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Thread: knob and tube

  1. #1
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    Default knob and tube

    Curious to hear what verbage you use for knob and tube wiring. Also some cities here have done away with code requirement of self closer on garage-house door, should I still write it up.

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    Default Re: knob and tube

    Here's a blurb I mostly pulled out of the 'Code Check' books that is great for old wiring systems. I think the first sentence is mine and the last few are out of the book. I hope I'm not grossley plagerising or infringing on a copyright... It's just a very concise way to say a lot while writing a little.

    The majority of the wiring throughout the house appears to be the original materials and desgin. Old wiring systems have many inherent dangers, including overloaded circuits, unprotected wiring, damaged insulation, and the liklihood that improper modifications have been perfomred.

    I will usually embelish things and describe specifics but that's a great place to start.

    As for the auto-closers in garages, I don't write them up.


  3. #3
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    Default Re: knob and tube

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Rees View Post
    Curious to hear what verbage you use for knob and tube wiring. Also some cities here have done away with code requirement of self closer on garage-house door, should I still write it up.
    I would answer your post with an adjective rather than verbage. EEEEEESSSSSSSSHHHHH!


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    Default Re: knob and tube

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Rees View Post
    Also some cities here have done away with code requirement of self closer on garage-house door, should I still write it up.
    Tom,

    That's because what used to be (in many areas) defined and referenced as a 'fire rated wall assembly' is now just defined and referenced as a "separation" wall - as per the IRC and those AHJ which have adopted the IRC and not changed that section (I think CA changed it to still requiring a 'fire rated assembly', not sure, though).

    With a "separation" wall, no door closers are required, that door now become roughly the same as the exterior doors - it separated conditioned space from unconditioned space, and no closer is required on the front exterior door, is there?

    Thus, there is no need to have a closer on the garage to house door, and no need to write up something for which there is no need for.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: knob and tube

    Shannon, What is your problem with my post. I had a honest desire to learn something. I guess you know all the answers without asking anybody anything, it must be nice to know everything and never have to learn. Matt gave me an answer I was looking for without putting me down. This forum is for people who have an honest desire to better themselves without being derogatory. If you have nothing helpful to say, don't say anything. Who else agrees with me?

    Tom Rees / A Closer Look Home Inspection / Salt Lake City, Utah

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    Default Re: knob and tube

    Thanks Jerry!!

    Tom Rees / A Closer Look Home Inspection / Salt Lake City, Utah

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    Default Re: knob and tube

    Quote Originally Posted by Shannon Guinn View Post
    I would answer your post with an adjective rather than verbage. EEEEEESSSSSSSSHHHHH!
    "EEEEEESSSSSSSSHHHHH" is an adjective?


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    Default Re: knob and tube

    EC Jerry: I think CA changed it to still requiring a 'fire rated assembly', not sure, though? Actually the new 2007 CBC is taken from the 2006 IBC (some from the IRC) but then the SFM got his 2 centavos in and for those inspecting on the left coast below Oregon I recommend becoming familiar with CBC 708, Fire Partitions, 716.5.4; Fire Barriers, Fire Walls, Fire Doors, and Fire Separations, all different animals. If you want just the residential application of the opening between an R-3 Residential Dwelling and its attached garage go to Section 508.3.3 and 509, then finish up in 406.1.4. Yep, the fire rated door at such an opening is required to be self closing and self latching.

    Jerry McCarthy
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: knob and tube

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Rees View Post
    Shannon, What is your problem with my post. I had a honest desire to learn something. I guess you know all the answers without asking anybody anything, it must be nice to know everything and never have to learn. Matt gave me an answer I was looking for without putting me down. This forum is for people who have an honest desire to better themselves without being derogatory. If you have nothing helpful to say, don't say anything. Who else agrees with me?
    Tom,

    I was referring to knob & tube wiring. So calm down........nobody is coming to "get" you......deep breath in........and release...........

