Knob and tube wiring is no longer used in the construction of homes, but it used to be the gold standard. St. Louis homes built before 1950 will need an upgrade to a new electric panel to ensure safety. Today's sensitive and expensive electronics run on cleaner energy, and knob and tube and cloth-insulated wiring do not allow for that. What’s more, the use of these items puts you and your family at risk of fire.
Why? Over the years, these aging wires start to deteriorate and get very brittle, leading to the exposure of bare wires. Let’s take a look at why knob and tube wiring is so dangerous:
1. Lack of Ground Wire
Knob and tube systems lack a ground wire, meaning they are simply not compatible with three-prong appliances and devices. Your electronics could become damaged and your family could be at a higher risk for electrical shock with knob and tube systems. Plus, your home could be at a higher risk of fire.
2. Old Age
Just because you haven’t encountered a problem with the old system yet doesn’t mean accidents won’t happen tomorrow. These ticking time bombs could result in fire at any time and there’s no way of knowing when. Knob and tube wiring systems were fine for decades-old homes, but the fact is today’s homes – with all their high-end appliance and electronic device demands, need more electricity than homes built in the 1930s.
Knob and tube wiring has been around since before the advent of TVs, refrigerators and other modern conveniences. You can imagine how those old systems can easily get overloaded by today’s standards. After all, it’s not uncommon for households today to boast multiple TVs, electronic devices, and state of the art appliances.
3. Moisture Incompatibility
Knob and tube systems do not fare well in moist environments. This means the risk is even higher in areas that get a lot of moisture or condensation, such as the laundry room, kitchen and bathroom.
4. Concealed Appearance
Knob and tube wiring freely sends heat into the air, but contractors could have covered that wiring with insulation if you did any renovations or home improvements over the years. This puts the wiring into close contact with flammable building materials. Today’s law specifies that knob and tube wires may not be covered by insulation or located in hollow areas within attics, walls, or ceilings.
5. Improper Modifications
Because it offers easy access for splicing, it’s possible for knob and tube wiring to be covered up with incorrect DIY modifications. Many amateurs and DIYers make this mistake or cut corners because it’s easier to manage connections with Scotch or masking tape instead of electrical tape. Many amateurs also try to install fuses with too-high amperage that can’t be properly handled by knob and tube wiring. The result? An overloaded circuit and fire risk.
Time To Replace Knob & Tube Wiring, St Chalres & O'fallon, MO
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