Upgrade wiring

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Old 09-10-08, 07:13 AM
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Arrow Upgrade wiring

Hi all,
New to the forum because in general, I'm not a DIY kind of person.
I just moved in to an old house that still has knot and tube wiring and I would like to upgrade the cable to NM as I go along. I need to replace a ceiling light and there's no box right now, so I need to add a box (which I think I can handle) but how the heck would I upgrade the knot and tube to NM? I bought the NM cable but don't know where to cut the K&T and how to connect it to the NM. I've attached a picture of what it looks like but to me, it looks like a job for a professional. Am I wrong? The thing in the center with the round bolt is what was holding up the previous light fixture and the thing that I need to replace, I think.

Thanks!
 
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Old 09-10-08, 07:22 AM
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Knob and tube systems are ungrounded. The Code prohibits the extension of ungrounded systems.

A better approach would be to plan how to rewire an area rather than to try to partially replace the K&T.

Some K&T had the neutral switched instead of the hot conductor. Splicing into this can cause all sorts of headaches if you do not recognize your situation.
 
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Old 09-10-08, 09:24 AM
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Thanks pcboss-
So what you mean is to instead of splicing in to it (as I had planned), I should instead remove that old K&T wire and replace it with the new NM all the way to wherever it goes into the house circuit? Pardon my ignorance...
Thanks again!

Originally Posted by pcboss View Post
Knob and tube systems are ungrounded. The Code prohibits the extension of ungrounded systems.

A better approach would be to plan how to rewire an area rather than to try to partially replace the K&T.

Some K&T had the neutral switched instead of the hot conductor. Splicing into this can cause all sorts of headaches if you do not recognize your situation.
 
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Old 09-10-08, 10:26 AM
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Yes, I was referring to replacing the wire. What I might suggest is to leave the K&T in place until the new wiring is installed and functional. Removing the old can effect other parts of the circuits and leave you without power that you had not planned on. This will also allow you to install the receptacles up to the current Code and where you want them.
 
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Old 09-10-08, 11:25 AM
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It is not a good plan to simply replace the K&T with NM. The K&T was installed to meet the electrical needs of a family 100 years ago; modern needs are substantially higher. To meet current code you'll need a lot more receptacles and circuits with greater capacity. For example, you'll have to follow the 6/12 rule (receptacle every 12' of wall space and within 6' of doors); Bathrooms, kitchens and laundry require 20A circuits; and various other requirements. Take a look at the book Wiring Simplified. It's cheap and will be a good place to start learning about how to tackle a project like yours.
 
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Old 09-10-08, 01:21 PM
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Just to add even just physically touching K&T can create problems. The insulation will begin to flake off making it unrepairable.

A question not asked but important before you start any upgrade is what is your main panel, fuse or breaker, and what size? If a breaker panel is it a Federal or Zinsco?
 
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