Knob-and-Tube Wiring - Replace per code or just good idea to replace?

We found knob-and-tube wiring and wondering if it's required to be replaced by code or just a good idea? Thanks in advance


If you have it, get rid of it.  

Is it actually in use or just decommissioned but still in place?

I don't know the code, but I would not buy a house with knob-and-tube wiring.


Many insurance companies will not insure houses with in-service knob-and-tube. You can't insulate around it, it frays.  I'd get rid of it.

The key is "in-service." if it is abandoned in place and not electrified, it is not a problem.


There is no proactive code requirement that says that you must remove it or else, but there is no law against drinking draino either.  If it is in use you should plan on disconnecting it as soon as possible.  Once it's cut off you can leave the old gear in the walls, it does not have to be physically removed.  


You can get a non-contact voltage tester to see if the wiring is active. You’ll need to be able to access both wires. One will be hot and the other neutral. 

Old wiring in general is cause for concern especially if you are doing any work on fixtures that are attached. The insulation falls apart if the wires are manipulated. There is also no ground in the circuit to protect you if something goes wrong with one of the conductors (like driving a nail into a wall for a picture and hitting the wire for instance). 


yahooyahoo said:

If you have it, get rid of it.  

Is it actually in use or just decommissioned but still in place?

I don't know the code, but I would not buy a house with knob-and-tube wiring.

Not sure if it's still in use. I'll get an electrician to take a look. Thanks


Just FYI, the owner of Superior Wirework, Dan, 973-713-5345, has experience in and knowledge of knob and tube. I don’t know specifics, as the scope of work he did for us was different, it just came up in conversation. He does quite a bit of work in Maplewood on old houses, though. Might be worth your while to reach out and ask him some questions. 


I have a strip of disconnected knob and wire along a beam in my basement. I've never been able to find any active k&T wiring. My question: should I get rid of that k&t?


No. Disconnected it doesn't matter.  


DanDietrich said:

No. Disconnected it doesn't matter.  

From its safety and code perspective I absolutely agree with this. However, if you are planning to put your house up for sale at any point I would recommend getting rid of any visible knob and tube wiring even if it is non-functional. A lot of building inspectors will put it on their report, and you’ll find yourself arguing about whether you need to remove it or give some money back in the sale to the home buyer. 


mrincredible said:

DanDietrich said:

No. Disconnected it doesn't matter.  

From its safety and code perspective I absolutely agree with this. However, if you are planning to put your house up for sale at any point I would recommend getting rid of any visible knob and tube wiring even if it is non-functional. A lot of building inspectors will put it on their report, and you’ll find yourself arguing about whether you need to remove it or give some money back in the sale to the home buyer. 

This!  



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