Rendering copper from Romex
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
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    DuPage County, Illinois USA
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    Default Rendering copper from Romex

    Anyone have a good way to salvage the copper wire from various types of Romex? I have a boat load of it from the house I'm working on and the cut and strip method is going to be very labor intensive. A buddy of mine who lived out in the county use to throw all his old wiring into a 55 gallon burn barrel. I can't do that here. Wonder if one couldn't make some sort of jig to speed it up.
    Regards, Barry

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Ennis, TX USA
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    Default Re: Rendering copper from Romex

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    A buddy of mine who lived out in the county use to throw all his old wiring into a 55 gallon burn barrel. I can't do that here.
    We are not supposed to that here anymore either.

    There is a quite place about 1-1/2 hours from you called Lake Geneva, WI. You should be able to barrell burn there.
    Chuck Norris has a grizzly bear carpet in his room. The bear isn't dead it is just afraid to move.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
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    DuPage County, Illinois USA
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    Default Re: Rendering copper from Romex

    I looked around and all I saw was one of those little fancy portable fire pits. Not sure that would work. They do allow burning up there. Maybe a little pine scent to throw in with all the burning vinyl? Hey, it could all end up in the landfill if I didn't render it.

    BTW, voice of experience here, before you go stripping electrical wiring by hand, ALWAYS cut off the looped ends that were attached to a switch or receptacle!

    Here is why I only use thin wall conduit and romex is not code (at least here):

    https://www.beesource.com/imgs/wirechew1.jpg
    https://www.beesource.com/imgs/wirechew2.jpg
    Regards, Barry

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Cameron, MO
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    583

    Default Re: Rendering copper from Romex

    I know its not the proper way but I always took my "scrap" wire up into the mtns made a big bonfire w/ pallets and burnt it off. It'll give ya a headache if you get a whiff but its nice to get up in the hills and watch the stars while things melt away$$$. Some metal buyers will try to buy it at a #2 CU price which a bit less but I have found buyers that will give you #1 CU price.
    Also if you lay it out in the hot sun it cuts alot easier!!!! careful dont cut the fingers!

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    dallas, tx, usa
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    532

    Default Re: Rendering copper from Romex

    Copper is not wax. Just curious what you were planning to do with this "rendered" copper? The scrap yard will take what you have without the toxic mess you are gonna make.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    Dexter, Maine
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    Default Re: Rendering copper from Romex

    they will take it, but they pay very little for insulated romex. Stripping romex with a knife increases the value, but is alot of work. Not great hourly wage. Fire is good.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Jacksonville, Florida USA
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    Default Re: Rendering copper from Romex

    I was told you can tie one end to a tree and the other to a truck and when you tighten up on it the insulation will tear and come off easy. I have never done this myself though.
    Michael Leach

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
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    DuPage County, Illinois USA
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    Default Re: Rendering copper from Romex

    Quote Originally Posted by mythomane View Post
    The scrap yard will take what you have without the toxic mess you are gonna make.
    It's OK for someone else to make the toxic mess, but I shouldn't? Somewhere along the process, the reality of living in a toxic world comes to reality. OK, so instead of burning it, I'll put it all (less the copper) in the trash and it will sit in the ground doing it's toxic thing. I'm for a clean earth, but I do have material on my hands that cost a lot in energy to make in the first place, and along with the valuable copper comes a non reusable coating of vinyl.
    Regards, Barry

  10. #9
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Farmington, New Mexico
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    Default Re: Rendering copper from Romex

    The thieves who steal it out of my buildings take it out in the arroyos and burn it. Then they sell it to one of my commercial tenants who runs a scrap yard. I feel like I have my own little stimulus program going.

    Here's a device that might work for you.

    http://www.thewirezipper.com/index.htm


    There are also some machines on Ebay that are in the $2,000 range.
    Nobody ruins my day without my permission, and I refuse to grant it...

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    Lake county, Indiana 46408-4109
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    Default Re: Rendering copper from Romex

    Both of thoes look like a fire waiting to happen.

    https://www.beesource.com/imgs/wirechew1.jpg
    https://www.beesource.com/imgs/wirechew2.jpg

    Recycle place close to me advertises prices for used extension cords and a few weeks ago when I took some cans in the had a box full of used Christmas lites.
    Ed, KA9CTT profanity is IGNORANCE made audible
    you can`t fix stupid not even with duct tape

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    El Dorado County, CA
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    605

    Default Re: Rendering copper from Romex

    how bout weighing it and figuring what you would get at the scrap yard for it. then put it on craigslist under materials for the same price, especialy if you have some longer pieces.
    no i have never done this.
    all that is gold does not glitter

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Loganville, GA
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    Default Re: Rendering copper from Romex

    You might try an electrical contractor if you know any? They might throw you a bone? Most of the larger companies around here have the machines Barry mentioned for stripping all the wire they either pull out from upgrades or left over wire on the projects.

    The stuff is like gold these days and they all keep it to recover some of their losses from the crazy price fluctuations.
    "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." Winston Churchill

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Louisville Kentucky USA
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    Default Re: Rendering copper from Romex

    When I recycled mine they had a stripped price(number1)and a burned price(number2) and a little lower price for wire with the insulation on it.After I stripped some I figured the lower price was my best bet.I guess my time is worth something.I still made a bunch on the wire.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    Fresno California USA
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    Default Re: Rendering copper from Romex

    When you burn plastic vinyl insulation to salvage the scrap you are joining the ranks of methamphetamine addicts and so forth who can't see any further than a few quarters to put in your pocket. Burning that produces poison gas big time. You shouldn't do it.

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Rome NY USA
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    Thumbs Up Re: Rendering copper from Romex

    Hi, I am an electrician its not worth your time or the environmental impact to burn you wont get any more cash for burned wire. If you want premium price you have to strip the wire and its not worth it so just go turn it in. here in NY #2 copper is 1.00 a POUND.

  17. #16
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    Dec 1999
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    DuPage County, Illinois USA
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    Default Re: Rendering copper from Romex

    I have stated that I can't burn it. All the outer sheathings have been removed, now I have a ton of 4' lengths of #12 wire to strip.
    Regards, Barry

  18. #17
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    Default Re: Rendering copper from Romex

    well now all you need is a couple 12packs, some friends, and some sharp pocket kinves.

  19. #18
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    Default Re: Rendering copper from Romex

    12 packs and sharp knifes hummmmmmm
    Ed, KA9CTT profanity is IGNORANCE made audible
    you can`t fix stupid not even with duct tape

  20. #19
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    Mar 2008
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    Ennis, TX USA
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    Default Re: Rendering copper from Romex

    Quote Originally Posted by brac View Post
    well now all you need is a couple 12packs, some friends, and some sharp pocket kinves.
    Couple 12 packs? Make it a couple 30's and I might get off the Lazy Boy.
    Chuck Norris has a grizzly bear carpet in his room. The bear isn't dead it is just afraid to move.

  21. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Falconer, NY
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    206

    Wink Re: Rendering copper from Romex

    I'm sorry that I cant tell you what it looked like in detail, but an old friend of mine, years ago made a wire stripper out of steel, welded it to a steel column and pulled the wire thru it with his crane. It was large diameter wire, and no, not everybody has a crane and a column handy but the possability exists. Think outside the box.

    ut


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