If your St. Louis home was built before 1950, it may be time for an upgrade to a new electric panel. Today's sensitive electronics run on clean energy, and knob and tube and cloth insulated wires put you at risk of fire. That’s because over time, these aging wires become brittle and start to deteriorate, exposing bare wires.
There are many reasons why knob and tube wiring is dangerous:
Age of Your Wiring
While you may never have had a problem with your old system, this doesn’t mean an accident can’t happen today or in the future. Those systems are like ticking time bombs, and you don’t want to risk the fire that could result. Knob and tube wiring systems may have worked in older homes built decades ago, but the fact is, today’s homes demand much more electricity than a home built in the 1940s.
Knob and tube wiring became popular prior to TVs, refrigeration and other modern conveniences; as you can imagine, these systems can get overloaded by today’s standards, with households having multiple TVs and other electronic devices, as well as the latest appliances. The rubberized cloth that coats those old wires deteriorates over time, leading to exposed wires and corroded copper wire because of the use of insulation additives. Also, knob and tube wiring can result in fire when in contact with flammable or conductive building materials.
Lack of Ground Wire
Knob and tube systems don’t have a ground wire, which makes them incompatible with three-prong appliances and devices of the modern day. Your electronics are at a higher risk of damage, your family is at a higher risk for electrical shock, and your home is at a higher risk of fire with knob and tube systems.
Incompatibility with Moisture
Knob and tube systems don’t do well in moist environments, so the danger is compounded when used in areas that see a lot of water or condensation, such as the bathroom, laundry room or kitchen.
Knob and tube dissipates heat freely into the air, but if you have had renovations or home improvements done over the years, your contractor may have covered your knob and tube wiring with insulation, putting it into closer contact with flammable building materials. By law, knob and tube wires cannot be covered by insulation or placed in hollow areas within walls, ceilings, or attics.
Due to its easy access for splicing, knob and tube wiring can be covered up with improper DIY modifications. This frequently happens with amateurs and DIYers who find it easier to just manage connections with masking or Scotch tape rather than electrical tape. Many homeowners also install fuses with amperage that is far too high to handle knob and tube wiring. This overloads the circuits and boosts the fire risk.
Contact Braco Electrical and Contracting in O’Fallon MO
To get a consultation on converting your old knob and tube wiring to a new electrical panel, contact us at 636-294-8562. Our electrical contractors in O’Fallon MO are well-versed in knob and tube upgrades.