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Tips for identifying & making the most money for your copper....
Copper has many different catagories, all of them paying differently. By seperating your copper into catagories, you will end up with more cash in your hand! While others may throw all insulated wire into a "low grade" mixture and pay bottom dollar, Al's Metal Recycling will take the time to seperate and educate our customers on the different grades, which can pay up to 75% per pound more than low grade pricing.
Insulated copper is classified by a few different factors, most importantly is the size of the copper wire and the amount of insulation around the wire. We have prepared some photos to give examples of the different grades you may see. If you are still unsure which catagory yours fall in, please feel free to stop by and we will be happy to help you determine what you have!
Pure copper, no sweat joints, coatings, or heavy corrosion.
If in stranded or wire form, each strand must be at least the size of pencil lead or larger to qualify as #1 copper.
# 2 Copper
Any copper with sweat joints, heavy corrosion, colored coatings, in the form of thin sheet or stranded wire with each strand being smaller than pencil lead.
#1 Copper Insulated (80%)
Any wiring where the copper strand is larger than a pencil lead and the insulated cover is equal to or less than 20% of the weight. Approx. 80% copper to 20% insulation ratio.
#1 Copper Insulated
1 to 5 solid copper wires, each insulated and then contained in a plastic sheath, with a copper content of approx. 65% copper to 35% insulation. Usually found in house wiring.
#2 Copper Insulated (50%)
Any wiring where the copper strand is smaller than a pencil lead and the insulated cover is equal to or less than 50% of the weight. Approx. 50% copper to 50% insulation ratio.
Ethernet Networking Cables
These cables can have 2 to 50 or more small insulated wires in a one jacket. Commonly found in networking and internet wiring. Contrary to popular believe this wire has an above average value, not to be confused with low grade.
#3 Copper Insulated (40%)
Any copper wiring where the insulation content is greater than the copper content with an approx ratio of 40% copper to 60% insulation. Example of this is extention cords.
#4 Copper Insulated (30%)
* Low Grade
Any copper wiring where the insulation content is greater than the copper content with an approx. ratio of 70% insulation and 30% copper.
#5 Copper Insulated (10%)
Any insulated copper wiring where the insulation is greater than the copper content with an approx. 90% insulation to 10% copper ratio. Specifically found in strands of christmas lights.
Engine Wiring Harness
Insulated wiring found in the dash and engine compartment of vehicles. This will be in harness form and cannot include the fuse box.
More Non-Ferrous Metals & Specialty Commodities...
A non-ferrous metal is any metal, including alloys, that does not contain iron in appreciable amounts. A magnet will not stick to non-ferrous metals.
Other "specialty commodities" like compressors/sealed units, electric motors & lighting ballasts are a mixture of ferrous & non-ferrous metals, these items are more valuable than average ferrous metals.
Click on any photo below to view the item's description.
Ferrous is an adjective used to indicate the presence of iron. If a magnet sticks to metal, it is a ferrous metal which would inlude auto bodies, appliances, steel & iron for example.