We’re lucky to live in an area rich with historic homes. Kentucky ranks as number one in the White House’s Preserve America Initiative, with 73 designated recognized communities and neighborhoods and fourth in the nation in total listings in the National Register of Historic Places. That’s a great heritage, but it also comes with its own set of challenges and considerations when it comes to the upkeep and care of our homes.
Knob and Tube Wiring
This is the method of electrical wiring in homes before 1930. There used to be a lot of benefits to a well-functioning knob-and-tube wiring system, like better separation of wires and more space for heat to dissipate. This used to limit any fire hazards or shorts. However, fully intact knob and tube is hard to find. Because of the hazards associated with this type of wiring system, the National Electrical Code has banned it.
Concerns with Knob and Tube Wiring
In the 80 years more that a home’s knob-and-tube wiring system has been in existence, it’s likely that it’s suffered damage or unsafe alterations. For example, many rodents are attracted to the insulation around the old wiring and can chew it up.
And, historically, it was very easy to add branches or new fixtures but it wasn’t safe on the wiring, which has a limited amount of electricity it can handle. This could blow fuses frequently and generate excess heat. The heat can cause the insulation protecting the wire to become brittle, and eventually to disintegrate.