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How To Upgrade Old Knob and Tube Electrical Wiring

Can I upgrade circuit wiring and outlets and still keep the lighting circuit in tack? How to Fix Old Electrical Wiring Problems: Guide for Repairing Old Wiring, Upgrading Knob and Tube Wiring and a Fuse Box

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Guide for Repairing and Upgrading Old Electrical Wiring
[ad#block] Electrical Question: Can I upgrade circuit wiring and outlets and still keep the lighting circuit in tack?

My 1907 house has a 200 amp service, and the kitchen has been upgraded with new circuits.

Any help will be greatly appreciated!

Background: Rebecca, a Handy-woman from Jackson, MO.

Additional Comments: Thanks for your site, and thanks for your help!

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Rebeca.

home electrical rewiring

How to Fix Old Electrical Wiring Problems

Application: Upgrade Old Electrical Wiring.
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced. This electrical wiring project is best performed by a Licensed Electrical Contractor or Certified Electrician.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools and Voltage Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience and ability to work with tools.
Precaution: Identify the circuit, turn it OFF and Tag it with a Note before working with the wiring.
Important: Outdated wiring and circuit components should be replaced with new electrical materials of the same voltage and amperage rating.
Notice: Upgrades to Home Electrical Wiring should be done according to local and national electrical codes and installing new or replacement electrical parts or equipment will require a permit and be inspected.

Upgrading Knob and Tube Wiring and a Fuse Box

Totally separating the new circuits from the existing circuits would be best, then as more upgrading is performed the new outlets can be added to the new circuit as they are removed from the old existing wiring.

I have provided the following links that lead to fully detailed information on this website that will assist you with your electrical question:

More about Upgrading Knob and Tube Wiring

Guide to Home Electric Wires

Electrical Wire for the Home

Complete listing of electrical wire types and parts used for home projects with electrical code information serves as selection guidelines.

Residential Electrical Junction Boxes

Electrical Junction Boxes for Home Wiring

Understanding electrical junction boxes and what they are used for. Home electrical wiring is the process of installing electrical wire to a location that will serve electrical devices or an appliance. One very important component is the box where the wire will be installed. The type and size of the home wiring electrical boxes will depend upon the circuit size, application and its location.

Home Electrical Wiring Codes

Electrical Code Articles for Home Wiring

Electrical Code Directory covering electrical boxes, electrical circuit, electrical codes for outlets and electrical  wiring.

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Dave's Companion Guide to Home Electrical Wiring:

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Great for any Home Wiring Project.
  electrical wiring  

Complete Guide to Home Electrical Wiring

Perfect for Homeowners, Students,
Handyman, Handy Women, and Electricians
Wiring GFCI Outlets
Wiring Home Electric Circuits
120 Volt and 240 Volt Outlet Circuits
Wiring Light Switches
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Electric Range
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Dryer Cord and Dryer Outlet
How to Troubleshoot and Repair Electrical Wiring
Wiring Methods for Upgrading Electrical Wiring
NEC Codes for Home Electrical Wiring
....and much more.

Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.

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FAQs Frequently Asked Questions and Comments

2 Responses to “How To Upgrade Old Knob and Tube Electrical Wiring”
  1. Bob says:


    I was told that pulling a wire for a sub panel would be the best way to get power above the rooms that presently have knob and tube wiring. I need to know how do I determine what size wire to buy for this run. I have a Cutler Hammer 100 amp CH7 and 4 of the breakers, one 20 amp and three 15 amp are wired with knob and tube. The local inspector said that I could leave the knob and tube and that there isn’t any reason to install Romex unless I really want to.

  2. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Bob,
    The size of the wire or cable would depend on the size of the panel that would be installed, and this can only be determined by knowing what the load will actually be. If you are just replacing the bedroom circuits as mentioned then the actual loads of these circuits will need to be evaluated. The loads should also take into consideration all appliances that are plugged in during the year, including space heaters and room air conditioners. Also consider any additional loads or dedicated circuits that may be added. After this is known then the panel size and cable size may be determined.