    And by the way, the day I stop learning will be the day I stop breathing.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: knob and tube

    Quote Originally Posted by John Arnold View Post
    "EEEEEESSSSSSSSHHHHH" is an adjective?
    You are correct sir. It is a term used to describe my feelings towards knob & tube wiring.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: knob and tube

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Thus, there is no need to have a closer on the garage to house door, and no need to write up something for which there is no need for.
    Jerry, I've learned much from your posts and agree with almost everything you write, but not this time. There is another very compelling reason to have a positive closure device on the garage-house door. Here in New Port Richey last year there were two separate incidents where an adult came home late at night (probably intoxicated), parked car in the garage and closed the vehicle door, and then left the car running and went inside. Garage-house door was left open. Two people died in their beds of carbon monoxide poisoning in the first incident; the second almost killed another two in nearly identical circumstances. These two incidents happened within three months of each other in the same small town. This can happen anywhere. Closers on garage-house doors should be mandatory, and without exception. The weatherstrip seal on the door should also be inspected.


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    Default Re: knob and tube

    randy,
    jerry has the sarcasm face after his statement jerry would be the last person to approve of a life threatening situation to exist, code or not!


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    Default Re: knob and tube

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Moore View Post
    Jerry, I've learned much from your posts and agree with almost everything you write, but not this time. There is another very compelling reason to have a positive closure device on the garage-house door.
    Randy,

    We are not talking about "compelling reason" here, but "required" or not, and the answer is - No.

    If we take ALL "compelling reason" into consideration, dwellings would be constructed such that they are fireproof. Yes, that is what I said: "fireproof".

    I really doubt that steel or concrete furniture and wall coverings would ever by the rage, though.

    Then there are those "compelling reason" to make houses strong enough to withstand hurricanes and tornadoes, and floods - make them watertight.

    Of course, at that point, one might as well by a used M-60 tank and live in it, it would be cheaper, even at half the price of a new one.

    By the way, Brian is correct in his post, with me adding *IF* a "life threatening" condition was present- but that does not cover all "compelling reason" thoughts or "what ifs".

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  14. #14
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    Default Re: knob and tube

    Here is another thought: a home inspection is not a "code" inspection. If people have died when something as simple as a positive closure device being installed on a door could have prevented it, then it should be called out. And yes, it SHOULD be code, clearly. The firewall is a good reason to have a garage-house door closer, here is another one. Both fire and CO gas can and do kill people, a closed and sealed door can block both (at least buy some critical time) what more reason do you need?


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    Default Re: knob and tube

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Moore View Post
    The firewall

    Randy,

    Except in CA (and maybe a couple of other places) it is not a "firewall", it is not even a "fire rated wall", nor is it even a "fire rated assembly", it is only ... and this has been stated and discussed ad infinitum ... it is only a "separation" wall.

    It absolutely has NO "fire rating", and thus does not require a "fire rated door", thus the door is not required to be "self-closing" or "self-latching".

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  16. #16
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    Default Re: knob and tube

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Randy,

    Except in CA (and maybe a couple of other places) it is not a "firewall", it is not even a "fire rated wall", nor is it even a "fire rated assembly", it is only ... and this has been stated and discussed ad infinitum ... it is only a "separation" wall.

    It absolutely has NO "fire rating", and thus does not require a "fire rated door", thus the door is not required to be "self-closing" or "self-latching".
    The "Separation Wall" separates...what? The house and the garage. And yes, this wall serves as a block against whatever nasty things are happening in the garage (fire, smoke, CO gas from vehicles). Why else would it be called a separation wall? Interior walls aren't called that because they separate nothing.

    The point is that people have died because this "separation wall" didn't separate at all. And why? Because the garage-house door was left open! Yep, you're right, when the door is open there is no separation from the home's interior. Now on the other hand if the door was closed and latched, and had a good weatherseal, there would still be separation, yes? And if a fire started in the garage (this happened to my step-son last Christmas resulting in the total loss of the home) it would have to burn thru the solid door and drywall, which would take a number of minutes. This would buy precious time for the occupants to escape. Or if the garage was full of CO from a running car, and we have a closed and latched door, we would still have separation that could possibly save the lives of the people inside.

