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Walsh, managing partner of Elfant Wissahickon Realtors in Chestnut Hill.

Some homeowners' insurance companies want the systems to be removed before they will write policies, Walsh said, while other insurers will allow knob and tube.

But when major electrical appliances such as refrigerators and washing machines first appeared in the 1920s, he noted, "knob and tube was asked to handle major draws of power that it wasn't designed to do." Perhaps surprisingly, many knob-and-tube systems remain in good shape, though their use by electricians in household applications ended after 50 years - around 1930.

Even though credit remains rather tight these days, home buyers are opting to take on larger mortgages rather than take on the work required by shells or fixer-uppers they can purchase more cheaply.

Among older resale houses, one issue that keeps coming up is old wiring, especially the first-generation electrical system known as "knob and tube." Such a system consists of single-insulated copper conductors in walls or cavities in ceilings.

New home electrical systems may not be what you expected in your home’s efficiency upgrades, but this work is important to keep you family safe and protect your investment.

All Things Good can provide the expertise and experience to handle your home performance improvements and electrical system improvement without the hassles of finding, bidding and hiring a separate contractor.

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