If you are becoming the new owner of an older home, this can be exciting but also comes with its own certain set of challenges. If your house was built before the 1950s, you will need to know what type of wiring the home has—for example, copper, aluminum or knob and tube (K&T). If the house is older and has not been completely rewired, you might have knob and tube wiring. If so, you might have some trouble getting house insurance.
But just because a home has K&T wiring, it doesn’t mean that the house is in danger of burning down immediately. If the wiring is well maintained, it will be just fine.
What is Knob and Tube Wiring in Winnipeg?
K&T wiring is not used in newer homes, but if you want to find out if your older home has it, you should check the basement. If you see wires running through cylinders or “tubes” inserted into holes in the wooden floor joists, then you have K&T wiring. You will also see porcelain “knobs” that help secure the wires and prevent them from making contact with the wood. The wires are typically insulated using rubberized cloth fabric.
What Might Go Wrong with Knob and Tube Wiring?
There are a few problems with K&T wiring that can cause it to short circuit or overheat. In order to avoid having these issues, you might have to replace your home’s wiring. If you have any suspicions, you should get an electrical inspection completed.
Insulation Over Wiring
If your Winnipeg household insulation is installed over top of the knob and tube wiring, this is a fire hazard. The wiring needs plenty of room to dissipate the heat that gets produced when an electrical current is running through. If there is no room because of the insulation, then you have a dangerous situation on your hands.
Knob and tube wiring was installed during a time when there weren’t many electrical appliances in an average home. These days, we have electronics galore, and the system will easily become overheated. In most cases, there is an overuse of electricity. K&T systems were not designed to be able to handle the demands of the modern world.
Many problems happen with K&T systems when there are improper alterations being made to the wiring. Since it’s a very old system, it can be difficult to find the right replacement parts, which is why there are many makeshift alterations and why these can be very dangerous. Knob and tube wiring in your Winnipeg home can be easily accessed through the basement, which might be why it is usually spliced unsafely using modern wiring by home handypersons rather than certified electricians.
Some serious problems can happen when knob and tube wiring is damaged. This can come from regular wear and tear, improper handyman fixes, or other types of damage. Porcelain knobs can get cracked, and some wires will start to sag and fray, exposing live wires.