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Does Your One of a Kind Home Need Updating?

May 24th, 2021 Comments off

Today’s real estate market is flooded with buyers. We want to make sure that you make the most informed decision on buying (or selling) a home and get the most out of your investment. We are beginning to see a lot of pressure on buyers and sellers to waive the home inspection to make their offer stronger and to speed up the closing process. When the home inspection is waived, it means the buyer will not be able to hold the home sellers responsible for making repairs. Now while this could make the buyers offer more attractive, this has the potential to hide or otherwise neglect any potential damages or immediate repairs.

A full home inspection includes a qualified inspector coming to the house and evaluating dozens of key areas in the home and checking for possible damages and issues. Today we will discuss the

Knob and Tube Wiring

Knob and Tube Wiring

electrical category of the inspection and what your home inspector will evaluate in the home. Your inspector will evaluate the electrical panel in the home, check visible wiring conditions, ensure all light switches and outlets are in working condition and that the home has the appropriate GFCI outlets installed in the home. One common finding on inspection reports for older homes is knob and tube wiring. This wiring is distinguishable due to the electrical wires being anchored by ceramic insulting knobs passing through ceramic tubes as pictured to the right. This turn of the century wiring method was commonly used in the US from 1880 to the 1930s. This wiring method is ungrounded, often buried in insulation, is not rated for moisture, and overall is outdated.

Most home insurance companies will not insure a home with knob and tube wiring. Too often we see homeowners who recently bought a home and the insurance company will require the knob and tube be replaced within 60 days. If the homeowner cannot replace the knob and tube within 60 days they cannot obtain homeowners insurance and thus cannot obtain the mortgage. This is an unavoidable repair and it is best for a buyer or seller to obtain a home inspection prior to closing so we can help guide you through this process incase major repairs like this come up. We would rather you find out these repairs prior to closing so you know what you are dealing with before committing to a large investment.

The A-Team

The A-Team

Do you know if your home has knob and tube wiring? Are you looking to sell or buy a home? While we do not offer full home inspections, we do offer full electrical home inspections. We will come and do a deep dive on the electrical in the home and provide you with a detailed report of our findings and quotes on any repairs necessary. While a full electrical home inspection is not necessary to buy or sell a home, it is a great way for clients to be more informed on their investment and help prepare them for any costs or safety needs along the way. Feel free to reach out to us to discuss all your electrical needs at 765-414-3913.

Knob and Tube Wiring

March 22nd, 2019 No comments

Is Knob and Tube Wiring Safe?

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For those who relish the grandeur and charm of an historic home built in the 1950’s or earlier there is the possibility of your home having knob and tube wiring.  The older the home, the more likely this will be.   Knob and tube wiring was a common wiring method used beginning in the 1870’s to the late 1940’s.

knob-and-tube wiring

Knob and tube wiring must meet specific NEC standards to be used in a home today.

Knob and Tube wiring is not inherently dangerous.

The dangers from this form of wiring arise from its age, failing insulation, improper modifications, and situations where building insulation covers the wires.  It has no ground wire and thus cannot service any three-pronged appliances or outlets.

NEC code and most local jurisdictions do not specifically say that knob and tube wiring is illegal, however there are very specific requirements if it is to be left installed and in use (NEC 2008 – article 394). Knob and tube wiring is only rated to be used in free air, uninsulated spaces.  It is also only rated for a load of 15 amps.  Many inspection jurisdictions will now require it to be removed for a permitted project or remodel.

What Should I do if I have Knob and Tube wiring in my home?

Realistically, complete replacement of the old wiring is the best option. The presence of knob and tube electrical wiring means the house was probably built 60 to 100+ years ago when this was the only wiring method available.

Demands on a home’s electrical system have increased significantly over time and old wiring cannot safely and reliably handle the electrical requirements of today’s lighting, appliances, and electronics.

rewiring old house that had knob and tube wiring

Rewiring a home that has knob and tube wiring will make it safer and more attractive to future buyers.

How much does it cost to replace Knob and Tube wiring?

If you decide to replace knob and tube wiring in your home, hire a professional electrician for the job.  Expect to pay around $10,000 to $20,000 to rewire a 1,500 to 3,000 square foot home.

Keep in mind that the resale value of your home will increase after this work is completed, so not only is your home safer for you and your family, your home is also now more desirable to potential future buyers.

How does Knob and Tube wiring affect insurance rates?

Insurance companies are wary of homes with knob and tube wiring and view them as a potential safety hazard, and therefore a claim waiting to happen. Premiums for policies for these homes can be high.  Most insurance companies will require an inspection by a certified electrical contractor.  If unsafe conditions are found, the insurance company will require the knob and tube wiring to be completely replaced prior to issuing or renewing a policy.  Many insurance companies will no longer insure homes with knob and tube wiring due to the risk.

Artisan Electric logoQuestions?

If you have questions regarding knob and tube wiring or need someone to inspect your home’s wiring, one of Artisan’s experienced electricians will be happy to arrange a time to stop by. Just give us a call at 765-414-3913.