Are you in the market for a new home? Have you fallen in love with an antique home from the Victorian era or even earlier? Although it's getting rarer to find them, many older homes still have knob and tube wiring that hasn't been replaced. Before you purchase such a house, here are some things you'll want to know:
The home doesn't have to be especially old: Although knob and tube wiring fell out of favor in the 1930s, it continued to be used by some electricians up until the 1970s. If you suspect that the home you're interested in might have knob and tube wiring, consider hiring an electrician to inspect the whole electrical system at the same time that the general home inspection is carried out. While a professional electrician will know exactly what he or she is looking at, your local home inspectors may not even be aware of knob and tube wiring.
Knob and tube wiring can be dangerous: If an inexperienced electrician tried to expand the wiring in the past, they may have done it incorrectly. Incorrectly done knob and tube wiring can easily become overheated, potentially blowing fuses and overheating. The overheating obviously increases the risk of fire. It can also cause the insulation to break down, exposing the wires and causing shorts and other similar issues.
You may be unable to get insurance: Because of the various risks and dangers that knob and tube wiring poses, you may be unable to find a homeowner's insurance policy to cover your home. If you can find insurance to cover your home, your rates are going to be higher than someone who has modern wiring in a similar home. While some insurance companies may not think to ask whether the wiring is modern or not, you may not be covered in case of a fire if the insurance investigator finds out that there was knob and tube wiring in the home.
Despite the risks, you shouldn't completely dismiss a home with knob and tube wiring. A professional electrician will be able to update your wiring, installing modern wires into your beautiful antique home. While it can be expensive to update the entire system all at once, a good electrician will be able to complete the job in sections. Talk to your favorite electrician about how much it will cost to do everything all at once versus one room at a time. For example, you may choose to have the living room and one bedroom updated while you save up money to have the rest of the house converted.