Do I Have to Replace All My Old Wiring?

by Chris Bjorklund


Modern electrical codes prohibit electricians from installing new knob and tube wiring.

Many old Bay Area homes were wired using a method called “knob and tube,” which was in common use until the 1940s. You don’t always have to replace it, according to Nick Courcoumelis, owner of Positive Electric. “Knob and tube can’t be used in places where it can’t supply enough power to a kitchen, bathroom, laundry room or outdoor wiring. Or anywhere you need surge protection because it doesn’t have a ground. However, if it’s in good condition, it can still be used in other parts of the house, like bedrooms.”

Mr. Courcoumelis explains that codes don’t allow electricians to install knob and tube wiring anymore. However, you can insulate over it in California, as long as it’s been inspected and in good condition. Tip: Don’t wait decades to have your home’s electrical system evaluated.  A bit of maintenance can increase your system’s reliability and longevity and even prevent a fire.

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