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  1. #1
    Beamer started this thread.
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    Advise needed

    Hello, I'm new to this forum. Any advise would be greatly appreciated.



    Long story short, I got extremely lucky and am currently pulling the plumbing out of an old medical facility that will be torn down next week. Every room has sinks, toilets, etc. The runs down all of the hallways are 2" and the drops to each room looks like about 1". Laundry rooms, showers, mechanical rooms...You get the idea. Anyway, If I did the math right, we should pull around 10,000 pounds of copper out of there. Also, there will be some brass but it doesn't look like there will be more than 300 pounds (purely a guess).

    I'm not new to scrapping, but I am new to scrapping this much at one time. I'm in the refrigeration business, so I've scrapped coils and our scrap copper for years but nothing that ever amounted to this much at once. Maybe I'm na´ve and this much is common...I honestly don't know.

    My questions:
    Will the scrap yards give a better price for a large quantity like this?

    The brass...There are a bunch of pieces from the water heaters that have like 4" of 2" copper and then a brass fitting then another very short piece of copper and then brass. 5' sections that go copper/brass/copper/brass/copper/brass. Do I take the time to separate all of it? In the past, I've sold it and got a "copper/brass mix" price which I'm fine with but I've got quite a few lengths that are like the one I described. It may sound petty, but if it'll bring another 50 bucks, I'll cut it up. If not, I won't waste my time.

    I've got a scrap yard that is fairly close to me (within 15 miles) and it's super easy to unload/weigh and check out. It's all indoors...Pretty nice facility. But, they usually don't pay as much as the yard that most people seem to use. That yard is a huge pain in the tail and it takes forever. Any chance the "easy to use" yard will come up on their price? I don't expect them to match the other place, but close would be nice.


    Any input would be greatly appreciated. I'll most likely never get to scrap a building like this again and kind of want to make the most of it this time.

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  3. #2
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    I would call both yards and let them know what you have....or better yet go to each yard and talk to the person in charge.

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    I would call around, figure out all the pluses and minuses, and make the best choice. I would be very polite to each yard so that you can always have a back up plan in place.

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    whatever you do go in person,
    if you can load all the material into your truck no one will believe you have multiple loads they will just think you are exaggerating.
    ask for a buyer, manager or owner in that order and ask them for price based on the large quantity...

    then drive away. Unless the price isSMOKING HOT.

    most yards really loose their mind watching scrap drive away. the only gamble in this is if you go to the second yard and they will not at least match the first yard when you return, odds are your price will have slipped , the yards know this technique...

    TRUST me i speak with the authority of experience

    V/r HT1

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  9. #5
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    If going to a new yard with that much quantity they may ask to see some type of documentation of where you got 10,000LBS of copper.......If they already know you I guess it wouldn't be much of an issue
    BUYING ALL COMPUTER SCRAP WORKING OR NOT
    CHECK OUT MY BUYERS THREAD http://www.scrapmetalforum.com/scrap...nic-scrap.html

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  11. #6
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    Definitely shop around for the best price. Here in Mesa Az unless you are a legitimate licensed business having a reason to deal in large quantities of copper and other frequently stolen materials the scrap yards won't buy anything that appears to be commercial scrap from homes. Tweekers steel it here like crazy. There has been recent situations where drug crazed people cut in to live transformers. I am sure you can figure out what happened next. If you have a place to store the stuff sit on it for a while to see what happens with scrap prices. The yard I sell to told me that copper prices have gone up significantly but 50 cents is not impressive. A buck higher I might consider. I always clean up copper. Cut off the solder joints and clean off some of the corrosion. Copper from walls is generally void of weather exposure. Sounds like you have a really good deal there. Don't give it away for pennies.
    Quote Originally Posted by Beamer View Post
    Hello, I'm new to this forum. Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

    Long story short, I got extremely lucky and am currently pulling the plumbing out of an old medical facility that will be torn down next week. Every room has sinks, toilets, etc. The runs down all of the hallways are 2" and the drops to each room looks like about 1". Laundry rooms, showers, mechanical rooms...You get the idea. Anyway, If I did the math right, we should pull around 10,000 pounds of copper out of there. Also, there will be some brass but it doesn't look like there will be more than 300 pounds (purely a guess).

