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Lighting Fixtures, Switch Panels and Meters

What was used Before K&T Wire?


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Old 06-11-2018, 01:46:11 PM
Railroads Railroads is offline
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Default What was used Before K&T Wire?

Hi everyone, I was wondering if there ever existed installations that used two bare conductors separated by porcelain insulators to light switches run down the walls of older houses? I've seen something like this in old movies but can't figure out what it was called or what part of the world it was used?

Robert
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Old 06-11-2018, 02:14:11 PM
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BMyrkle BMyrkle is offline
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Default Re: What was used before K&T wire?

Supposedly knob and tube is the oldest standardized form of electric wiring, with commercial electrical codes for it being written as early as the 1880s.

Everything before that was one-off, custom wiring; or done to local codes that weren't yet standardized.
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Old 06-11-2018, 05:55:14 PM
pegasuspinto pegasuspinto is offline
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Default Re: What was used before K&T wire?

I think if you look at knob and tube, the insulation isn't required for it to work. Ceramic and open space provide all insulation needed. The insulation was added later to make it safer, then once the insulation was reliable, the wire was quickly put into one cable and buried in the walls.
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Old 06-11-2018, 06:11:02 PM
Railroads Railroads is offline
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Default Re: What was used before K&T wire?

I wonder if in days gone past one could have kept the K&T feel but used modern single core insulated conductors like those available now? Think along the lines of restoration work and wanting to keep a building as close to original as possible.

Robert
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Old 06-11-2018, 06:32:56 PM
slip knot slip knot is offline
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Default Re: What was used before K&T wire?

We got a house that the K&T is exactly that way, insulated single conductor. K&T itself was pretty safe. its the joinery that gets a bit sketchy. I've redone the connections but the wiring is still mostly original K&T.
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Old 06-11-2018, 06:54:42 PM
pegasuspinto pegasuspinto is offline
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Default Re: What was used before K&T wire?

As far as I know, knob-n-tube is still in code and can be repaired in grandfathered installations. Can't be used in new or remodel. I suspect there may be exceptions for some kind of historical reproduction type work.
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