Knob and Tube Replacement


More than 1.5 million Canadian homes were built with knob and tube wiring. It was an early form of electrical wiring that was used up to 1945.

WHAT IS KNOBE AND TUBE?
Knob and tube wiring was the earliest standardized method of electrical wiring in buildings. It consisted of single insulated copper conductors run across interior walls or within ceiling cavities, passing through joist and stud drill-holes via protective porcelain insulating tubes, and supported along their length on nailed-down porcelain knob insulators.

SHOULD I REPLACE THE KNOB AND TUBE WIRING IN MY HOME?
Homeowners should have any active knob and tube wiring inspected for safety. Crawford Electrical recommends the removal and replacement of all knob and tube wiring to upgrade to current electrical standards.

Crawford Electrical can do this inspection for you and provide an expert opinion on replacement of your knob and tube.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO REPLACE THE WIRING?

A typical replacement for a full house will take approximately 2 weeks. During this time, there will only be a short span of no more than 2-4 hours when the home will be without power. Crawford Electrical will fully disconnect and remove (where accessible) the knob & tube wiring and replace it with a modern electrical system.

WHAT ELSE SHOULD I BE AWARE OF?

As a homeowner, you should have the peace of mind that your electrical system is safe. If you decide to replace your knob and tube, you should be aware that in some cases Crawford Electrical may need to cut into some ceilings and walls. This will mean that you may have some minor repair work to be done. Our goal is to contribute the minimum necessary damage to your walls and ceilings.

To better understand how much repair work is involved, we have a portfolio of pictures to show you during our initial consultation.


Aluminum


Most electrical wiring is copper. In the early 1960's the price of copper began to rise and aluminum wiring was commonly used for residences from the late-1960s through the mid-1970s. There are several million homes in Canada with aluminum branch circuit wiring.

WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF ALUMINUM WIRE FAILURE?
Signs of trouble in aluminum wiring systems include warm-to-the-touch face plates on outlets or switches, flickering lights, circuits that don't work, or the smell of burning plastic at outlets or switches. Unfortunately, not all failing aluminum wired connections provide such easily detected warning signs; aluminum wired connections have been reported to fail without any prior indications or problems and these are the same symptoms found in problems with copper wiring. If you detect any of these symptoms, call Crawford Electrical immediately for a complimentary consultation.

WHAT ARE THE POTENTIAL RISKS WITH ALUMINIUM WIRING?
There is no problem with the aluminum wire itself within the walls; the problem is at the connection points. First, aluminum expands and contracts more than copper when it heats and cools. This can cause fasteners to loosen. More importantly, aluminum oxidizes easily and the oxide is a poor conductor. This causes overheating at the connection points (the main source of trouble). A further problem with some aluminum wire is fatigue. The wire becomes brittle and breaks if bent back and forth only a few times. Do not pull outlets and switches out of the wall to examine them yourself. Crawford Electrical can conduct an assessment of any potential risks and upgrade any problematic wiring that might be found.

These problems can create overheating and arcing at connection points which have led to fires resulting in injury and deaths. Research shows that homes wired with aluminum wire manufactured before 1972 are 55 times more likely to have one or more connections reach "Fire Hazard Conditions" than are homes wired with copper. "Post 1972" aluminum wire is also a concern. A change in the aluminum wire alloys in 1972 did not solve all of the problems.

Problems with connections are not normally visible on the face plate. You need to check every connection throughout the house to know if a hidden problem is lurking somewhere (this is not included in a standard home inspection). Even if the home inspector does not report any other problems with the aluminum wiring it is prudent to consult with a licensed electrician who is thoroughly familiar with aluminum wiring problems for a more extensive evaluation. A standard home inspection is only a first step in reducing risk.

WHAT IS THE METHOD OF CORRECTION?
Currently, only two solutions have been recommended. The first and most sound solution is to replace the aluminum wiring with copper. The second solution uses a special connector to splice a short piece of copper wire (called a pig-tail) between the aluminum wire and the electrical device (receptacle, switch, light, etc.). Proper use of this method requires specialized training, and Crawford Electrical Contracting has years of experience in correcting aluminum wire failure.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO REPLACE THE WIRING?
A typical replacement for a full house will take approximately 2 weeks. During this time, there will only be a short span of no more than 2-4 hours when the home will be without power. Crawford Electrical will fully disconnect and remove (where accessible) the aluminum wiring and replace it with a modern electrical system.

WHAT ELSE SHOULD I BE AWARE OF?
As a homeowner, you should have the peace of mind that your electrical system is safe. If you decide to replace your aluminum, you should be aware that in some cases Crawford Electrical may need to cut into some ceilings and walls. This will mean that you may have to some minor repair work to be done. Our goal is to contribute the minimum necessary damage to your walls and ceilings.

To better understand how much repair work is involved, we have a portfolio of pictures to show you during our initial consultation.

SERVICE UPGRADES, RENOVATIONS AND OTHER SERVICES


Crawford Electrical specializes in residential services for older homes. An older electrical system may not provide the capacity required for modern living. Electrical capacity can be easily be increased by installing a larger incoming service and adding a larger panel board. New and existing circuits can then be fed through the new panel. This includes service panel upgrades such as 100amp, 200amp and 400amp. 


RENOVATIONS AND OTHER SERVICES


Crawford Electrical can assist with any type of residential renovation whether you are building an extension to your home, renovating your basement, kitchen or bathroom, or installing pot lights in your condo. Services that we offer include:

  •     Electrical system (service panel) upgrades
  •     Knob and tube replacement
  •     Changing fuses to breakers
  •     Installation of plugs for appliances (stoves, microwaves, washer/dryer)
  •     Installation of ceiling fans
  •     Systems wiring for outdoor lighting
  •     Aluminum wiring replacement
  •     Corrective wiring - Repairs or upgrades to comply with current code requirements
  •     Installation of decorative or accent lighting (wall sconces, pot lights)
  •     Systems wiring for smoke detectors
  •     Outside GFCI circuiting and receptacles
  •     Wiring for pool lighting, pumps and equipment
  •     Motion detected security lighting
  •     Landscape lighting
  •     Electric heat
  •     And more...
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Quality Electrical Services

Crawford Electrical can assist with any type of residential renovation whether you are building an extension to your home, renovating your basement, kitchen or bathroom, or installing pot lights in your condo. Services that we offer include:

  •     Electrical system (service panel) upgrades
  •     Knob and tube replacement
  •     Changing fuses to breakers
  •     Installation of plugs for appliances (stoves, microwaves, washer/dryer)
  •     Installation of ceiling fans
  •     Systems wiring for outdoor lighting
  •     Aluminum wiring replacement
  •     Corrective wiring - Repairs or upgrades to comply with current code requirements
  •     Installation of decorative or accent lighting (wall sconces, pot lights)
  •     Systems wiring for smoke detectors
  •     Outside GFCI circuiting and receptacles
  •     Wiring for pool lighting, pumps and equipment
  •     Motion detected security lighting
  •     Landscape lighting
  •     Electric heat
  •     And more...