How to Recycle an Old Water Heater

Nonworking water heater scrapHow to recycle an old water heater? While it may not seem so initially, the scrap metal business can be very lucrative if you are willing to do a bit of work.

Collecting enough scrap metal to make a decent amount of money can take time, but scrapping a water heater has lots of intrinsic metal value for someone who is willing to take the time to break it down.

Within this article on how to recycle an old water heater, I will describe to you how to accomplish the task as well as provide additional tips that can help you make more money recycling old water heaters.

Begin by draining your water tank if it is not already empty. Adding water to get a few extra dollars is not worth the trouble because a scrap dealer will catch the trick quickly.

Additionally, they can and will press charges against you for attempted theft.

Make certain you have a few tools handy after you have drained your tank for scrapping a water heater.

You will need a heavy hammer, pipe wrench and possibly a multi-saw.

Look over your tank for any non-ferrous metals. Use a magnet to determine what is and what is not non-ferrous. If the magnet sticks, it is a ferrous metal.

Checking the top of your tank, look for the pipes sticking out. These pipes are normally copper or brass and carry much more value than ferrous metal.

Use your pipe wrench to remove them, or a few solid strikes with a hammer should break them loose.

Determine if your heater was gas or electric. A gas heater has a gas regulator near the base made up of brass and an aluminum/zinc combination. Many have brass knobs also.

These regulators often bring more than a standard scrap price; you can remove them with a heavy hammer.

If you are knowledgeable, reselling them is the better way to go; they command a pretty price up to a third of the value of a new heater.

Scrapping an electric water heater does not have the same value as a gas heater, but there is value. The heating elements inside the tank are made of copper.

The lines coming out of the top of the tank are typically copper as well. After all, the only difference in a gas or electric heater is the method of heating the water; the metals are normally the same.

If you remove the cover on the temperature control module on the front of the old water heater, depending on the model you have, there are 2 nice sized rolls of copper wire.

Remove the rolls of copper and set them aside with the rest of your copper scrap.

Do not worry about getting the top off of the water heater in hopes to find more scrap inside. There is nothing else inside but a lot of sediment and dirt.

One of the best places to find water heaters to scrap is apartment complexes. This is another opportunity for you to set up an arrangement to haul away metal goods.

Take your water heater scrap to your local scrap yard when you are finished; good luck on your water heater scrap and as always, we are here to help.

As you have read, learning how to recycle an old water heater is not that difficult of a task and only gets easier the more times that you do it.

If you are scrapping a water heater that is gas powered, do not smoke around the heater especially when handling the temperature control module.