scrapping a water heater?

Discussion in 'The Barber Shop' started by Bruce Wayne, Sep 21, 2011.

  1. I am picking up an old water heater from a friend tomorrow & I have some questions. First, is it worth it at all? Would I get more money if I seperate out the copper from the rest? What do you think it is worth? It is a 40 gallon heater.

  2. a 5 gallon bucket is going for about 50 bucks its like 3.65 right now. i do alot of mech work and get a ton of thick gauge wire and ill throw it in a bin untill i see the market hit 4plus then cash it in. if you have the time to strip it, hell its free money.
  3. Normally there is very little copper in a water heater,the tank is either galvanized iron or fiberglass.
  4. If it is an "old" water heater as described it is likely to have a thin galvanised steel outer shell, a thick layer of insulation under that and a copper heating tank in the middle. A friend and I scrapped a couple of these when I was younger and the money wasn't too bad at all (at a time when copper was worth much less than it is now). We chopped through the thin steel outer and the insulation with a battered old axe which did a great job of it. Just a warning though that if the tank is really old there is a small chance that asbestos wool may have been used for the insulation layer. In the two examples that we cut open (both dating from the 1960s), the insulation was a kind of solid expanding foam which the axe cut through without any problems.
  5. All I know is that when we set old water heaters out for trash, the scrappers that keep checking the property take them.
  6. jakespoppy

    jakespoppy Moderator Emeritus

    Sounds interesting. Let us know what you do with it.
  7. I say, pull a Mythbusters on it first! Way more awesome! (Ok... and dangerous)

    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 6, 2017
  8. thats exactally what i would do with it,more trouble than it;s worth.
  9. How much time and fuel will you have invested by the time you:

    1. go there
    2. pick it up
    3. bring it back
    4. cut it up
    5. get the good bits
    6. dispose of the rest
    7. take the valuable parts to a scrap yard
    8. return home with the money?
  10. I just got done scrapping the unit as a whole & I only got $11. Totally not worth it.
  11. Shoulda blew it up...

  12. From what I've seen from my local scrappers. That's a $10.00 crack rock and a cheap beer.
  13. Just paint "Pig Crap" on the side and throw it into the lake in your town.
  14. I can't- it's not a silo...
  15. they have to be worth something. After I replaced mine I stuck it at the end of the driveway- it was gone inside of an hour. It even had hatchet holes in it where I had busted it open to get the last 10 gallons of water out of it. It wasn't the trash man- he didn't come by until the next morning.
  16. The heater coils re copper as the fittings and others are brass. It only takes a moment to unscrew these you keep them til you have buckets full. you store the heaters til you have a truck or trailer load and then bring them to the scrap yard and you have a $50-$150 for the tanks and when the buckets are full you get the real money. Its not worth looking like Sanford and Sons to me so I don't do it but many people do.
  17. my local scrapper who does it to supplement his disability collects stuff and process' it until he has a load big enough to make a profit,then takes a trailer load to the scrap yard.its the only to make it worth while,a single water heater worth $11 multiplied by 30 or 40 can make a decent check,but its a lot of work.
  18. Alacrity59

    Alacrity59 Moderator Emeritus Contributor

    Interesting. We just saw a news story out of Newfoundland. A thief stole what must have been a 4 foot length of copper pipe running between a heating oil tank and the house it served. The heating oil leaked into the basement of the house and caused what I recall as being $30K in damage. The pipe was worth . . . $5. People are stealing man hole covers and wrought iron fences . . . wiring is being taken from landing lights from fields outside of airports. Nutz!
  19. Around here they are stealing air conditioners from homes and businesses. or renting houses in the country and scrapping them out while the owner is none the wiser and they are gone before its realized along with every piece of copper pipe and wire. Another trick that is gaining popularity is to use a battery saws-all and cut the catalytic converters out from under trucks that they can crawl under. A sharp blade and your done in a minute or two and the converters scrap for hundreds of dollars in some cases.
  20. hunger and addiction are great motivators.they are slaughtering cows at the gates to pastures around houston and such places.if the economy tamks on out there is no telling what lengths they mite go to.

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