Do you own an older home that has tube and knob wiring in it? Have you started noticing problems such as fuses that blow frequently? Read on and discover some of the cumulative problems that may be afflicting the electrical system of your house. Use this information to help you to know when you should call an emergency electrician so that he or she can fix the problem before it worsens.
Tube and knob wiring refers to a wiring system in which porcelain insulators are used to direct wires through spaces that have no obstructions, such as in the attic. Porcelain tubes help to protect the wires that move through joists and studs. Previous homeowners may have added connections to the wiring to the extent that the fuses cannot handle the combined load that is currently being transmitted through the wiring, hence the frequent blowouts. The increased load can present a serious safety risk because the wires will heat easily. Additionally, the previous homeowner may have replaced the original fuses with bigger ones to prevent the fuses from tripping frequently. This can overload the wires constantly, something that can cause an electrical fire at any time.
The Cumulative Impact of Thermal Insulation
Tube and knob wiring suspends wires so that heat can dissipate from those wires easily. The growth of energy conservation resulted in the use of thermal insulation in homes. This thermal insulation usually deters the wires from dissipating the heat that is generated as electricity flows through those wires. This is because the insulating material has now occupied the formerly unobstructed space. This obstruction may be the reason why you are beginning to notice seemingly unrelated faults in the electrical system. The accumulated heat can rapidly degrade the insulation on the wires, creating fertile conditions for potentially devastating short circuits and overheating.
The Placement of Switches
In contemporary wiring, all switches are placed on the live wire. Once the switch is flipped off, the flow of electricity is discontinued. This can limit the risks posed by a defective fixture. Tube and knob wiring was done differently. Switches were placed on the neutral wire. Once you turned the switch off, the circuit was broken but electricity remained being transmitted through the live wire. This risky situation is made worse by the absence of a ground wire in most houses with tube and knob wiring.
As you can see from the discussion above, houses with tube and knob wiring need the services of an emergency electrician in case any electrical fault is detected. This is because any defect that you notice (such as being shocked when you touch a wet wall) may be caused by a combination of factors in the aging wiring. Prompt action by an emergency electrician is the only way by which an escalation of the problem can be avoided.