For not having knowledge of a damaged and dangerous electrical system, you could be at the risk of a preventable fire.
In older homes, electrical work was done with knob and tube (K&T) wiring.
What is knob and tube wiring?
It is ceramic knobs that were used to hold electrical wires in place and ceramic tubes that act as a protective casing for wires running through the wall studs or floor joists. From about the 1880’s to the 1930’s, knob and tube or K&T, were popular.
The insulation found in homes (especially in the attic) gets enveloped and stuck in the wiring, making it a fire hazard. It also tends to stretch and sag over time and does not have a grounding conductor, which reduces the chance of electrical fire.
How do you identify it?
It can be difficult to identify knob and tube wiring without completely removing all interior walls of a home. The best way to see it and examine the condition is by going into the attic.
Attics are notorious for having the most insulation in a home.
Whether blown in or nailed to the walls, attic insulation is essential to preserving the heating capability of a home. The attic is where knob and tube wiring becomes most dangerous as it can easily get buried underneath insulation.
A licensed electrician or home inspector will be able to evaluate the situation by first disconnecting the power and then inspecting the circuit boxes, switches, receptacles, and light fixtures for K&T.
If any K&T is found, it is very wise to have it removed and have the electric re-wired. The initial investment of a re-wire is well worth the peace of mind knowing that the electrical system in the home is safe and installed properly.
If you are concerned about knob and tube wiring in your home, give Nordic Home Inspection a call at (701) 566-1446 today and if you have a real estate inspection we will professionally examine the electrical system as well as offer you our expert opinion.