Are you collecting copper so that you can turn it in for cash at a local scrap yard? If so, one of the places where you'll frequently see copper hiding is inside wires. Here is what you need to know about looking for any identifying copper in this frequently found object.
Many households will get rid of standard insulated wire, which is used for electronic devices and gadgets. When you look inside the wire, you'll notice a single strand of copper that is easy to identify. These wires should only have copper in them as well, which makes them an easy target for scrapping. It is not worth stripping the wire unless you have a very large amount of it and an easy way to get the insulated casing off. Otherwise, you are better off collecting a large bundle of this type of wire and scrapping it with the insulation still on the wire.
Aluminum BX Cables
You may run across flexible aluminum casings that contain copper wires inside them. The first step is to identify if the casing is aluminum or steel, which you can do by using a magnet, because aluminum is not magnetic. Make sure that you separate your steel casings from the aluminum ones, since aluminum is worth more to a scrap yard. You'll need to pull that casing back so that you can remove the wires that are inside of it. Aluminum BX cables typically have about three strands of copper wire inside them, which are going to be thicker than your standard insulated wire and in a continuous run. It is actually worth stripping the insulation from these wires so that you get the most value from the copper.
You may also run across thicker copper cables that are used in commercial spaces and often discarded. These cables have a simple insulated casing around them and several thick strands of copper wire inside of them. It will be worth it to strip the insulation from the wire, which will increase the value of the copper wires inside to be worth much more than they would otherwise.
Copper cables come in various grades with different types of insulating material. You may get lucky and find a very thick copper cable with several large strands of copper on the inside, or a thinner cable that wraps thin strands of copper with aluminum. No matter what form the copper cable comes in, it is always worth removing that insulating layer.
For more tips on scrapping copper wires, talk to a copper recycling company in your area.