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Question DetailsAsked on 7/31/2013

How much is it likely to cost to replace all knob and tube wiring and install grounded outlets throughout my home?

The house, built in 1920, is in Dayton, OH, and is 2300 sq ft. plus a walk-up attic and two-car garage, both with electric. Our insurer wants all the knob and tube out. Panel has circuit breakers, not fuses, but wiring in basement is messy, with many splices and lamp cord all over the place. Would like to get grounded outlets (as in actually, functionally grounded) to replace as many as possible of the two prong ones throughout the house. Also am hoping we can get dedicated circuits (if they are not already there) for the fridge, dishwasher, washer/dryer, attic AC, etc., unless that is overkill. Am wondering if anyone has had this done, or if there are any electricians who have done a similar overhaul, and can give a very ballpark estimate of cost. And, what will it cost to repair the plaster when holes inevitably have to be put in the walls?

We have a partial estimate for some of the work (maybe half?) for ~$1400.00.

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Voted Best Answer

The $1400 might cover reapirs to drywall and painting after the replacement - maybe.

Generally, full K&T wiring replacement runs $5-10,000 in your size home, with higher end of brick and CMU rather than wood walls, lack of exposed attic or basement joists to facilitate wiring, 3 stories, etc.

Because you would be replacing more than half the electrical system, code generally requires that it ALL be brought up to code - including separate circuits for major appliances and fire/smoke/CO alarms and for water heater (if electric) and furnace, grounded outlets, and AFCI/GFCI protection on all outdoor, attic, wet or damp areas.

I would be VERY leery of keeping the circuit breaker panel - for one thing, unlikely to meet modern ampacity, and from the sound of the wiring probably pretty old (though post K&T days), so getting replacement breakers in the future might cost a bundle - some old out-of-production breakers now cost $200-300 each. I would go with totally new wiring and boxes from the utility service feed (assuming it meets code and has capacity - it might need replacement too), and I would go with minimum 200 Amp 240V service - you probably have 60-100 A house capacity and possibly only 120V.

Answered 7 years ago by LCD

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