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Knob and Tube Wiring. Archaic Building Methods That Home Inspectors Look Out For

When Houses Were Built in Days Before Plastic

A long time ago, in a place not far away at all, plastic was not invented yet. So, if you wanted electricity in your house, you had to insulate the wires with tar and cloth. It was not as good as plastic at insulting the wires, so the wires were not allowed to touch. Each wire had to run separately around the house. When it went around corners, it bent around a ceramic “knob”, and when it went through wood, it went through a ceramic “tube”. Hence, “Knob and Tube Wiring”.

It is still allowed, but the Canadian Electrical Code recommends that, when it is identified, knob-and- tube wiring should be replaced with modern wiring.

One of the main differences between modern wiring and the old knob and tube, is the lack of a ground wire. This older type of wiring cannot accommodate electrical items with three pronged plugs, and the fire risk is higher. The breakdown of the insulation over time on knob-and-tube wiring is typically the reason for replacement. This is frequently the result of overheating or mechanical abuse.

Here is a picture of Knob and Tube Wiring. Building Inspectors still find these kinds of systems around.

knob and tube wiring picture ceiling

The best building inspector will identify if your house has knob and tube wiring.

Consider Booking with Fairhome Building Inspections. Call 250-661-73630 for more info.

Fairhome Building Inspections serves Victoria B.C., Saanich, Sooke, Metchosin, Langford, Sooke, Colwood, Sidney, Millstream, Shawnigan Lake, MillBay, Cobble Hill and other parts of Lower Vancouver Island

Expert Home Inspections With Your Best Interest at Heart!