Knob and Tube Wiring

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Jfurnas
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Knob and Tube Wiring

Post by Jfurnas » Tue Jul 17, 2018 7:57 am

Hey guys,

I know this topic has been beat like a dead horse, but want to get a second thousand opinion.

I have old K&T wiring in my home. As I slowly renovate each room, I have been replacing the K&T with romex, room by room. I am currently redoing my bathroom, and the K&T ties into several rooms together including my bathroom.

For the time being (only temporary), would it be safe to disconnect the K&T from all the outlets, switches and lights in the bathroom, wire nut them and tape them off, with the intention of going back at a later time once I renovate each of the other rooms, and eventually removing all the K&T? (Leaving it in the walls, but disconnecting it from the box and all junctions).

I really do not have the time, nor the money right now to go through each room and disconnect the current K&T (its four rooms split between two floors, on opposite sides of the house), so I was just going to disconnect all the circuits in the bathroom, wire nut and electrical tape the connections, and run new romex to the breaker.

Would this method be okay to do as a short term (maybe 6 months) solution?

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emtnut
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Re: Knob and Tube Wiring

Post by emtnut » Tue Jul 17, 2018 8:10 am

Do you have the option of installing a larger box, and terminate the new and old wiring ?
That would be best. Old wiring is notorious for failing when you work on it. You could end up with the other rooms going dead, and the junction(splice) point is hidden behind the wall !

If not, I would install a second box. When you are done with the other rooms, you can remove it and patch the drywall.
~~ Ford Ford Ford Ford Ford Ford :mrgreen: ~~

Jfurnas
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Re: Knob and Tube Wiring

Post by Jfurnas » Tue Jul 17, 2018 8:19 am

I already have a large box. There are like 8 open slots on it now. The junctions are behind the walls now. I have the bathroom gutted. The wiring feeding into the bathroom is coming from another room which is why I said I can't tear into other walls now to remove all of it back. They are plaster and lathe and a mess and expensive to repair.

The idea was just to run new 12-2 to the box and into a new breaker and leave the old k&t taped off inside the wall.

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Aaron
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Re: Knob and Tube Wiring

Post by Aaron » Tue Jul 17, 2018 8:40 am

I'm with Wayne above. I've determined through years of experience remodeling old houses with knob & tube wiring (my current 1890 house, for example), that it's best to consider it a "system" and either leave that system undisturbed, or "prune" it where it's practical to do so and you are absolutely certain you know what you're doing.

The problem with K&T is that you're dealing with wires, rather than cables... and the neutral and hot wires often run divergent paths throughout the house. So if you remove one K&T-powered device, you may disturb a neutral junction for something else you never anticipated, for example.

It's tough in an old house, especially when you're remodeling piecemeal while living there at the same time... it would be feasible to do it if you completely gutted the walls and ceilings--then you could remove all of it at once. And with modern wiring, you'd have cheaper house insurance options as well. But alas.

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emtnut
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Re: Knob and Tube Wiring

Post by emtnut » Tue Jul 17, 2018 10:51 am

Jfurnas wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 8:19 am
I already have a large box. There are like 8 open slots on it now. The junctions are behind the walls now. I have the bathroom gutted. The wiring feeding into the bathroom is coming from another room which is why I said I can't tear into other walls now to remove all of it back. They are plaster and lathe and a mess and expensive to repair.

The idea was just to run new 12-2 to the box and into a new breaker and leave the old k&t taped off inside the wall.
Since you have the bathroom at studs, I would just make the K&T connection in a box there... either in the 8 gang ? or in a separate box. The K&T would just be 'accessible' just in case. You can cut it at the entry to the box when you get to the other rooms and it isn't needed anymore.
~~ Ford Ford Ford Ford Ford Ford :mrgreen: ~~

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