    I'm not new to scrapping, but I am new to scrapping this much at one time. I'm in the refrigeration business, so I've scrapped coils and our scrap copper for years but nothing that ever amounted to this much at once. Maybe I'm na´ve and this much is common...I honestly don't know.

    My questions:
    Will the scrap yards give a better price for a large quantity like this?

    The brass...There are a bunch of pieces from the water heaters that have like 4" of 2" copper and then a brass fitting then another very short piece of copper and then brass. 5' sections that go copper/brass/copper/brass/copper/brass. Do I take the time to separate all of it? In the past, I've sold it and got a "copper/brass mix" price which I'm fine with but I've got quite a few lengths that are like the one I described. It may sound petty, but if it'll bring another 50 bucks, I'll cut it up. If not, I won't waste my time.

    I've got a scrap yard that is fairly close to me (within 15 miles) and it's super easy to unload/weigh and check out. It's all indoors...Pretty nice facility. But, they usually don't pay as much as the yard that most people seem to use. That yard is a huge pain in the tail and it takes forever. Any chance the "easy to use" yard will come up on their price? I don't expect them to match the other place, but close would be nice.


    Any input would be greatly appreciated. I'll most likely never get to scrap a building like this again and kind of want to make the most of it this time.

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  13. #7
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    We have completed a few jobs like this.
    My advice is go buy a generator, sawzalls, grinders and grab a buddy.
    I just hauled everything back to my warehouse and sorted it from there. Be sure to go in crawlspaces and basement!
    Good luck

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  15. #8
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    Chopsaw. Saves you much more time effort.

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  17. #9
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    and my two bits worth of advice is to let them know it will be all clean copper and brass- ie no other metals mixed in.
    and then ensure that u have everything cleaned and packed as neatly as possible.
    so u can confidently ask for the best possible price as they will be no excuse they can give for not offering u a much better price than normal.

    also:PLS take pics of the job and the stuff u end up with & post it here for us to look at: scrapper porn.
    Last edited by msmoorad; 11-18-2016 at 03:29 PM.

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  19. #10
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    My advice...bring a cooler for after the day's work.

    Cash and cold beverages. Make for a good day.



    Believe in the power of the Cooler.

    Sirscrapalot - Beer right back after this message...(pun intended)

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  21. #11
    Beamer started this thread.
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    I'll definitely get pictures as we go through there.

    Demo on the building starts Monday. I've got some help tonight and tomorrow to get it out. And yes, we're using sawzalls to remove it and then we'll do "clean up" at the shop. Trying to cut everything at the elbows and the couplings but I'm sure some of it is being missed.

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  23. #12
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    If you're allowed and it's still there, go for the main power wires feeding the building. They should be pretty big and not too difficult to get fast even if you have to cut it out conduit and all then pull out later. I got 1200 lbs out of one pull from a bank we demolished.

    When you're dealing with as much weight as you are, it will pay to cut the joints off the copper pipe. Even if you gain 20 cents per lb by changing #2 to #1 copper, you could gain close to $2000 if your weight estimate is correct.

    My rule on racing the demolition is take the best first then take everything you can fast not cleaning anything. If you pick it up, load it, figure it out later. Good luck.

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  25. #13
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    Advise needed

    if there was an xray room, check for silver in the drains. someone made a comment about that at some point
    Currently looking for a job in or related to scrap/recycling. Relocation is possible for the right offer.

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  27. #14
    Beamer started this thread.
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    Update:

    Showed up tonight with a generator, lights, sawzalls, strong backs and weak minds. We put in about 5 hours and probably got 1/3rd of the way through the main part of the building. It got late and we all had already put in 10 hours of work before we showed up. Haven't finished the main halls and haven't done any of the drops to any of the rooms. The halls that we did do, are cut off clean at the wall. I tried going into one of the showers (they're like old school dorm room showers. 8 "stalls" of shower heads). I beat the tile off of one of the stalls and tried cutting the wall. It's all got hardy backer behind it. I'm leaving that pipe in the wall. Way more trouble than it was worth at the time. I'll get all of the overhead lines. Someone had mentioned "Get the best first". That's what we decided early on which is why we hit the halls first. It's the bulk of the copper and also the largest.

    We checked the electrical yesterday. Gone. They somehow talked the electrical company into opening a transformer and pulled from the transformer to the MDP. There's still wire in the building, but everything larger than number 10 is gone.

