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· Registered
1 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,

I am helping my uncle rewire parts of his house. Most of the knob and tube has been replaced years before he moved in. The k&t that is left is in the basement and some main floor.

Here is my issue/question: (see drawing attached)

There are two lights on the main floor that are wired with k&t. There is a hot conductor that comes up from the basement and feeds two separate switches. At each switch, two hots go to feed the light. The lights then share a neutral back down to the basement. Each light is currently on a dimmer.

I am wanting to feed each light from different breakers in order to balance the rest of the loads in the basement.

Is it possible to feed the switch with Romex, then re-identify one of the hots going to the light as a neutral? I understand there will not be a ground wire fed to the light.
I have a concern about possible induction from using the k&t wires in such as manner.
Do I bite the bullet and do it properly and rewire the feed to the light?

My other concern is that if I keep the wiring the way it is I will have to add some junction boxes in the basement with a single hot joint and single neutral joint. I don't know if that is to code.

Current wiring on the left of pic


· Civil Engineer
5,832 Posts
"I am wanting to feed each light from different breakers in order to balance the rest of the loads in the basement. "

A few lights do not draw much power, I do not understand why you think it is necessary to balance load for a few lights. As to the knob and tube, I would replace it with current code compliant wiring, I am surprised you can get insurance on a house with knob and tube.

20,369 Posts
There are still a few houses that use the K&T, but not many due to the inherent danger that it has.

The tube is so brittle that it falls apart by itself and can get shorted.

As someone that has converted a few homes to new wiring. I urge you to do it right and forgetaboutit.

Sure it is more work, but the feeling that you may have saved an old place from catastrophe is well worth the work.

And saving money on not doing it right is not worth endangering your favorite uncle needlessly.


· Registered
729 Posts

Your insurance company would not be happy to find the knob & tube. If they knew it was there they probably would have made you replace it. And if you ever filled out a form for them saying you didn't have it you may be under a continuing obligation to update it or they won't cover you.

So get rid of all of it.

· Registered
1,568 Posts
Not sure that an insurance company would mandate removing k&t but they may very well charge you more premium.

Load balancing on a residential property is largely a waste of time. Intermittent loads like a house with almost everything getting switched on a off frequently in random patterns doesn't lend it self well to load balancing. Factories or industrial space where loads tend to be constant and can be easily measured present a different case and indeed can and should be balanced .
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