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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Maple Grove, MN
    Posts
    1,338

    Scrap metal sorting

    I am fairly new to the game of saving and turning in scrap metal, and I have a question for y'all.

    I pretty much get how to sort #1 and #2 copper, and know how to cut the steel tube sheets off of coils, but I am not completely sure what to do about brass.

    Right now I have a 5 gallon bucket full of a mixture of brass stuff, including things like relief valves, ball valves, pipe fittings, refrigerant schrader fittings, refrigerant sight glasses, etc. How should I sort it to get a decent price from the scrap yard. Do things like the stainless ball inside of a ball valve, steel pieces as part of a relief valve, or the glass inside of a sight glass screw up my price? I have already removed the steel handles from the ball valves, should I be doing more? Do I need to figure out the difference between yellow and red brass, or should I just keep everything mixed together.

    I don't really want to put a ton of work into sorting everything out, but I would like to get a decent price out of it.

    What do you guys do???

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Anderson, South Carolina, United States
    Posts
    7,477
    If its got steel in it (they usually waive a strong magnet over the brass when I go ie. reversing valves, ball valves etc.) they give me copper bearing steel price which was $.50/lb last time I went (same as tube sheets). If its all brass they throw it in with #2 copper and weigh it together and give same price for both.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Atlanta GA area
    Posts
    21,412
    Agree... sort out the pure brass from the brass + (whatever)...

    The scrap yard I go to... they are sloppy about CO and brass... I get by with more than I should...

    Electrical wire is a category, aluminum is a category, scrap steel is a category, motors (fan/blower, clean with no blade or wires) is a category, compressors are a category... and probably a couple more I forgot.
    GA-HVAC-Tech

    Quality work at a fair price with excellent customer service!

    Romans Ch's 5-6-7-8

    2 Chronicles 7:14

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Winter Park, FL
    Posts
    11
    Check your local scrap yard - they should have the rules posted on how to sort your metals if you don't want to get the going lump sum scrap metal rate. One of our local yards doesn't like capacitors, so we have to remove those before we bring our scrap motors.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    3,234
    Im in the same boat , I have a pile of radiators from cars , and a few condensers.

    Car rads .... do I knock off the plastic tanks from the sides ??

    Condensers , Do i just remove the tin plates where the U -bends are ?

    I have some aluminum cylinder heads too , like from weed trimmers , and mowers ..... I guess i need to remove valves and guides so its pure alum , or is that just Not worth all that time ?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Atlanta GA area
    Posts
    21,412
    Quote Originally Posted by Snapperhead View Post
    Im in the same boat , I have a pile of radiators from cars , and a few condensers.

    Car rads .... do I knock off the plastic tanks from the sides ??

    Condensers , Do i just remove the tin plates where the U -bends are ?

    I have some aluminum cylinder heads too , like from weed trimmers , and mowers ..... I guess i need to remove valves and guides so its pure alum , or is that just Not worth all that time ?
    The scrap yards around here are fussy about aluminum being 'pure'... no other stuff. Depending on the yard not so much with CO. I cut the CO 'U' sections off the ends of the coils 'close', they are #2 CO... the plates come off easily when the 'U's are cut close.

    As to whether it is worth it... well here is what I think: If I am gonna load the trailer and go to the scrap yard with lots of stuff that will make me $$$... why not take as much stuff as the trailer will carry and get the few extra $$$'s. The trash folks do not always take it unless you hide it in the can... so may as well get paid a little for it and get rid of it.
    GA-HVAC-Tech

    Quality work at a fair price with excellent customer service!

    Romans Ch's 5-6-7-8

    2 Chronicles 7:14

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    4,970
    Thats funny how this thread popped up being thats what I,m digging through today. Going through piles of scrap , piles of copper , aluminum , black pipe and fitting ....... taking them apart and sorting.

    Ok so there is a small pile of appliance connectors and I very seldom use them but carry a few on the trucks just in case. Pretty much the stainless coated ones. So there are some brass and stainless uncoated ones in a pile that look like they have never been used but some you can't really tell , some have tags and some have rings with info on them. Gotta stop letting that stuff get put in corners and shelves where no one knows whats burried there. Well the paper tagged ones are easy to read but the with the metal ring tags are not to easy to read but if I use a marker on them I think I will be able to read them. So can anyone tell me what appliance connector are obsolete and cannot be used ????????
    Guessing some of those may end up being scrapped while I'm at it. Not like I end up with much stainless but always have a lot of brass.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    French Settlement, Louisiana, United States
    Posts
    287
    How much more do you really get by cutting a coil up versus just selling it whole? Does anyone know? I always hear its more but never how much more.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Atlanta GA area
    Posts
    21,412
    BUNCHES MORE!!!

    How much... I do not remember what they hit you for if you do not take the ends off, however it is a substantial loss.
    GA-HVAC-Tech

    Quality work at a fair price with excellent customer service!

    Romans Ch's 5-6-7-8

    2 Chronicles 7:14

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Anderson, South Carolina, United States
    Posts
    7,477
    Quote Originally Posted by coolcajun View Post
    How much more do you really get by cutting a coil up versus just selling it whole? Does anyone know? I always hear its more but never how much more.
    Around here its only 10-15 cents per lb more for clean coils, then you get 50 cents/lb for the tube sheets if some of the u bends are left in it. Unless I have a big haul I don't waste my time cutting them off.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Toronto Canada
    Posts
    1,090
    Quote Originally Posted by coolcajun View Post
    How much more do you really get by cutting a coil up versus just selling it whole? Does anyone know? I always hear its more but never how much more.
    when Times where slow I had a MULTI CENT operation going.If the coils are big to medium I would cut the ends off. The guy at the scale told me to leave it on the small ones cause it will be more $$. I was amazed at making $$ from Garbage.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Roswell, Georgia
    Posts
    405
    our scrap yard pays you a lot less if there is ANY steel on the aluminum, copper or brass. I cut the tube sheet ends off ALL coils. Cuttting of the small u bend elbows though is a wast of time, they are paper thin and it takes hundreds of them to even make a pound of copper. talk to the guys at your yard, they will help you figure it out, its time well spent to ask.

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