    Haven't seen any X-Ray rooms or anything like that. This place might have been some kind of low budget retirement center. It doesn't look like it was "nice".


    We had 2 guys going one direction with a child laborer tagging along and 2 guys with another kid going another direction. Each guy was gutting hallways while the boys were taking off insulation and hauling lines to the trailer (wasn't asbestos insulation). Worked pretty good. The boys lagged behind by the time we got to the end of a hallway but they held their own.

    At this point, we've smoked one sawzall from water I'm assuming and another one is "slipping". It won't last much longer. They were old before we started and I figured they wouldn't last. We had several there, just in case so no biggie.

    I'm rambling....Not sure if anyone honestly cares how this job is going. lol. I'll throw a few pictures up if I can figure out how to do it.

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  29. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beamer View Post

    I'm rambling....Not sure if anyone honestly cares how this job is going. lol. I'll throw a few pictures up if I can figure out how to do it.
    Please continue with your project including pictures. I did a similar operation recently but nothing to that extent. The X-ray room had lead-lined walls but the building was sold before we were able to finish it so didn't get into that part. There was a reasonable amount of copper and brass and we also took shelving and any extras that we wanted. Crawled around under the floor to get alot of the copper. If I remember correctly, the copper was like 3" dia. We weren't taking the elec. wiring as the building was not being torn down. You have an interesting project.

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  31. #16
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    Advise needed

    harbor freight sawsalls with extended warranty are good for stuff like this.

    some old shower pans are lead lined

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  33. #17
    Beamer started this thread.
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    A few pictures from the first night.

    [IMG][/IMG]

    [IMG][/IMG]

    [IMG][/IMG]

    [IMG][/IMG]

    [IMG][/IMG]

    [IMG][/IMG]

    That was the end of night one. We spent 5 or 6 hours getting what's on the trailer. I took a few more pictures of the hallways but they all look the same. There were 4 hallways. The two that ran East and West were roughly 150' each and the two North and South were about 85' each. The showers (3 "community showers") were each about 18'X20'. The actual shower stalls were tiled with virtually no space above them. The main part of the shower rooms had a false ceiling so we could get to most of the plumbing but couldn't get to the drops to the stalls. There was a main reception area that was an absolute maze of lines in the ceiling. Ridiculous amounts of fittings and was pretty time consuming to cut out. Might have made a mistake trying to cut out everything in the ceiling trying to maximize no.1 copper. it probably would have been faster and easier to cut it all out and clean it up on the ground. The rest of the building was pretty repetitive. Hallways were 3 lines running all the way to the end (Cold water, Hot water and a hot water return line...It had circulating pumps on the water heaters) with drops for every room. There were 60 rooms.

    It took us about 8 hours today to finish. Also threw another sawzall in the trash this afternoon. I've always been a Dewalt guy. No particular reason, it just turned out that way. I had an 18V Dewalt die on me this afternoon and was starting to run short of saws (we were down to 2 at that point). I called an electrician buddy of mine and he brought me a 20V Milwaukee...Best sawzall I've ever used. It outworked our corded saws and the batteries lasted twice as long as the Dewalt (in all fairness, that Dewalt was probably 15 years old and so were some of the batteries). Anyway, heck of a tool.

    The 2 kids we brought were 13 and 14 years old. Both worked as long and hard as we did and got a taste of "the real world".

    There's still some copper left in that building but the effort to get it out just didn't make sense at the end of the day. We just didn't have it in us. lol.

    We pulled out triple today what we did last night. Maybe more than triple. We figured out the quickest ways to clear a hallway and get the drops and got in a rhythm. The entire building was repetitive in the hallways and showers. The kitchen was quick and easy and didn't have near the copper I thought it might. I'll load some more pictures of how full the trailer got and once we get it all cut apart tomorrow and reloaded, I'll try to get a final picture of that. We've second guessed ourselves all weekend about the weight of what we got. I originally did the math and came up with about 10,000 pounds. Now, I'm not so sure. One guy guessed about 5000, I went with 7000. No way to know until we sell it. I'm still holding out hope for the 10K.

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  35. #18
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    Chop saw. Saves time. Sawz alls are too slow for a massive job.

  36. #19
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    good work
    thanks for the pics so far
    keep them coming.

  37. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by APA View Post
    Chop saw. Saves time. Sawz alls are too slow for a massive job.
    Yes, sawsall to get it on the ground, chop saw after that

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