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Selling Your Home? Why You Should Replace Knob-and-Tube Wiring

Exterior Of A House

Selling your home may seem like a time of limitless opportunities. Any upgrades that you've made can score you a higher price tag, giving you back much more than you originally paid. While there are the usual suspects when it comes to home improvements, such as a new kitchen or bathroom, sometimes what's hidden in the walls makes a much bigger difference.

If you have an older home, you may have knob-and-tube wiring. While this type of wiring was the standard for decades, it's no longer in use. Beyond that, it can detract from the home selling process and end up costing you an easy sale. Before listing your home, take a look at the top reasons for replacing your old knob-and-tube wiring.

It's a Fire Hazard

Knob-and-tube wiring is exactly as it sounds - it's wiring that's threaded around knobs and through tubes. This old style of wiring was popular from the late 1800s through the 1940s. The knobs, which are made from porcelain, are designed to suspend the wires in open air. This is an important function, as the open-air design is used to help dissipate the heat.

Keep in mind, this set-up isn't just in open spaces such as attics or basements. The wires are also held by knobs (while also running through porcelain tubes) inside of the walls.

Problems arise with this kind of wiring when homeowners add insulation inside of the walls. Homeowners know that older homes can get drafty, but they might not be expecting the dramatic increase in heating bills. In an effort to lower heating costs and reduce drafts, many homeowners insulate their walls.

While adding insulation certainly has its benefits, it also creates a fire hazard if the home has knoband-tube wiring. Packed against the insulation, the wiring has no way to dissipate the heat that's created. This can cause overheating and result in a fire. Removing knob-and-tube wiring from inside your walls or anywhere else that contains insulation is one way to reduce the fire risk.

It's Not Grounded

Another drawback to knob-and-tube wiring is that it doesn't have a ground wire. There's a reason why modern wiring uses ground conductors - grounding helps to reduce the risk of electrical fires. It can also help to prevent damage to sensitive electrical appliances and other items that are plugged into outlets.

When it comes to outlets, you may notice that your home only has the two-pronged version. That's a direct result of the ungrounded knob-and-tube wiring. Even though there are adapters that allow you to plug a threepronged plug into a two-pronged outlet, these aren't safe with knob-and-tube wiring and cause result in serious problems.

It isn't likely that the potential homebuyers who are considering purchasing your home will want to forego all appliances that require a ground wire. Replacing the wiring eliminates this issue, enabling your home to run all kinds of different electronics and appliances.

It's Uninsurable

Depending on the buyer's insurance requirements, knob-and-tube wiring may be a deal-breaker. This may mean a potential homebuyer makes an offer and gets all the way up to the point where they need to obtain home insurance, just to back out at the last moment.

If the buyer's insurer deems the wiring uninsurable, someone will have to pay the cost of replacing it. If this is done ahead of time, you can save yourself the aggravation and the headaches involved in potentially having to find a new buyer.

Does your home have knob-and-tube wiring? Before listing your home, contact Supreme Electric for more information.