Knob & Tube Wiring

What year became K & T an issue with Home Insurance Underwiters in Ontario. A short reply is appreciated.


Around 1996

I like to thank the two “lonely” colleagues for their posted answers. It was very much appreciated because a former customer contacted me after **twelve (12) years **- and claimed that a contractor had found some concealed knob & tube wiring still in service during a major renovation in progress currently.

The real estate agent who sold the house in 1996 advised the customer to sue me - the home inspector - for the additional costs to rectify the alleged oversight in spite of the fact that the property listing promoted at that time that the originally installed K&T wiring of the 75-year-old home had been replaced in its entirety.

No old or originally installed wiring had been connected directly to the newly installed service panel - and the random testing of 3-prong receptacles confirmed that all tested outlets had been correctly wired and grounded.

RUDOLF REUSSE -Home Inspector since 1976 - **TORONTO **

Fwiw Rudolf Ontario Hydro or ESA has never condemned K&T you might want to point that out to the realtor.

Tell them to:

  1. go after the vendor who lied in their listing information
  2. go to hell!!


Each insurance company has it’s own guidelines. I recently looked at one house and the insurance just shrugged off the KT and told the buyers the policy was ready.
When did you inspect the house? Recently?

David: In answer to your question - I did the inspection in **December of 1996 or about 12 years ago - **
Rudolf Reusse


The realtor had a lot of nerve telling the homeowner to sue you. Considering you don’t solicit or rely on the realestate fraternity I would be inclined to have a few words with the agent and bring to his/her attention the findings of the case law provided. Even if you did rely on the realestate fraternity for your work I would still be inclined to have a few words.

If knob and Tube founded in the building, you should mention that and write down further evaluation is recommeded.only electrician could verify the problem,same as gfci is missing,would the client sue you later? and you missed that???

12 years ago? , are they totally nuts???
and this, and claimed that a contractor had found some concealed knob & tube wiring still in service during a major renovation in progress currently. They discovered it when it was uncovered?
They did not “see” it because it was covered.
Actually they cannot do anything legally now. A good lawyer will tell them that. and I do not mean a lawyer that will try to sue anyone for a buck. I mean one with ethics. ( I can hear everyone laughing now)
It may be easy for me to say, but this is not something you even have to worry about. 12 years is far beyond statute of limitations.
And the realtor is dumber for telling them this, he should have advised them a. you could not see it. b. Too much time has passed
It was in the listing that the wiring was totally replaced… the realtor should have pointed to that.
Really… some people are as thick as mud.
Do not even talk to them, tell them talk to a lawyer.

In reply to David Cooks post:

The actual limitation is 15 years.

I suggest the following reading - particularly when the limitation period starts.

Agreements to Vary or Exclude Limitation Periods: No Tolling Agreements
It will no longer be possible to contract out of a limitation period. While agreements made before the day the new Limitations Act comes into force are grandfathered, this provision means that parties cannot enter into tolling agreements that suspend the running of time. It also means that contractual limitation periods commonly found in agreements such as insurance policies will be of no force and effect (an exception would be limitation periods in insurance contracts that have their genesis in statutory conditions or regulations that are listed or incorporated by reference to a provision that is listed in the Schedule to the Limitations Act).

POV from British Columbia

Professionals, are particularly vulnerable to stale claims:
A professional advisor drafts a document or designs a structure and finds himself attacked when, generations later, damage flows from his act. The attack may come at a time when mind and memory have faded or even failed altogether. He may not be able to recall or may have an imperfect memory of instructions or discussions which excluded liability or which redefined in some limiting fashion the duty he undertook.

Studies suggest that the vast majority of legal proceedings, including latent defect claims, are brought within 10 years of the occurrence that gave rise to the claim.

As such, a 10 year ULP (ultimate Limitation Period) strikes a reasonable and fair balance between protecting a legitimate claim for relief and a defendant’s ability to fairly respond to, and defend, a claim.

In other words, a 10 year ULP, rather than the current 30 years, provides more effective and fair administration of justice for the parties involved in a dispute, and society as a whole.

Additional strong public policy considerations supporting change include:
Consistency with Other Jurisdictions Uniformity in limitations law from province to province is desirable. The trend of recent legislative reform is to shorten the ULP. Alberta adopted a 10 year ULP. Ontario and Saskatchewan established 15 year ULPs.

Excellent post.
In last nights seminar by Joe, here is one point.
In your Pre-Inspection agreement, you can legally set a reasonable amount of time to bring something to the inspectors attention. And you can have in writing LEGALLY six months is a reasonable amount of time.
This can be part of your contract.

Reply back with an offense, do not go as a defense. They do not have a leg to stand on. Give it some serious thought as to the wording, you may want a little input from a legal point of view but advise them if they try to waste your time and money , that you will be pursuing a course to recoup any losses to you financially as well as metal stress emotional disturbance or whatever pops to mind. Lay it on strong with mental midgets as this.

As David said, you may want to consider giving Joe a call and see what advice he can offer as well. I know he does it for the members, the worst he can do is say NO or make you pay a small fee for it.


Would not a large fee be worse?:mrgreen::mrgreen::mrgreen:

Hey Rudolph,
Any word from these mental midgets?