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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    20

    Question Modern outlets and ligh switches on K&T?

    I would say that 90% of my house has updated romex wiring but there are still a couple of light switches and outlets using K&T. I just repainted the inside of the house and updated all the outlets and switches but I have left the old K&T switches/outlets alone because they just dont look the same... those 70 switches are gnarly looking. Anyway, my question is... can I put modern light switches and outlets on those old K&T wires? Do I need to do anything special to do that? Do I need special switches or plugs? Thanks in advance guys... I read all the K&T threads and I couldnt find one where this question was asked.

    By the way... the casing around the K&T is in great shape... at least the wiring I can see

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Lakeland ,MN
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    356

    Default Re: Modern outlets and ligh switches on K&T?

    Quote Originally Posted by chaz7979 View Post
    I would say that 90% of my house has updated romex wiring but there are still a couple of light switches and outlets using K&T. I just repainted the inside of the house and updated all the outlets and switches but I have left the old K&T switches/outlets alone because they just dont look the same... those 70 switches are gnarly looking. Anyway, my question is... can I put modern light switches and outlets on those old K&T wires? Do I need to do anything special to do that? Do I need special switches or plugs? Thanks in advance guys... I read all the K&T threads and I couldnt find one where this question was asked.

    By the way... the casing around the K&T is in great shape... at least the wiring I can see
    Becareful the more you disturb K&T the insulation becomes brittle and crumbles. So the more you move it around the worse it becomes.

    Switches should be fine.
    But outlets today have ground terminals and K&T doesn't use a grounding conductor. If you replace them I suggest a GFI and use the labels in the box that says no ground is present. For further protection replace that circuits breaker with a new AFCI circuit breaker. good luck
    Harry

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Pacific Northwet
    Posts
    1,565

    Default Re: Modern outlets and ligh switches on K&T?

    As for the light switches, you should be able to use any light switch for a replacement.

    It's good to hear that the insulation on the wires is in good shape. A lot of these installations aren't so lucky. If you do end up with some bad insulation, I recommend covering the wire with heat-shrink tubing if you can't replace the wire. Use a heat gun -- not a torch or lighter -- to set the tubing. You don't want to catch something on fire. It's a lot neater and works better than tape.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: Modern outlets and ligh switches on K&T?

    So, I should be using those outlets that you see in kitchens and bathrooms anywhere in my house where K&T is running to the outlet?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Lakeland ,MN
    Posts
    356

    Default Re: Modern outlets and ligh switches on K&T?

    Quote Originally Posted by chaz7979 View Post
    So, I should be using those outlets that you see in kitchens and bathrooms anywhere in my house where K&T is running to the outlet?
    correct the reason behind that is it will pick up a fault without a grounded outlet and trip the outlet.
    Harry

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    666

    Default Re: Modern outlets and ligh switches on K&T?

    Here's a great article regarding receptacle replacement on K&T.

    http://ecmweb.com/mag/electric_repla...re_ungrounded/

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