Your home's electrical system is nothing to play around with. Do-it-yourself is not recommended. Always hire a licensed, insured electrician for any electrical repairs or upgrades. Your family's safety is certainly worth that much. Many unqualified handymen have done electrical work on older homes through the years. Our electricians come accross the evidence of these dangerous conditions every day.
The photo above shows how some "electricians" splice into old and deteriorated knob and tube circuits, instead of replacing the circuit with a modern and safe grounded circuit.
One of our electricians felt uncomfortable leaving a home recently when he examined the electrical panel below. There are so many safety issues with this panel, all we could do was urge the homeowner to have it replaced by a licenced electrician, even if it was not us.
Insurance companies are refusing to insure homes with knob and tube wiring, or charging extremely high rates. This should also tell you that this wiring is unsafe. It is unsafe for so many reasons. The top of my list of reasons is that this wiring is extremely old and ungrounded. Over the years, shady electricians and handymen have re-used this deteriorated wiring and tapped into it with newer wiring: a recipe for disaster, hidden inside your walls. If you are living in a charming older home, have GEN3 come out and perform a Knob and Tube Investigation. It is a lengthy, thorough inspection of your home's wiring followed by a Summary of Findings and recommendations with various options for upgrading and modernizing your electrical system to protect your family, electronics and appliances.