Q about upraging ele service

First want to say hallo to everyone. I've been reading this ng for few months in anticipation of house we bought and came into possesion last friday. It being a 30 yr old house, there are few things that need to be fixed. Furnace to start with, windows and few extra things. No suprises so far, knew all the defficiencies before. Anyway, my first q is re. electrical service and wiring. The house has an all AL wiring with copper pigtails. The service is underground 100A, with 12 pos. panel, housing mostly tandem breakers. We are planning a major renovations in the house, incl. removal of some walls etc. Almost eferything in the house is "original". Since there are no free spaces in the panel, I was thinking about upgrading it. I know it is easier and cheaper to add a subpanel, but I rather go with a new SQ D 40 cct one. Now, since there will be a lot of upgrades, incl plumbing, I was thinking about upgrading wiring. I would like to replace all the wiring and receptacles, + add new ones. I always thoung that taking off the drywall and replacing power is thew way to go, but someone suggested to me to skip that and juist fish the wires through the walls. Is that possible/reasonable to do in a whole house? (2 story, colonial style) In a case of one or few additional receptacles being added, fishing seems like normal thing to do, however in a major work as planned, I can't see it possible. Might me cheaper since no drywall replacement is involved, but can ele. inspection be even done when fishing is performed? Anyway, what are the options, how is this normally performed? Also, since the panel will probably be upgraded before all the additional work is performed, any idea on cost involved? Labour only. (I'm in Ottawa/Canada) Thanks
Martin
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You can probably fish a lot of the wire and take out some drywall for the rest. This is something where planning is the first step. Map out your circuits and see how many can be replaced with planned renovation, (involving drywall removal) then see what it will take to fish the rest. Bear in mind aluminum is really only dangerous at improper terminations and removing every piece may be overkill. As for the service, if you are unhappy with your panel, replace it while you have the place torn up. At that point upping the amps may be trivial. The utility may already have a 200a service lateral in place. That is something you have to check. If you do have to replace the service lateral that could be pricy.
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Greg wrote:

I'll just add that you can usually put a smaller main breaker in a 200A panel if the service lines are too small for a 200A breaker. That would still give you 40 spaces to work with. Replacement main breakers are not cheap, but they are cheaper than replacing the service wires.
I would probably get rid of every piece of AL wiring on circuits less than 30A. I would keep any AL wire feeder circuits or heavy appliance circuits if they were in good shape. For the 30A circuits (electric dryer, water heater, etc), it depends on how easy it is to redo them.
Bob
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Just buy the right one in the first place. You might not find it at the Home Depot but an electrical supply can get 42 slot panels with 100a-150a breakers.
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