    The codes are full of restrictions that are designed to prevent trouble less serious than the possible death of the home's occupants. I'm OK with "separation wall". But it isn't a separation wall if the garage-house door is left open. People have died here and a simple door closer would have likely saved their lives. It should be addressed in the code. Whether it is or isn't code I'm writing it up when I see it, and I see no door closer on nearly every attached garage I inspect.


  17. #17
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    Default Re: knob and tube

    If K&T wiring is in pristine condition then there is no reason it has to be replaced since it is still allowed by code and is performing the function for which it is intended. You can suggest that the K&T be replaced as an upgrade but not as a repair to be placed on the summary page. If it is covered by insulation or damaged from abuse then it needs to be replaced and it can be on the summary page. This is the opinion of a NC inspector....you state may be different.


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    Default Re: knob and tube

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Moore View Post
    People have died here and a simple door closer would have likely saved their lives. It should be addressed in the code. Whether it is or isn't code I'm writing it up when I see it, and I see no door closer on nearly every attached garage I inspect.

    Randy,

    You are trying to stop the cart by pulling on the back of the cart instead of stopping the donkey pulling the cart.

    For those very reasons you are talking about ... do you write up no vents in the garage walls or garage overhead door?

    Those vents would work wonders toward reducing what you are talking about with CO emissions from running cars killing people.

    There is no way any code can, or can even attempt to, protect people from doing stupid things. Even if they were to live in an M60 tank, they could do stupid things and kill themselves.

    If you want to be callous, call it 'natural selection' - those who do the dumbest things are removed from the gene pool.

    That said, and moving on to your fire argument, more homes burn down from kitchen fires and fires started in bedrooms, therefore, using your argument for self-closers on garage/house doors, *ALL* *BEDROOM* doors must be solid doors, have self-closing hinges, and be weather stripped. Likewise *ALL* *KITCHENS* must not be continuous with the adjoining spaces, there must be "separation", including self-closing and latching doors, weather stripped too.

    *MORE* fires start *INSIDE* the home than in the garage ... protect from those FIRST, then go after the source of the fewer fires.

    Only makes sense ... for safety, and that is what you are talking about.

    You can write up garage/house doors for lack of self-closing and self-latching, but if you do not also write up all interior doors from the same, you are not only fooling yourself, you are looking a bit loony trying to stop the source of FEWER fires while doing nothing to address the sources of MORE fires.

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    Default Re: knob and tube

    Quote Originally Posted by James Duffin View Post
    If K&T wiring is in pristine condition then there is no reason it has to be replaced since it is still allowed by code and is performing the function for which it is intended. You can suggest that the K&T be replaced as an upgrade but not as a repair to be placed on the summary page.
    Actually, there are reasons to recommend K&T be replaced, in pristine condition or not, and to place it in your summary.

    Just because an old wiring method is still allowed does not make it the best choice to leave - it mostly likely is undersized, has been added to, etc.

    Kind of like Edison base fuses. They are still allowed. But it makes sense to most people, even you - I suspect, to replace those old fuse panels. It certainly does to many insurance companies.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  20. #20
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    Default Re: knob and tube

    I do recommend upgrading old, outdated systems in either the body of the report or in the summary. Where it goes depends on the condition of the old system. I do not try to help the buyer get an improvement if the only thing wrong with the old system is that it is old. I am there to report what I see and to make the buyer is aware of what he is getting..not to help with the negotiations.


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    Default Re: knob and tube

    EC Jerry made a comment that caught my eye regarding, "garage vents." In our old UBC they where required and as a builder we called them "suicide vents" and we all faithfully installed them in all the homes we built. Then for no apparent reason, that code was omitted around the late 1980s from the UBC (Uniform Building Code) never to be seen again. Strange - heh?

    Jerry McCarthy
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    Default Re: knob and tube

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Kind of like Edison base fuses. They are still allowed. But it makes sense to most people, even you - I suspect, to replace those old fuse panels. It certainly does to many insurance companies.

