Knob and Tube Wiring

Knob and Tube wiring and Other Older Electrical


Some of the most popular areas in the Winnipeg, including River Heights, Crescentwood and several communities include older homes built between 1900 and 1940′s.

Many of these 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.  Those companies that DO issue insurance, are starting to charge a premium for insurance and sometimes require it to be changes within a certain time frame.

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 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.

 Manitoba Hydro has  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 also eligible under the Manitoba Hydro financing plan. There are limitations though..... Electrical upgrade financing is limited to $5,000 per residence, so it may 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 new breaker box will definitely fit within this budget.  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. Through the “Hydro Plan”, payments would show up on your monthly hydro bill, with an approximate interest rate of 12%

Budgeting  for these types of renovations are extremely important. 

Some mortgage specialists or banks still do offer a "cash back" mortgage or line of credit to factor in this expense on your mortgage

There are definitely ways of purchasing a home with Knob and Tube but its best to know all your options when considering an offer on this type of property.

Please feel free to contact me with any of your real estate questions.


Alison O’Toole

Alison O’Toole

CENTURY 21 Bachman & Associates
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