When it comes to working on electrical systems in old and historic homes, one word is more important above all others: patience. There are no shortcuts that allow you to replace old wiring and still maintain the original appearance of your home.
The secret is to find inconspicuous places to access the wall space and then fish wires as necessary. This is not quick work, but it’s a skill I’ve built over the course of my career. I’ve been able to completely rewire many historic homes around Richmond with little to no alteration of their appearance.
Does my old wiring need to be replaced?
While there are some instances where old wiring can remain in place, it’s important to know that there’s a reason why we have modern safety codes to follow. Much of that is due to lessons learned the hard way over the years. Additionally, older wiring simply can’t handle the strain from powerful, modern appliances and gadgets.
Knob & Tube Wiring
Many of the old and historic homes around Richmond have what’s called knob & tube wiring. It was used quite a bit from the 1880s to the 1930s, and can be identified by flexible cloth-covered wires running through protective porcelain tubes in joists and studs then supported along their length on grounding porcelain knobs.
Local codes set minimum standards for updating these electrical systems and any time the work we do requires a permit, those minimum standards are incorporated into the project. If this type of wiring is present in your home, you should expect to replace the old fuse box with an updated panel to handle the 220 volt circuits and likely expansion of the systems in your house.
Every home is different, and I’ve worked in a lot of them. One thing that is consistent is that each one surprises me with something new. I’ve built a reputation of solving these tough challenges while remaining on schedule and on budget, and I’d love a chance to do the same thing for you.