    My "professional opinion" (different thread) is that fuses are more reliable than circuit breakers. I have not heard of many systemic problems with fuses like I have regarding FPE or Zinsco circuit breakers. The primary reason to replace fuses is that they are not goof (read homeowner) proof.

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    Default Re: knob and tube

    What is the circumference of a moose? What orifices in a moose are you referring to Gunner?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar Alquist View Post
    My "professional opinion" (different thread) is that fuses are more reliable than circuit breakers.
    Yes, for cartridge fuses, but we are talking about Edison base fuses here.

    I have not heard of many systemic problems with fuses like I have regarding FPE or Zinsco circuit breakers. The primary reason to replace fuses is that they are not goof (read homeowner) proof.
    Huh?

    First you say you have not heard of any systemic problems with them, then you name the greatest one.

    You have me very confused, Gunnar.

    Yes, I know I stated cartridge fuses and that we have all seen pieces of copper pipe installed in their place, but that is 'not as common as' putting a penny behind an Edison base fuse or wrapping it in aluminum foil (a technique which is also used for Safe-T-Fuses).

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    Default Re: knob and tube

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry McCarthy View Post
    What is the circumference of a moose? What orifices in a moose are you referring to Gunner?
    WC Jerry,

    Well ... if the radius to the moose is 10 feet beyond the end of the rifle you are pointing at the moose, then the circumference is ...

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  26. #26
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    Default Re: knob and tube

    Jerry,

    Reading your posts is like riding a roller coaster. A bunch of crazy twists and turns and at the end you haven't gone anywhere.

    You want to install vents in garages? OK, put in for that code change.

    You think all interior doors should be solid? Put in that code change big guy.

    You think people deserve to die because they are just too stupid and wind up doing thoughtless, dangerous things that put their families lives in jeopardy? You're on your own there.

    Put a self closer on the garage-house door - DEFINITELY.

    You are good at misleading rationalizations that try to twist words and meanings into sillyness and run serious discussions into the ground. I haven't heard you seriously address the concerns I brought up. Not one word from you acknowledging this hazard exists and what we can do to help save a life.

    Put a closer on the garage-house door it may save a life. It's cheap, easy, painless. Even one life saved is well worth it.


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    Default Re: knob and tube

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Moore View Post
    Jerry,

    Reading your posts is like riding a roller coaster. A bunch of crazy twists and turns and at the end you haven't gone anywhere.

    You want to install vents in garages? OK, put in for that code change.

    You think all interior doors should be solid? Put in that code change big guy.

    ...

    Put a self closer on the garage-house door - DEFINITELY.
    Let's see what just happened above.

    YOU told me to put things I mentioned in as a code change.

    YOU are stating to put a self closer on a garage door, when not required, and yet you say NOTHING about YOU putting that in for a code change.

    And you accuse me of going nowhere?

    Randy,

    First and foremost, FOLLOW YOUR OWN ADVICE ... YOU put that in for a code change. In the meantime, though, you really should stop saying it is required, because it is not. YOU *want it*, so YOU *write it up*, that does not mean in any way that it is 'required'.

    Is it a good idea? Sure, just like the stuff I mentioned and which you told be to put in a code change ... guess what Big Fella, YOU put your self closers in for a code change. And get it accepted. Then come back here and tell us that.

    In the meantime, though, *IT IS NOT* - that's correct - *it is not* "required". Not unless that is a "firewall" or a "fire rated" wall, in which case it would be required, but not in a "separation" wall, and certainly not because "Randy says so".

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: knob and tube

    I have to side with Jerry P, on the need for closures. We can't regulate stupidity, it is going to happen.

    Now as for K&T...

    First I have never seen it in pristine condition. It always, Yes always has splices and various other alterations to it. Then the rubber insulation (if it has it) will be in various stages of deterioration.

    This is why the major in$urance companies will no longer cover a home with K&T and many will not cover homes with Fuse panels. I hope that you are telling this to your client, because if you are not then you should be. They are depending on your advice and so called professional opinions on the home that they are getting ready to buy and live in.

    If they can't get in$urance coverage, then they can't buy the home. Wouldn't you rather them find this out now and not a day or two before closing!

