Cross-post: Upgrading Electrical with Vermiculite Insulation
This is a cross-post with the Electrical Wiring forum, seeing as there is limited activity there.
Is it possible to upgrade the electrical wiring in an old house if there is vermiculite insulation in the exterior walls?
Was aware it was in the attic, but when I had a contractor come and do some work in our kitchen, I found out the hard way it was in the walls too. He didn't even know what it was (I was stunned) and let about half of it out of our walls and just dumped it in the garbage. Naturally I flipped out, and even though I am over it now (though, I will never hire him again), I am afraid to do anything major with this house.
However, I want this house to be our "forever home" and it is in desperate need of a wiring upgrade. The house is from the early 1940s and most of our wiring is cloth-wrapped. We have a 200 amp electrical panel, but the whole house dims when the microwave or vacuum cleaner is running. I should also mention that the main cutoff switch is a Federal Pacific unit, which should probably be replaced as well, given their reputation.
Is it possible or even wise to upgrade the electrical? What's more dangerous... disturbing the vermiculite during abatement or leaving old/questionable electrical wiring in the walls? Can electricians somehow replace wiring without opening up the walls enough to let the vermiculite out? If I had to hire an asbestos removal specialist first, how much would something like that cost? Any ideas?