Your Old Plumbing Can Help Pay For Your New Plumbing

Selling the copper from your old plumbing can help offset the cost of new plumbing, says DIY site Curbly:

    There are great alternatives to copper when it comes to re-piping your home, so there’s no real need to pay any premiums there. But why not take advantage with the old copper pipe you’re going to replace?

    Scrap metal recyclers in Seattle, where I am, are paying upwards of $1.75 or so per pound for scrap copper. This is what they’ll pay you for what you’ll probably throw away anyway. Why not take advantage? If you’re lucky enough to have all your waste lines in old copper pipe and plan to gut the house anyway, so much the better.

As the daughter of a construction electrician, we understand the power of tiny, seemingly useless, pieces of copper. Scrap copper is the substance that powers Santa Claus. —MEGHANN MARCO

Help Your New Plumbing Pay For Itself [Curbly]

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  1. Disgruntled CC Employee says:

    I used to work in a scrap metal yard. Talk to the employees to find out how to get the best price. Scrap metal comes in various grades and prices depending on how clean it is, and what type of metal it is. Use a magnet to make sure that you have brass and copper, not iron.

  2. rekoil says:

    The article mentions PEX, which is a new flexible plumbing material and coupling system – kinda like running garden hose through your walls. As the owner of a home that had polybutylene plumbing until a year ago, this stuff scares me. That stuff wound up having a ~50% failure rate over 15 years (my home included) and I still haven’t been able to collect anything from the resultant class action settlement. Your household plumbing is NOT a place to be an early adopter.

  3. riggs says:

    Actually, not a bad idea…the price for copper has gone way up. I know this because my dad is a plumbing contractor. It’s gotten close to the point where he’s had to rebid jobs based on the cost of copper pipe. See also: telephone wire, etc. All high-dollar right now.

  4. synergy says:

    In the last year, that I can remember, the local news channels have kept doing stories about construction sites and parts of AC? (or something in houses at any rate that contain a lot of copper) have been getting heisted for the copper to be resold.

  5. Falconfire says:

    PEX is lightyears beyond polybutylene. Any leak you get from it is almost always chalked up to user error (IE you didnt follow the instructions on how to crimp the stuff.)

    I did polybutylene work with my father too, and I would agree it sucked, especially for areas where freezes occured a lot. PEX is not like that at all.

    PEX has been used for years in new industrial construction (buisnesses and the like) only now is it starting to move over to the homeowner field. Just so you know though, waste lines are still metal.

  6. Falconfire says:

    also a FYI i forgot to add. PEX has been used for years for gas/oil/and other industrial apps. the stuff has been around since the late 60′s

  7. medalian1 says:

    My brother is a plumber and he scraps once a month averaging $300 a month in supplimental income. They’re supposed to turn the scrap in and it goes toward christmas bonuses and whatnot, but he just keeps it. It takes some time to tear apart the fixtures and seperate all the scrap, but he thinks it’s worth his time/trouble. He hasn’t had a customer request to keep it yet and he’s been a plumber for 4ish years.