    FYI, I just finished a case after being hired by a plaintiff who sued a home inspector who did not disclose the K&T in his report but it showed up in a photo and he said that the home had an updated electrical system! Gosh, I love it when my job is made so easy! Case settled in nine weeks, right after the depositions!

    Last edited by Scott Patterson; 07-30-2008 at 08:28 PM.
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  29. #29
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    Default Re: knob and tube

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    I have to side with Jerry P, on the need for closures. We can't regulate stupidity, it is going to happen.

    Now as for K&T...

    First I have never seen it in pristine condition. It always, Yes always has splices and various other alterations to it. Then the rubber insulation (if it has it) will be in various stages of deterioration.

    This is why the major in$urance companies will no longer cover a home with K&T and many will not cover homes with Fuse panels. I hope that you are telling this to your client, because if you are not then you should be. They are depending on your advice and so called professional opinions on the home that they are getting ready to buy and live in.

    If they can't get in$urance coverage, then they can't buy the home. Wouldn't you rather them find this out now and not a day or two before closing!

    FYI, I just finished a case after being hired by a plaintiff who sued a home inspector who did not disclose the K&T in his report but it showed up in a photo and he said that the home had an updated electrical system! Gosh, I love it when my job is made so easy! Case settled in nine weeks, right after the depositions!
    The inspector that inspected my house 5 years ago put knob and tube wiring present in the report. I didnt pay any attention to that because I had no clue as to what it was ro whether it was even a hazard.

    It wasnt until I started seriously looking into becoming an inspector myself that I started to learn about it. I have scoured my house all over and have yet to find any knob and tube wiring. Not too mention my house was built in 1948 makes it highly unlikely that K&T would have been installed. Didnt they stop using that in the 30's?


  30. #30
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    Default Re: knob and tube

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Let's see what just happened above.

    YOU told me to put things I mentioned in as a code change.

    YOU are stating to put a self closer on a garage door, when not required, and yet you say NOTHING about YOU putting that in for a code change.

    And you accuse me of going nowhere?

    As a matter of fact Jerry, I have put in for that change.

    Randy,

    First and foremost, FOLLOW YOUR OWN ADVICE ... YOU put that in for a code change. In the meantime, though, you really should stop saying it is required, because it is not. YOU *want it*, so YOU *write it up*, that does not mean in any way that it is 'required'.

    STOP. Show me where I said the garage-house door closer was required by code. I said it should be, several different times. If you are going to quote me get it right.

    Is it a good idea? Sure, just like the stuff I mentioned and which you told be to put in a code change ... guess what Big Fella, YOU put your self closers in for a code change. And get it accepted. Then come back here and tell us that.

    Change request for G-H door closer submitted. Articles of local tragedies from CO contamination were also sent with submission. If it gets approved I will let you know.

    The stuff you mentioned - solid doors on all interior rooms? Kitchens walled off from the rest of the home and doors to it latched/sealed? Jerry, putting those change requests in will be up to you.

    In the meantime, though, *IT IS NOT* - that's correct - *it is not* "required". Not unless that is a "firewall" or a "fire rated" wall, in which case it would be required, but not in a "separation" wall, and certainly not because "Randy says so".
    AGAIN, SEE THE STATEMENT ABOVE. You are spending a lot of time trying to quote something I never - that's correct - never said. If I thought closers were code why would I put in for a change? Nice try but you're shooting blanks.

    Scott P: We cannot regulate stupidity. But we can close a door that helps seal a separation wall, that slows fire progression and CO contamination. Simple stuff that can save a life. Hopefully the Code Council will see it that way too.


  31. #31
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    Default Re: knob and tube

    First I have never seen it in pristine condition. It always, Yes always has splices and various other alterations to it. Then the rubber insulation (if it has it) will be in various stages of deterioration.

    I worked for a school system that has buildings built in 1900's that had K&T that was in perfect condition in the attics. So why you may not have seen pristene K&T I have.


