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If you’ve had plumbing changes to your home, whether it be from a leaky pipe or simply an upgrade, you may have some relatively valuable scrap metal on hand that can be converted into cash if you take advantage of the metal recycling services at your local metal recycling center. In Toronto, there are many companies that will buy the scrap metal that you would have otherwise thrown away during renovations.
Identifying Old Plumbing
Old plumbing is usually comprised of copper tubing and brass fittings. Copper has a golden brown color and is fairly easy to bend with your hands, as opposed to steel pipe, which is gray or rusty in color and quite rigid. A magnet will stick to steel, but not copper, and gives you an easy way to tell the difference if the pipe is painted to where you can’t see its natural color.
Copper generally pays between $2.63 and $3.16 per pound. Fittings at each end of the tubing are usually a different metal. If yellow in color, they are known as yellow brass and are generally worth between $1.58 and $2.10 per pound. If you don’t remove the brass fittings and sell them separately, the company buying the tubing will have to make a price or weight allowance for the difference in value.
Steel pipe and fittings will only bring somewhere around 8 to 11 cents per pound, so it is important to sort them out of the copper and brass when selling.
Other Plumbing Parts
Other plumbing scrap includes faucets and thin tubes that carry water from the supply line to the sink. The lines will typically be silver colored, since there is a layer of chrome plating on the brass to keep the surface from corroding, and give you the clean shiny look you prefer. If you make a deep cut into the line, you will see a yellow color under the chrome.
Brass faucets can be chrome plated or simply finished in a way that shows the bronze color without allowing corrosion. Again, getting below the chrome coating will show you the true metal you are dealing with, and these will be bought as yellow brass.
Pricing or Lack Thereof
Cheaper faucets over the years had been made from zinc or plastic with the same shiny silver-colored finish – zinc will show grey when you cut through the chrome and is only worth a few cents per pound. Plastic is fragile and will break under a hammer – I’m unaware of anybody that buys plastic faucets.
Armed with this knowledge, you are set to make a little money from the next plumbing renovation project, assuming you don’t let the contractor carry off the scrap metal where they will most likely sell off for scrap metal.
Dave Fusselman is the owner of Fusselman Salvage, a Missouri metal recycling center in Moberly, MO. Visit his website at www.FusselMetals.com for more information on recycling scrap metal or find more of his writings on his Google+ page.
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