If you’re getting some work done on your house and the contractor wants the old copper, think before just handing it over. It’s worth a lot of money. Reader Julie writes in with this helpful reminder:
I recently hired a plumber to do a rebuild on an existing small bathroom. During the demolition phase, the plumber remarked that he would be reclaiming the old copper pipe and that it was worth around $25.
I thought nothing of it due to the extreme nastiness of the plumbing involved. As it turned out, the plumber bailed on the job and I hired a neighbor to continue the demolition. He took the same plumbing down to the reclamation center and reported back to me later that it was worth over $200. He ended up not charging me for the demolition because of what he got for the old copper piping.
If I had stayed with the original plumber I would have ended up paying him for the demolition and losing the value of the pipes. I hope this helps out others who are doing upgrades in their houses. These pipes used to not be worth very much but that has certainly changed. For reference sake, the total amount of piping turned in was very modest, approximately 20 feet total.
As far as we know, copper has always been and will always be worth enough money to bother saving. As the daughter of an electrician, we’ve always thought of scrap copper as the substance that powered Santa Claus. Don’t just give it away without thinking!
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