Old Knob and Tube Question

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  #1  
Old 05-22-08, 01:37 PM
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Old Knob and Tube Question

Hey All, Quick Question...


I have an 80 year old home which was converted into a 2 family after knob and tube went out of style.


The 2nd floor 2nd unit is on a seperate electric system and was done with wiring from the 60's but the first floor/first unit is still the old knob and tube. I am in the process of gutting and reframing the first floor and planning on having an electrician rewire that once the framing is done.

As I was taking off some plaster from a wall I was working on last night I noticed that the ceiling fan/light in the kitchen is wired on the old K&T wiring.

Now my goal was to do all the framing in the place first, then have the electrician come in to save on time/cost. With the K&T right in the middle of a wall I am about to open up, I now have a question.


I traced the wiring:

Ceiling Fan->Switch->Junction Box In Basement.

My question is can I start at the ceiling fan and run new wiring from the fan to the switch to the junction box in the basement. Supplying the Junction box is K&T.

Eventually my goal is to remove as much of the K&T if not all from the house but for the time being before I do all that i'd like to run new wiring so I can get the K&T out of the way of the new door way I am opening up.

Can anyone tell me if this will work...Seems like a simple swap of wiring with the one difference is that I'll have a ground to add. Any suggestions as to what guage wire I should add?

Thanks!
 
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Old 05-22-08, 01:49 PM
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I am in the same situation. I don't think (not a pro) that you can splice new wiring to K&T. My suggestion would be to also replace the run of wire that feeds that j-box. back in the day they used to solder in junctions in some pretty strange places.

As far as which wire to use, I'm not sure if code requires if for lights in a kitchen, but I'd think about using 12 ga for budgeting. If you're just doing the lights and 14ga is ok in a kitchen I'd go that route. french or ipbooks know a heck of a lot more than I do, but I ask a lot of questions here and want to offer what I've learned from them.
 
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Old 05-22-08, 02:41 PM
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Thanks Man..

My concern was hooking the new into the JB.

I've seen some homes where they spliced the new wire into the old and not even use a box, just tie it in with some caps and electrical tape out in the open.

I've done minor wiring before like tapped into an outlet to add another and done basic switches and things, but I've never ran anything to the actual breaker box. Stopping at the Junction Box seems so much less intimidating.
 
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Old 05-22-08, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Kevoluzion View Post
Can anyone tell me if this will work...Seems like a simple swap of wiring with the one difference is that I'll have a ground to add. Any suggestions as to what guage wire I should add?
In my opinion, you can't do this. Existing K&T can be left as-is and be grandfathered, but cannot be modified in any way under code. Once the plaster/drywall is down, it basically requires full compliance with electrical codes in those areas. Ultimately it's up to your inspector as to what is permissible in this case.
 
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Old 05-22-08, 04:48 PM
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It sounds to me like this will temporary until you get the K&T removed. If that is true then I don't see a problem.
 
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Old 05-22-08, 08:37 PM
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Yes,

I dont trust K&T at all yet i dont know what else to do with the lines while I open up the wall.

I guess I could just turn the power to those lines off at the breaker and cut the wiring.


Would that be safe?
 
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Old 05-22-08, 08:54 PM
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You would need to disconnect the wires at the breaker.
 
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Old 05-22-08, 10:00 PM
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Like Joe I see this as a temporary condition until the junction could be refed.

I do not see the problem with this. The wiring gets upgraded and the ceiling fan and light can still work until the other work is done.
 

Last edited by pcboss; 05-23-08 at 12:47 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 05-23-08, 08:31 AM
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Yes, if it's temporary during construction process that's okay as long as the K&T situation is resolved once the construction is done. If you're concerned about the safety while it's temporarily exposed, add a GFCI breaker or upstream receptacle to this circuit; it's not perfect but will go a long way toward making the exposed K&T safer.
 
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