011, 05:18 PM   #7
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Old knob and tube circuit extension needed.


Buut, let's say you have a fire, and your insurance company decides to deny coverage because they determine you did something that was not NEC compliant. Just something to consider.
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Old 08-13-2011, 02:13 AM   #8
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Old knob and tube circuit extension needed.


Just think about what you just said. You wouldn't be asking if you didn't think that there was something wrong with your idea. No electrician in his right mind is going to be cutting, splicing, soldering and wraping with tape any connection, let alone old knob and tube wiring.

Don't get me wrong, I know it can be done and sometimes it's OK, my sister's ex-husband comes to mind, he did the same thing to their 1890s era home and it hasn't burned down yet, but I wouldn't do it in my own home.

Notwithstanding the insurance and liability issues, would you really want your family to die in a fire, because you made a modification that was incorrect.

I know that there are plenty of people (including me) that do electrical repair/remodel work without a permit, but knob and tube becomes dangerous when modifications are made, even though it's relatively safe when left alone. I hope you will think twice. Just run new circuits and sleep easy.

Brian

Last edited by BPC; 08-13-2011 at 02:19 AM.
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Old 08-13-2011, 05:45 AM   #9
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Old knob and tube circuit extension needed.


[quote=edro;705834
If it is safe, I will still do it.
There is not a single house in America that is 100% NEC compliant.[/quote]

And there is no valid reason to make it less compliant.

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