Things You Should Know About Knob and Tube Wiring

Things You Should Know About Knob and Tube Wiring

Buying a home or starting a renovation are both intense projects that require lots of planning and preparation. However, even if you do all you can to ensure things go smoothly, you may face some unforeseen issues, such as knob and tube wiring.

If you discover this outdated wiring in your current or future Toronto home, try not to panic. While it’s certainly not desirable, take the time to learn about the myths and facts about knob and tube wiring so that you know how to best proceed.

What is Knob and Tube Wiring?

Before we explore some of the more common concerns about knob and tube wiring, it’s best to clarify what exactly makes up this older electrical system. To start, did you know that the name comes from the porcelain knobs and tubes used during the installation process?

When it comes to the semantics of the system, copper wire was wrapped in a rubber sheath or asphalt-soaked cotton cloth and then passed through porcelain tubes that were inserted into the framing of a house. While the system was considered quite clever at the time, it is no longer considered a viable electrical system to use in today’s homes.

Myths and Facts About Knob and Tube Wiring

So, what do you really need to know about knob and tube wiring? Keep reading for some helpful information about this antiquated wiring system.


  • There is no ground wire included in a knob and tube wiring setup.
  • The sheathing used around the wires breaks down over time, increasing the potential for electrical shocks and fire.
  • Knob and tube wiring was not designed to handle the electrical loads of today’s modern homes.


  • You won’t be able to get home insurance if you have knob and tube wiring. While it may be more difficult to find and more expensive, some insurance companies will still provide insurance as long as you meet their specific requirements.
  • It must always be disconnected and replaced. While removal is recommended, in some cases you may be able to keep it as long as it meets the Electrical Safety Authority and the Ontario Electrical Safety Code minimum requirements.

Now when someone asks ‘what is knob and tube wiring, you’ll be able to share some helpful information. However, it’s best to speak to an experienced electrician in order to be comfortable deciding what the right decision may be for your home’s electrical system.

Replace Your Knob and Tube with Langstaff & Sloan

The electrical system in your Toronto home really does impact the safety and functionality of your entire space. Whether you notice the wiring in your home simply can’t support your needs or if you’re worried about an outdated system causing injury or damage, it’s time to reach out to Langstaff & Sloan. With over 20 years of experience expertly navigating knob and tube replacements in Toronto and across the GTA, you can count on our team to get the job done. Contact us to find out more about how we can help.