WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT KNOB AND TUBE BEFORE YOU PRETEND TO IGNORE IT!
Montreal homeowners: It happens to the best of us during home renovations.
Open up a few walls and suddenly the scope of work has to be revamped to accommodate an unwanted surprise.
One of those unwanted surprises is knob and tube wiring. There are two types of reactions when people are confronted with this type of reveal: distressed acceptance or rationalized denial.
Knob and tube was one of the first ways electricity was introduced into our homes and it was the most common way to wire homes from the early 1900s and tapered off in the 1960s. In other words: it's very old. Since Montreal is one of the oldest cities in Canada, we have some fairly old homes in our neighborhoods. If you bought an old house in Montreal that was built before 1960, it could be very likely that you still have some old knob and tube lurking behind your walls.
Here is why you should replace your knob and tube:
You can keep those vintage crown mouldings but old wires are a tragedy waiting to happen.
Knob and tube is an open air wiring system, which means it should not come into contact with any type of insulation. This means that you need to be aware of every renovation and repair (large and small) that has occurred in your home over the last 100 years. This is the only way you can guarantee that insulation has not been added to areas with knob and tube.
At Electrika, we often find that knob & tube has been spliced into by handymen and sometimes other electricians! This is dangerous and very illegal. Sometimes we find the splicing done around old tinder beams and close to insulation, we always tell homeowners how lucky they were to find it! Knob and Tube that has been tampered with is a significant fire hazard.
Knob and tube is a single conductor ungrounded system that is that was designed to connect to a 60 Amp service to bring electricity to different areas of the home. Electrical requirements over a hundred years ago were much simpler with a few lights and small appliances knob and tube could accommodate these needs.
Often times a 60A service does not accommodate modern day electrical needs in Montreal homes.
Because knob and tube poses a significant fire hazard, many home insurance policies will not insure a home where it is discovered.
Did a recent home inspection reveal knob and tube in your Montreal home? You will need to schedule a consultation with a Master Electrician (that's Electrika!) in order to understand your best options moving forward (whether it be to re-wire your home or to lower your selling price on an offer, etc).
In light of this news, have no fear. There are many ways a home can be re-wired without opening up all the walls. And while this may not be the best news, consider that this news is better than a house in flames.
Preventative measures prevent tragedy of all kinds.
If you are a Montreal homeowner or an interested buyer in a home that has knob and tube, call Electrika today to schedule a consultation with one of our licensed and insured electricians.