I Have Old Knob and Tube Wiring – What Does That Mean?

Dear Bruce, I know that my house still has some old knob-and-tube style wiring. What does that mean and should I have it replaced? Bruce Says: Knob-and-tube is a wiring method employed starting in the early 20th century that used fabric covered single conductors strung through the ceiling like a railroad track and supported by porcelain knobs. There is no grounding conductor present only a hot and neutral. The wiring…

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Help! My Microwave & Coffee Pot Blow the Fuse

Dear Bruce If I use my microwave oven and my coffee pot at the same time it blows the fuse. Why and how can it be fixed? Should I just put in a bigger fuse? Bruce says: Older homes, those with fuse boxes, generally have very few branch circuits and these were used for general lighting and a few receptacle outlets. Keep in mind that people didn’t have all of…

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Why Do My New Breakers Keep Tripping?

Dear Bruce, We just bought a newly built home. We love the home but are having trouble with breakers tripping. When I turn on my vacuum cleaner the breaker trips. Sometimes, when I use the microwave the breaker trips. When I turn on the lamp in the kid’s bedroom the breaker will trip sometimes. This is a brand new house! Is the wiring faulty and am I in danger? This…

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Aluminum Wiring: What Do I Need to Know?

Dear Bruce I am considering buying a home with aluminum wiring. What do I need to know about this? Bruce Says… Aluminum wire was used in the 1960’s and 1970’s as an alternative to copper when prices took a sharp increase. There is nothing wrong with using aluminum wire, in fact if you bought a house just built it would most likely have some aluminum cable in it. Aluminum is…

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