Homes built before the 1960s were often outfitted with knob and tube wiring in Oklahoma City and Tulsa areas. While safe and efficient at the time, aging knob and tube wiring is an imminent fire hazard. This type of wiring consists of ceramic knobs and two metal wires. Because the knob and tube wiring has no grounding wire, it is considered unsafe. If your home inspector discovers knob and tube wiring in your home or a home that you to want to buy, you will need to take these actions after you receive your home inspection report.
The most important action to take is to have licensed electrical contractor inspect the wiring. If the old rubber insulation is worn, the knob and tube conductors might need to be removed. Exposed bare conductors have an increased risk of overheating nearby material and starting a fire. Not to mention an elevated risk of being electrocuted in you come into contact with these electrical conductors. Improper alterations are another common problem in homes with knob and tube wiring. Over the years, homeowners may have added more outlets or distribution panels, which may result in blown fuses due to insufficient capacity and overheating.
There may be knob and tube wiring in a home without the wiring being connected to any outlets. If the old equipment is there but is not in use, this is not usually a safety hazard. Experienced home inspectors can follow the wiring to assess whether it is currently in use. Some home insurance companies in Oklahoma will not issues a home insurance policy if the live knob and tube wire is deemed unsafe due to the increased likelihood of a fire.
Rewiring a Home
Houses wired with live knob and tube systems can only have 12 circuits and only 60 amps electrical service which is usually insufficient to meet today’s standards. The National Electric Code explains that knob and tube wiring should not remain in hollow spaces of walls, ceilings, and attics where there is loose, rolled, or foam insulating material that covers or expands around the conductors.
If your home inspector discovers that that potential new home has knob and tube wiring, he or she will most likely recommend that you seek out an qualified electrical contractor to conduct assessment and have the contractor make written recommendations along with a cost analysis on replacement costs so you can budget according in the event you decide to purchase a home with older knob and tube wiring.