  32. #32
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    Default Re: knob and tube

    Whilst employed by an electrical contractor I saw K&t wiring in all stages of use and condition. Untouched ceiling circuits are as good as new and carry light loads so why should they be replaced?


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    Default Re: knob and tube

    Tom I inspect many homes in my area with knob and tube wiring. Here is the standard language I use. I don't typically use long explanations to describe concerns, however I feel it's necessary when describing K&T wiring.

    This property has some "knob and tube" wiring, which was commonly installed prior to 1950. It is ungrounded, and considered unsafe by today's standards. Over time, the wire's insulation may become brittle and fall apart or wear thin, resulting in exposed conductors and a risk of shock and/or fire. This wiring is also easily damaged by covering it with insulation (a common practice), and incorrectly tapping new wiring into it.

    Some energized knob and tube wiring was found during the inspection. It is not within the scope of this inspection to determine what percentage of this property's wiring is of the knob and tube type, or to determine what percentage of the knob and tube wiring is energized vs. abandoned. A qualified electrician should evaluate this wiring and make repairs or replace wiring as necessary.


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    Default Re: knob and tube

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Bates View Post
    -- Untouched ceiling circuits are as good as new and carry light loads so why should they be replaced?
    Because you can not put any insulation in the ceiling ( against code for insulation to be in contact with K&B as it would be a fire hazard to do so. )

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    Default Re: knob and tube

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Bates View Post
    Whilst employed by an electrical contractor I saw K&t wiring in all stages of use and condition. Untouched ceiling circuits are as good as new and carry light loads so why should they be replaced?
    That might be true, but we need to let our clients know about it. Then we need to tell them that they should call their insurance company to see if they will cover the home, before they buy it. Outside of insulation issues, improper splices, and the deterioration of the rubber insulation it is the insurance companies that are forcing its removal.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  36. #36
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    Default Re: knob and tube

    A word on automatic door closers: For a number of years the California Building Code has required an automatic closing and self latching device on any door serving an opening between the interior of a R-3 residential dwelling and its attached garage.

    Most home owners removed these devices so that the door wouldnít swing shut and hit Mrs. Housewife in the butt while she was carrying groceries into her home from her car. Mr. Homeowner didnít like them either because on the weekends he made many trips back and forth between the house and garage getting a cold one from the kitchenís fridge. When we (all the HIís I knew) found a door without an automatic closing and self-latching device installed or one where someone had pulled the pin on a spring-hinge closer we consistently wrote it up as providing a safety hazard to occupants bla, bla, bla. You think anybody paid attention or demanded the home seller re-install a self-closing device?

    The code is still in force today as our 2007 CBC Section 496.1.4 clearly states; a door opening between private garage and the dwelling unit shall be equipped with either solid wood doors or solid or honeycomb core steel doors not less than 1-3/8 inches thick, or doors in compliance with Section 715.4.3. Openings from a private garage into a room used for sleeping purposes shall not be permitted. Doors shall be self-closing and self-latching.
    The California SFM (State Fire Marshall) has fought to keep this section alive and well.
    Unfortunately the 2006 IRC has dropped this part of the code and I canít help but suspect the NAHBs fingerprints are on this change?

    Jerry McCarthy
    Building Code/ Construction Consultant

  37. #37
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    Default Re: knob and tube

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry McCarthy View Post
    Unfortunately the 2006 IRC has dropped this part of the code and I canít help but suspect the NAHBs fingerprints are on this change?
    Wasn't in the 2000 or 2003 IRC either.

    In South Florida, the garage / living space wall used to be required to be a 'fire rated assembly', and openings in 'fire rated assemblies', 'fire rated walls', 'fire walls', etc., required self-closing and self-latching doors.

    The rest of the state used the SBC, which only had 'separation', and did not require self-closing or self-latching doors, unless the particular AHJ required it (Palm Beach County required self-closing and self-latching on garage / living space doors with a separation wall).

    Once the 2001 FBC became effective, the code was based on the SBC series, that wall became a 'separation wall' and was no longer a 'fire rated assembly', thus no self-closing or self-latching doors required.

    The ICC codes carried that same "separation" over.

