Modern electricians do not use the tube and knob method to wire homes, and the approach is believed to pose unnecessary risks to homeowners. Is this type of Electrical Wiring safe, or should a homeowner hire an electrician to remove and replace the wiring in the home? Below is an exploration of the various options.
A Brief History of Tube & Knob Wiring
Tube and knob Electrical Wiring in Wichita Kansas area was the preferred method in the US from the 1880s through the 1930s. Many builders used the method throughout the 50s, 60s and the 70s for new homes. Now, many homeowners want to upgrade their electrical wiring, and they’re discovering this type of wiring without knowing how to handle it.
Tube and knob wiring is known as such because of the knobs used to retain wiring, and the tubes that protect the wires running through joists and studs. Tube and knob installations only have two wires: a hot wire and a neutral wire. Therefore, there’s no way to ground anything; many electricians install GFCIs (ground fault circuit interrupters) for safety.
Problems with Tube & Knob Wiring
If a tube and knob system is working, there’s no immediate danger to the homeowner. However, problems sometimes arise because of modifications, or because of the system’s age. A common issue is insulation, which is made from rubber. It degrades over time, exposing wires to the air and increasing the chance of an electrical fire.
Insurance and Building Code Issues
The National Electric Code of 2008 handled some tube & knob issues, notably the high heat dissipation. The NEC requires that this type of wiring be in a hollow space where insulation is loose, rolled or foamed into place. The NEC isn’t mandatory, and states can choose whether to follow it. The wiring poses problems for insurers; some demand higher payments from these customers, while others refuse coverage on tube & knob wired homes altogether.
Tube and knob Electrical Wiring in Wichita Kansas was used for decades, but it is not exactly safe. There’s a high risk of fault or fire, and the wiring can make it hard to find homeowner’s insurance. Therefore, replacement is the best option for most homeowners.
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