Knob and Tube wiring, fuses and other electrical upgrades

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Upgrading Knob and Tube Wiring

Some of the most popular areas in the Winnipeg real estate market, including River Heights, Crescentwood and several others, include older homes built between 1900 and 1940’s.  Many of such homes had been constructed using ‘knob and tube’ wiring, and/or fuses instead of breakers.  Deemed perfectly safe at the time, knob and tube especially has fallen out of favor with many home insurance companies.  While still deemed safe, many insurance companies will no longer issue home insurance for any homes which contain knob and tube.  Those companies that DO issue insurance, are starting to charge a premium for the privilege.

Cost of replacing Knob and Tube Wiring

Better sit down for this!  Depending on how much of this wiring is still active in the house, replacement can range from around $1,000 for a single room re-wire, to literally 10’s of thousands for an entire house.  It has been commented that the “Knob and Tube” system is perfectly safe…..the real problem comes with the fact that it is often 75 to 100 yrs old.  Its not so much the system, as it is the fact that in some cases the insulation has eroded over time, exposing bare wire in walls which are sometimes still insulated with newspaper clippings.

Our provincial Hydro supplier, Manitoba Hydro has for many years been offering to finance upgrades to homes.  Such upgrades have included the replacement of windows, furnace, a/c and the addition of extra insulation to help make a home more heat-efficient.  Electrical upgrades, such as the replacement of knob and tube wiring and even the replacement of fuse-boxes, IS eligible under our Manitoba Hydro financing plan.  My friend, Andre Mager of T & A Electric advises me that, as an authorized dealer, he has all the necessary forms needed to apply for this financing.  There are limitations:  Electrical upgrade financing is limited to $5,000 per residence, so it will not be sufficient to replace all the wiring in that 3100-sq-ft., 2-1/2 story palace in River Heights.

Upgrading electrical boxes

For those who still have fuses, and perhaps 60 or 70 amp service in their homes, upgrading to 100 or 200 amps with a nice, safe, new breaker box will definitely fit within this budget.  Andre tells me that, on average, upgrading from 60 amp to 100 amp and installing a new breaker-box will run around the $1,500 mark……  upgrading to 200 amp would be about $2,000.  Thru the “Hydro Plan”, payments would show up on your monthly hydro bill, with an approximate interest rate of 12%.  Call me for a referral.

 

 

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11 COMMENTS

  1. I had an idea on the cost of the electrical fix, goes with electrician labor. I’ll call them out by weekends to check things here! Thanks for sharing this, such a useful article.

  2. Jade Communications did a great job with the wiring in our home. They were terrific and very professional. Nice guys, very trustworthy, and a great recommendation for anyone in Boca Raton. Check them out at https://www.jade-com.com/ .

  3. If the finance offering by Manitoba Hydro financing plan is not sufficient to replace all the wiring of a house, then how can it be possible to upgrade this knob and tube wiring as it is very costly.

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