Knob and Tube Wiring Services in Bentonville, AR
Knob and Tube (K&T) wiring used to be the gold standard for household electricity until the 1940s. Now, it’s considered by most to be obsolete and is never used in new construction. There are still plenty of older homes that feature Knob and Tube wiring, though, and in many cases, that’s just fine.
What Is K&T Wiring?
K&T wiring is easy to identify, even for homeowners who don’t have any experience working as electricians. As the name implies, it prominently features white ceramic knobs and tubes. The wiring can be found snaking through the knobs, while the tubes protect the wires in areas where they must run through joists.
The most common place to find exposed K&T wiring is in an older home’s attic. However, K&T wires can also be found hidden behind walls. Sometimes referred to as “spider webbing,” K&T wiring inside of walls can only be identified by cutting holes in the walls and using a camera to take a look inside.
The easiest way to identify whether an older home features K&T wiring is to hire an electrician familiar with this admittedly antiquated type of electrical system. While it’s no longer used in new construction, some electrical services still offer Knob and Tube wiring Repairs. Call to ask a local electrician whether they offer K&T services before scheduling an inspection.
The Benefits of K&T Wiring
Most of the attention given to K&T wiring in the media focuses on its potential dangers, but these older electrical systems are not inherently dangerous and they offer some unique benefits. While no homeowner can have new K&T wiring installed, there are a few reasons people with older homes may not want to have it removed. They include:
K&T wiring offers a higher ampacity compared to modern electrical systems that feature the same gauge wires. As a result, K&T wiring can carry a greater amount of current without exceeding its established temperature ratings.
Less Risk of Punctures
K&T wires are held away from the home’s framing and structural supports. This prime location makes them less likely to be punctured by nails.
Long Lifespan of Porcelain Components
While some components of K&T wiring systems can sustain damage from aging, others have almost unlimited lifespans. All the porcelain components in K&T systems will last multiple lifetimes with adequate care.
Since installing K&T wiring requires a great deal of expertise, most systems were installed correctly. In comparison, modern Romex wiring is easy to install. That may sound like a good thing, but homeowners dealing with previous owners’ amateur attempts at installing new circuits or fixtures know that it’s not.
The Overstated Dangers of K&T Wiring
Homeowners who have done their own research on K&T wiring may believe that the only way to ensure that their homes are safe from electrical fires is to have the entire system retrofitted to remove the older wiring. Thankfully, that’s not always the case. While there are safety concerns associated with K&T wiring, most of them are the result of old age, improper modifications, or lack of maintenance.
Every jurisdiction treats K&T wiring a little differently. In some places, homeowners are required to have all accessible K&T wiring removed. In others, all that’s required is a safety inspection. In Bentonville, AR, homeowners can maintain their K&T wiring with the help of a specialized electrician.
The Real Problems with K&T Wiring
Well-maintained K&T wiring shouldn’t pose a fire hazard. That doesn’t mean it’s always a good idea to leave older homes’ original electrical systems in place. K&T wiring is less damage-resistant than modern alternatives. It tends to stretch out over time, which means components may need to be replaced even if everything seems to be in good working order.
K&T wiring also lacks a ground conductor. Homeowners won’t be able to use any electrical equipment with three-prong cords, nor can they use sensitive electronics without risking damage. The systems were designed to accommodate the lower electrical loads typical in early-20th-century homes. Some homeowners also take it upon themselves to splice modern wiring into K&T systems, which can create substantial safety concerns.
Find an Expert Who Can Help with K&T Wiring Repairs
Know there’s something amiss with an older home’s wiring, but don’t want to pay to have everything removed and replaced with Romex wires? Knob and Tube wiring Services in Bentonville, AR like XPert Electric can help. They have years of experience working with older K&T wiring systems, so whether clients need repairs or they want to have some rooms in their homes rewired using modern alternatives, the pros at Xpert Electric can help.