at 12:56:58 PM
If I lived a bit closer, I would come and have a look as well ;)
You know Cassy, I am a bit tired of people being taken advantage of and am finding more and more unskilled people that think they can go and buy a ruler, drill, roll of wire, and some wood, that they can build anything. I understand people make decisions about their career, some not good ones and want a change.
I have been in the electrical trade since I was 16, with my first shock at 12 and knew what I wanted to be when I saw what electricity can do. I am serious about my career and helping others and I am also a homeowner who gets trades in to do work in my home as well so know who is playing games with people and who is serious. I have been burned by crooks and have been pleasantly surprised by others. Fact is, money doesn't come to people easy and nor should it from crooked tradesmen. I don't put on a white coat and pretend I am a dentist because I have an office, a chair, dental floss and a toothbrush, so why should that guy who can buy wire at the home depot be wiring houses?... because he knows white goes to white, and black to black... truth is, you can use a white as a black wire in certain cases... do they know that??? NO. I do because I read that 1200 page book called the Canadian Electrical Code and passed the Masters exam with over 90% AND follow good business practices.
I am now a master electrician with my own company and even if I can persuade 1 person per week to use licensed and fully trained (compliant) tradesmen, I feel THAT home owner and customer have received the best person possible. I am not saying people cannot be good at different trades, but the lawyer who turned carpenter, who turned writer, who turned plumber, into an electrician is certainly not serious about his career and merely testing the waters to see what makes the most money with fewest headaches...
Don't be afraid of aluminum wire, just get someone to have a look at various boxes and check it randomly. I offer electrical inspections for people like you and maybe someone local there will do so as well.
All house aluminum is 12 and larger so no surprise there and actually it is the coating (insulation) that makes its rating, not the fact it is aluminum or copper. Did you know the high tower wires are aluminum and carry over 120,000 volts! copper wires are far too heavy for these jobs.