    I think CA is doing it correctly with maintaining that as a "fire rated wall" - which includes self-closing and self-latching doors.

    That stated ... MOST FIRES in the home *do not* start in the garage, as I stated previously. Thus, why not address those first?

    Well, that may be happening soon as the NFPA and the ICC are now, finally, working together toward implementing sprinkler systems in all dwelling units. Not effective now, not yet, but in the next few code cycles expect to hear about it being discussed and maybe even see it showing up.

    Installing fire sprinkler systems in dwelling unit will save *a lot more lives* than worrying about self-closing and self-latching doors to garages.

    Instead of installing self-closing and self-latching doors between the garage and the living area, which can and are easily defeated and removed, go back to installing the 'suicide vents' we used to see in garages. Not allowing the vents in the garage doors, not unless all garage doors are mandated to have those vents, otherwise a simple replacement of the garage door (at some point in the future) could lead to the installation of a garage door without those vents.

    Make the vents a requirement in the permanent structure's walls.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  38. #38
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    Default Re: knob and tube

    2000 - IRC - R309.1 Opening protection. Openings from a private garage directly into a room used for sleeping purposes shall not be permitted. Other openings between the garage and residence shall be equipped with solid wood doors not less than 1- 3/8 inch (35mm) in thickness, solid or honeycomb core steel doors not less than 1-3/8 inches (35mm) thick, or 20-minute fire-rated doors.

    Jerry McCarthy
    Building Code/ Construction Consultant

  39. #39
    Richard Stanley's Avatar
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    Default Re: knob and tube

    Condo inspection this am. Built in early 80's. Sprinkler system throughout - no smoke detectors.


  40. #40
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    Default Re: knob and tube

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry McCarthy View Post
    2000 - IRC - R309.1 Opening protection. Openings from a private garage directly into a room used for sleeping purposes shall not be permitted. Other openings between the garage and residence shall be equipped with solid wood doors not less than 1- 3/8 inch (35 mm) in thickness, solid or honeycomb core steel doors not less than 1-3/8 inches (35 mm) thick, or 20-minute fire-rated doors.
    From the 2003 IRC.
    R309.1 Opening protection.
    Openings from a private garage directly into a room used for sleeping purposes shall not be permitted. Other openings between the garage and residence shall be equipped with solid wood doors not less than 1 3/8 inches (35 mm) in thickness, solid or honeycomb core steel doors not less than 1 3/8 inches (35 mm) thick, or 20-minute fire-rated doors.

    From the 2006 IRC.
    R309.1 Opening protection.
    Openings from a private garage directly into a room used for sleeping purposes shall not be permitted. Other openings between the garage and residence shall be equipped with solid wood doors not less than 1 3/8 inches (35 mm) in thickness, solid or honeycomb core steel doors not less than 1 3/8 inches (35 mm) thick, or 20-minute fire-rated doors.

    None of which require self-closing or self-latching.

    None of which *REQUIRE* the door to be a fire rated door either. (This is for Don.)



    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  41. #41
    Kirk Hersee's Avatar
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    Default Re: knob and tube

    Just a quick, non-technical response to back up one issue is that the insurance companies definately have me looking for knob & tube and whether it is still live. Most of the homes I am in that have it present have changed their services and the old wiring just hasn't been removed. Other times it usually runs the old push button light switch to the basement or attic lights or runs to the garage. I know this isn't a true response to the original question, just what I come upon in some surveys. My response is just to state that there is knob & tube and if it is live. Also, how much (%) of the dwelling may still be using it. Of course, the companies I work for like photos of the wiring and service panel. It's all I've got on the subject. Kirk


  42. #42
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    Cool Re: knob and tube

    Here's an old K&T job done by a professional. Nothing wrong with this, that is until they insulate the attic space.

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    Jerry McCarthy
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  43. #43
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    Default Re: knob and tube

    Quote Originally Posted by Kirk Hersee View Post
    looking for knob & tube and whether it is still live.

