"Live" Knob and Tube

Today’s inspection was a first for me. To date I’ve never came across Knob and Tube wiring which was “live”. The home has a 125AMP max panel and another panel in the stairway of the basement which has four fuses I’m assuming powering the Knob and Tube. The home was built in 1929. How should I call this out. Please take a look at the pictures below and let me know what issues you see. I’m still trying to learn everything about electrical. Please be specific so I can understand exactly what your talking about. Thanks everyone I sincerly appreciate you sparky guys and everyone else.

On the panel the top left 15 AMP breaker has a single strand aluminum brach circuit attached to it.


Whenever I encounter a LIVE K&T system, I simply tell my clients that the there are a lot of insurance companies who will not insure them with this type of wiring. I then give them a link to my website…http://www.masscertifiedhomeinspections.com/?D=99 , and let them decide.

Excellent. Do you see any issues within the main panel?

Keep in mind, this could be an alloy coated copper wire.

You can confirm this by looking for a neutral wire with the same aluminum coating.

There are times where I can see the ends of the neutral wire (where it was cut) and confirm my suspicions.

Good to know. Anything else with the panel that you see?

Where’s the disconnect? Is this LSE?

The forth pix shows the aluminum neutral wire. David is correct about the insurance company not insuring home with K&T. Last home that had it the client couldn’t get insurance until K&T was removed.

Looks like you have a ground an neutral wire under the same screw in the last picture

Billy, here are a couple things I see.

Also the wires under the 40 amp breaker look too small, compare to the rest of the wires. It is always a good idea to have the neutral wire and the ground wires on separate bussbars if you want to be choosy.
Is the 60 amp breaker going to the subpanel?
Is your disconnect at the meter?

Here are a few more.

Here in Fl, especially if they are insured with Citizens, that fuse panel would need to be replaced with a breaker panel.

FYi - fuse panels (or breaker panels) are not made to last forever. I would recommend replacement regardless

Why would you call that beeing choosy. That is something that needs to be corrected.

Do I see a single pole 30 amp breaker? Paul mentioned these in his video. Are these unique? Any problems with these?

You guys are awesome. I might just figure out the electrical system one day after all :wink: Here is a picture of the meter. Let me know if you see a disconnect. I’ve never knew to look for one there until now.

If you mention that to an electrictrician in my area, they will look at you funny. The little codes we have are not enforced very well, so it is hard to argue a safety issue. Sad but true.

billy, I think you have a split panel. No one disconnect in there.


When calling out a panel should we list all defects or should we blanket say multiple defects found in panel. Recommend bla bla bla. If we call out certain defects whos to say A. You didn’t miss one and B. The electrician is only going to go down your list and inspect those items. Far stretch I know just was always curious on this question.

No disconnect under original 100 amp meter. A lot of times the newer loops will have them instead of inside. There is a cover you just flip up.
I believe they mainly are doing this for easy access for fire fighters.