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In the end I went with the guy I felt most comfortable with.
I liked him because he insisted that all of the work he does meets code, where others might take shortcuts, and in order to do so he checked with the local inspector for a few code questions that he and I had, prior to me paying him a dime. On my drive home from work, after day one, I didn't know what I'd see.
We can reduce, but not eliminate risk associated with a K&T system if it is minimized and modified by a licensed professional electrician that is familiar with this very old wiring method.
Facts About Knob-and-Tube Wiring: How Knob-and-Tube Wiring Works: K&T wiring consists of insulated copper conductors passing through drilled holes in wood framing via protective porcelain insulating tubes.
The conductors are supported along their length by porcelain knobs nailed or screwed to the wooden structural components of a building.
• Knob and Tube was installed in homes from about 1880-1930s.• Knob and Tube wiring is not grounded.• Wall switchers were often placed on the neutral wire, which turns the circuit off, but current is still fed to the light/outlet.• Over time the original wire insulation (fabric or rubber) becomes brittle.• Originally safe Knob and Tube installations are often compromised with unsafe alterations.• Knob and Tube needs to be suspended in open air to allow heat to dissipate.• Most insurance companies will not insure houses with Knob and Tube, unless it is deemed safe by an electrician or home inspector.• Hire a qualified electrician, to inspect your Knob and Tube wiring.• Hire a qualified electrician, to replace your wiring if that is the plan.• Home inspectors will note it as a negative to buyers when selling your home.• Removing it now will save you headaches down the road.• Keep the ceramic parts and sell them on ebay. The important point for me is the one about Knob and Tube wiring and insulation.
I recently had a home energy audit preformed by Energy Audits Unlimited (highly recommended), and they found places in my house that needed insulation, but before I could insulate, I needed to remove the Knob and Tube.