It’s difficult to find a home in Tacoma Washington that does not have knob and tube wiring. Our town is composed of mostly older Craftsman, Tudor, Bungalow and Victorian style homes. With the admirable (and older) architecture comes dated systems (like electrical and plumbing). After decades of use, will eventually need to get replaced.

On a personal note – every home that I have ever invested in, has had older electrical and plumbing and I have no regrets! I’m a sucker for older homes and am happy to make the investment, knowing that the systems aren’t brand new either. It’s part of the “charm” I guess. Like most things in life, equipping yourself with information and understanding the long term impact is important to making a good investment.

When buying a home, it goes without saying, that you should have a home inspection. It is when the home is being inspected that an elaborate understanding of the plumbing and electrical is had. Here are TWO things that, if found, may indicate larger safety issues.

  • Tampered with or spliced wiring. These are usually noted in the attic, kitchen and bathrooms. If spliced or exposed wiring is unprotected in the attic near or on insulation this is especially important to be remedied immediately, as it is a safety hazard.
  • Dated electrical panel. There are certain electrical panels that have been deemed a safety hazard because of their inability to trip the breaker if a circuit is overcharged. They are Federal Pacific and Zinsco.

Remember! Your Realtor, you, nor the home inspectors can see into the walls! Be sure to use your inspection timeline to further investigate ALL deficiencies or oddities. You may not be able to get all the answers that you desire. But you should be able to come to a conclusion with your Realtor, whether the home is a good investment at the price you have negotiated. If not, there are plenty of fish in the sea. 😉

 

Happy House hunting my friends.

Knob and Tube Wiring that has been spliced and taped together – Tacoma, WA
Wiring found in kitchen with singed insulation attached – Having old wiring in your home can increase the chances of fire and may warrant higher annual home insurance cost.