Scrap copper is one of our customers’ favorite metals to hunt for, because it’s always in high demand. Even non-scrappers know that copper is a consistently valuable material. One of the most common ways to find copper is in the form of copper wire.

The Most Common Places to Find Copper Wire

One of the most common places to find copper wire is along with electronics. Whether you have some old computers you’re taking apart for their e-scrap value or a broken television set you’re having trouble getting rid of, it’s worth the time to do some basic dismantling to get valuable copper wire separated from other materials.

The easiest place to find insulated copper wire is in power cords of electronics. Even if you don’t have many tools or much experience taking apart electronics, you can probably cut a power cord—just be sure to take all the proper safety precautions while doing so.

A single power cord might not seem like it’ll bring a lot of value, but saving your insulated copper wire in a bucket or storage bin can lead to a pretty nice payday when it comes time to take all your scrap down to the yard.

In addition, you can often find even more copper wire simply by removing the back panels of televisions and computer monitors. While fully dismantling some of these devices can be complex, and there are often some parts you shouldn’t attempt to dismantle without the proper experience and precautions, it’s pretty easy to find coils or lines of copper wire inside.

You can also find copper wire in many small kitchen appliances. Of course, there’s also plenty of copper to be found in most large appliances. If you’re thinking of taking on a task like that, check out some of our blog posts on dismantling microwaves, air conditioners, and much more safely and effectively.

Again, one coil or wire may not be worth a ton, but it’s easy to gather a few pounds of copper from just a few electronic devices, without expending as much effort as it takes to dismantle, sort, and clean many other scrap materials.

Surprising Things about Copper Wire

The conventional wisdom is that you’re supposed to strip copper wire before scrapping it, but here at Encore, we pay comparable amounts for unstripped wire. Be sure to check our prices with us regularly, and make your own decisions and calculations.

Another surprising thing about insulated copper wire is the plethora of places you can find it without doing any work at all. Got a phone charger that doesn’t work any longer? There’s probably a bit of copper wire in there! And an extension cord that’s kicked the bucket may offer a couple pounds of copper all on its own!

Wherever you find your scrap copper, be sure to separate it from your other metals, like steel and aluminum, to be sure to get the most value when it comes time to bring your scrap to Encore Recyclers. And above all, be safe out there, scrappers!