I am not an electrician at all so I ask from a position of extreme ignorance.

But, in my basement, there is some knob and tube wiring which serves the sole purpose of powering some lights in the basement. You can see the entire k&t wiring system--it goes from the box to the lights, and nowhere else.

I would love to think that getting rid of this wiring is as simple as shutting off the electricity, disconnecting that k&t wire from the box, and basically that would be it. Ready to just pull the wiring down and trash it.

But I bet you're going to tell me there's a bunch more to it than that and I had better do the responsible thiing and pay the nice electrician his $2000.

Your thoughts?

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    edit in some pictures, but I think you are being a bit hasty in your assumptions about what we'll tell you. If it's a simple as you state, that seems like a rather high quote for an electrician, frankly. Of course, you may have other things going on (such as what box it comes from, and how old THAT is, and is it an actual Fuse box with fuses and what-not) that would make the number more reasonable if you were fixing those things as well.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Jun 3, 2021 at 0:45
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    Please post photos of the existing fuse/breaker box(es) and the K&T as well Commented Jun 3, 2021 at 1:20
  • What are you asking, exactly? Please edit your title to ask a clear, specific question. We're not a discussion forum.
    – isherwood
    Commented Jun 3, 2021 at 2:13
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    I'm asking "easy remove" after describing the situationn. Others have given helpful advice as to what other information would be useful to describe the situation. Commented Jun 3, 2021 at 2:31
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    It's an easy remove. See @Ed Beal answer. I stripped a three bedroom duplex in 2.5 hours in New Orleans after Katrina. Took a week to rewire it. Keep a voltage tester handy and take a lot of measurements before cutting.... (that's how I got the hole in my Kleins)
    – JACK
    Commented Jun 3, 2021 at 12:14

1 Answer 1


Basically to remove a circuit you have it right disconnect the power and remove the wires, the slightly more complicated side is installing modern wiring.

With removal I suggest first mapping the wiring as things may tap off the basement and feed receptacles and lighting in rooms on the main floor. I have seen homes with 1 lighting circuit for the entire home on many homes from Victorian to built in the 40’s a single lighting circuits and even a few receptacles.

If the K&T only services the basement yes it is that easy to remove. I have seen a couple of homes that were built close to the end of K&T that had lighting circuits for each floor, but these usually have had receptacles also. Just know what you are decommissioning.

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