    Kirk,

    Question: How do you check to see if it is still alive or not?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  44. #44
    Kirk Hersee's Avatar
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    Default Re: knob and tube

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Kirk,

    Question: How do you check to see if it is still alive or not?
    Same way you test a 9-Volt . . . I stick my tongue one it . . . LOL!!!

    No, unfortunately, all I can do is ask the homeowner and observe as best I can if any lines are running to the service panel.

    Usually, the h/o has no idea why I'm asking if it's live or not, so they're generally honest. Some don't even know that it's there. You know, someone buys an older home and so long as the lights turn on and off ok, no problem.

    One of the very reasons that these companies use independent field inspectors like myself is for my lack of knowledge. They just want an observation and a standard set of survey questions asked and answered. Through the photos, they can usually determine what they need to know, although even I know that you can't see whether a line is live in a photo.

    I'm not sure that K&T is out of code in Massachusetts, but I know that the Insurance companies are seeing it as a risk. Therefore, if you're not already, you will most likely find yourself on the Mass Fair Plan program.

    Sometimes, a new h/o (that has purchased a house with potential risks) in Mass. will find themselves (without a choice) with this company due to reasons they may not even be aware of and paying a premium that is mildly to redonkulously outrageous.

    But, usually taking care of an existing condition will get you out of the "pool" soon enough and into a more reasonable policy.

    Sorry about the lengthy answer. In a nutshell; I don't know.


  45. #45
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    Default Re: knob and tube

    Kirk,

    The reason I asked how you checked knob and tube for being hot and still in use versus being abandoned is that many inspector will use a voltage sniffer to check it. Voltage sniffer does not go off, they *assume* that if has been abandoned.

    In fact, that may be in use and just has a switch which is 'off', thus no power, thus nothing to set the voltage sniffer off.

    The only way to know if knob and tube has been abandoned and is no longer in service is ... when you can see both ends of the conductor cut off and not connected to anything.

    Just looking in the panel for it tells you nothing if it is not there - it could have been spliced away from the panel, with newer wiring running into the panel.

    In short, I recommend presuming that old knob and tube *is still in use* ... unless you can see both ends of the conductor where it has been cut loose.

    I choose to make 'presumptions' instead of 'assumptions'.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  46. #46
    Kirk Hersee's Avatar
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    Default Re: knob and tube

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Kirk,

    The reason I asked how you checked knob and tube for being hot and still in use versus being abandoned is that many inspector will use a voltage sniffer to check it. Voltage sniffer does not go off, they *assume* that if has been abandoned.

    In fact, that may be in use and just has a switch which is 'off', thus no power, thus nothing to set the voltage sniffer off.

    The only way to know if knob and tube has been abandoned and is no longer in service is ... when you can see both ends of the conductor cut off and not connected to anything.

    Just looking in the panel for it tells you nothing if it is not there - it could have been spliced away from the panel, with newer wiring running into the panel.

    In short, I recommend presuming that old knob and tube *is still in use* ... unless you can see both ends of the conductor where it has been cut loose.

    I choose to make 'presumptions' instead of 'assumptions'.

    Thank you for that informative response. I will implement this procedure into my walk-throughs. Thanks again. Kirk

    Oh yeah, what's a conductor?

    Last edited by Kirk Hersee; 08-02-2008 at 03:19 PM. Reason: ask a question

  47. #47
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    Default Re: knob and tube

    Quote Originally Posted by Kirk Hersee View Post
    Oh yeah, what's a conductor?
    Kirk,

    There are many types of conductors: in an orchestra it that person standing up there wildly waving about that little stick.

    Anything which can carry electricity.

    However, in this case, and in most cases regarding electrical wiring, "wire" would be the common term.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  48. #48
    Kirk Hersee's Avatar
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    Default Re: knob and tube

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Kirk,

    There are many types of conductors: in an orchestra it that person standing up there wildly waving about that little stick.

    Anything which can carry electricity.

    However, in this case, and in most cases regarding electrical wiring, "wire" would be the common term.

    Ahhhh . . . I think I'm "ALLLL ABOAAARD" with this conductor thing. Thanks. Kirk


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