Do you own a heritage style home that is decades old? Sure, owning such a home can be exciting, but it can also be quite challenging. Older homes that were built prior to 1950 may have a historical background and often have been in the family for years. However fascinating the home may be, there are a number of challenges to keeping the home properly functioning. Many mid-century homes have outdated electrical wiring such as aluminum, copper or knob and tube wiring. If such is the case with your older home, then it may be time to replace the outdated wiring with newer, innovative wiring that is secure, efficient and safe.
Understanding Knob and Tube Wiring
Knob and tube wiring was one of the very first concepts invented for providing homes with needed electricity way back in the late 1800’s, early 1900’s. With porcelain knobs that ensured wires had no contact with the walls, this uninsulated wiring was installed inside the walls of the home. Comprised of single-insulated copper conductors that were installed within walls and ceilings, this wiring was encased in porcelain insulating tubes with cloth lined sleeves, later replaced by rubber, and was supported by porcelain knob insulators that were properly nailed down. The porcelain knobs helped to minimize the risk of fires in the home.
One of the primary differences between old fashioned knob and tube wiring and the modern electrical wiring of today is that the old version had no ground wire. In addition, in the old style wiring the black and white wires actually operate separately where in the newer wiring all the wires run together in a single enclosed cable. Yet another difference is that today’s wiring has plastic insulation while the old style used porcelain or rubber insulation that would break down easily over time as a result of abuse or overheating.
The Many Dangers
Over time, as we all know, innovative wiring came along and phased out the knob and tube wiring. However, there are still many outdated homes today that still have the old-fashioned wiring. This outdated wiring is rather unsafe, especially if something accidentally comes in contact with the wiring and causes a short or a fire.
Other serious problems can occur when outdated wiring becomes weakened as a result of ongoing wear and tear or other damage. The porcelain can crack over time and the wires can fray and ultimately expose live wires. Further, the combined porcelain or rubber and cloth insulation become very brittle over time and will eventually break down and flake off.
The risk factors are even higher considering that this outdated wiring is not designed to handle the high electrical loads that are placed on electrical systems today. The extra voltage that passes through this old wiring can easily result in serious problems since the wiring was not designed to handle the excessive electrical load.
It’s Time to Replace that Old Wiring
If you live in a very old, historical home with old-fashioned knob and tube wiring it is important to recognize that replacing the old wiring, though somewhat costly, is necessary in order to keep your home and family safe and secure. Gervais Electric, Inc. offers high-quality electrical wiring services to all our valued clients in Franklin, Brentwood, Nashville and the surrounding towns and stands ready to meet all your electrical wiring needs. For all your electrical product and service needs, be sure to put your trust into the hands of some of the absolute best in the industry here at Gervais Electric, Inc. Contact one of our dedicated team members today to schedule a free consultation or service appointment!