re ugrade to my electrical service

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Posted by: from London
7/21/2011 at 8:16:20 PM

my insurance company had a home inspection done and everything was fine except my wiring because i have aluninum wiring they tell me i either have to change my panel from fuse to breaker or remove my aluminum wiring i think i have opted for the panel change

i have a 150 amp sevice and was wondering if you could give me some direction on who would be the best company for the jod and ruffly how much something like this would cost

i own a semi detached home and was converted from electric heat to gas some 15 years ago and stove was changed to gas at same time so only real big draw in my house is dry which is not use to often any help or feedback you could give me would be greatly welcomed

thank you

mike cambridge

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Date/Time7/23/2011 at 4:09:56 PM

Hi Mike

There are two separate issues here. The AL wiring and the panel change / service upgrade. I have for a long time stated that AL wire is safe as long as it is properly maintained and the correct devices are used. I have also maintained that in general fuses are safer then breakers, however many fuse panels have been comprised over the years because of using the incorrect size or type of fuse.

It sounds like your insurance company is driving this but I have to admit, unless there is an obvious sign of a hazard, doing any of these things will not make your place safer .

I would start with the service change I suppose, as this will allow the other items to be changed out as you complete other renos. Your local utility will determine what the max size of service you can install. You may be limited to your existing 125 amp service. The next size would be 200 amp, which in most cases is more than enough.

Get a minimum of three electrical contractors out there to price out the job. Make sure they are registered and can provide you with an ECRA # and then look them up on the Electrical Safety Authority web site. Pick the electrical contractor that you feel is giving you what you want (quality of materials, timeframe, personality, etc) at the price you are willing to pay.

Hope that works for you.


John Kuehnl-Cadwell

Master Electrician

Datawise Solutions Inc

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