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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi. I am new here and new to home ownership. My husband and I are in the process of buying our first home but we are wondering if our inspection report poses a deal breaker. The majority of the house is run off of knob and tube wiring and a 60 amp fuse box. In order for us to even get a loan, the fuse box has to be updated to 100 amps (which the seller has agreed to take care of). The kitchen is remodeled, so all major appliances run off a newer box, but I am curious as to how knob and tube works with a 100 amp box and whether this should be a huge concern right away. I am starting to think it may be a deal breaker for me unless the seller agrees to upgrade the wiring. It is a very expensive process and we already have one expensive fix (the central air unit needs replaced). Of course with the knob and tube comes no GFI outlets so all of those would need replaced also. The rest of the house is great. 1 year old roof, 2 year old heater and water heater, remodeled kitchen, original wood floors, nice sized yard, two story play house built just last year that would be PERFECT for my kids. I am just worried about this major electrical issue, home insurance concerns, etc.
 

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You do not state where you are considering the purchase. In my experience, upgrade of service or the main panel may trigger a mandatory replacement of all knob and tube wiring. I believe this is at the discretion of the local wiring inspector, however it may be a state code requirement, one of the electricians on this forum undoubtedly knows.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I am located in northern Indiana (Wabash County).

You do not state where you are considering the purchase. In my experience, upgrade of service or the main panel may trigger a mandatory replacement of all knob and tube wiring. I believe this is at the discretion of the local wiring inspector, however it may be a state code requirement, one of the electricians on this forum undoubtedly knows.
 

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My house had been upgraded to a modern 100 amp service and still had knob and tube, my recommendation is only worry about the knob and tube if there's an actual concern with the condition of the wire not because of the service panel upgrade.

Or look for different insurance. Unless there's a concern with the 60A panel condition, it's not like older panels or even fuse panels have never been insured.
 

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I'd suggest getting an estimate/quote for a complete upgrade. You might even want to go bigger than a 100 amp breaker box. Regardless of local codes.

See if the seller will split the cost with you. It will help him get the house sold (and this is undoubtedly a problem with ANY potential buyer), and it will give you peace of mind, plus cheaper homeowners' insurance.
 

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I upgraded to a 200 amp service last year. I do not have knob and tube wiring but the 60 amp service was overdrawn to the point where the insulation was crispy at the contacts. 100-200 amp upgrade was recommended not because of the wiring but due to the increas in electrical demand in homes nowadays.
 

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A significant number of home inspectors chose this item as the most common home defect, which includes situations such as insufficient service to the house, inadequate overload protection and amateur wiring connections.This is a significant safety hazard that your home inspection service can uncover, and potentially save lives.
 

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I am working on a home right now with the electrical service is similar to what you had. House was wired with 60 amp knob and tube service and some Romex tied in with it. The new homeowner when purchasing wanted 100 amp service installed to purchase the house so the previous homeowner had someone install the 100 amp service with the knob and tube and spliced in Romex . It was a complete mess and I am surprised the house didn't burn down. So what I'm saying is don't purchase the house unless you have a complete rewire done . Everything else might look good but if your house burns down what good was it? Good luck.
 

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Situation like this run into a catch 22.

You don't want to put money into the house before closing because other problems like the mortgage being redisapproved may force you to leave all that work behind or settle for a different perhaps subprime mortgage loan.

You might not be able to close before the work is done because you may have to pay a lot more for insurance or interim insurance, or maybe the mortgage may be redisapproved when the building inspector finally decides to not approve the property for occupancy.

You do not want to be under the gun to get things done.

The above is for eavesdroppers. The OP already turned down her house. I forget the URL of the duplicate thread in this forum.

Knob and tube wiring is connected to a new panel either by connecting each branch circuit to a 15 amp breaker or by connecting the feed from the old fuse box to an appropriately sized (e.g. 60 amp for a "60 amp" service) double wide double breaker in the new panel (single breaker for non-240 volt services). It is usually better to terminate individual K&T branch circuits in one or more junction boxes outside the new panel and use short lengths of Romex to get each branch circuit into the panel.
 
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