When Your Plumber Finds A Lot Of Copper Pipe: What To Do Next

Posted on: 22 March 2018


Old houses tend to have a lot of old metal pipe. Usually, the pipes are either lead or copper, but both need to be replaced. Copper corrodes and leaves an unpleasant taste in your water, while lead pipes will utterly poison you. Usually, if the corrosion is bad enough, your plumber will suggest that you replace the copper pipes. Then you have to decide how to best recycle the copper pipe. The following are a few helpful directions in which you can take your copper pipes.

Take the Pipes to Those That Buy Copper Pipe

There are scrap metal yards and recycling plants that pay decently for whatever copper pipe you bring them. They pay you by the pound for the copper pipe. Then they send the copper to a smelting plant, where the copper is melted down, purified, and made into other copper items, such as copper wire for electricity.

Contact Your City Trash Department for Further Instructions

Old copper pipes may be picked up with the curbside recycling in your city. However, you will have to contact your city's trash department to see if they will pick up the pipes on the regular weekly recycling schedule, whether or not the copper pipe needs any special recycling labels (in some cities these materials are required to carry such labels so that the materials are more properly recycled), and/or if there is a special recycling day for "construction" materials. It is important to find out if any of these special conditions apply, as some cities may fine residents who attempt to throw these materials out in the trash or recycling bins on their regular trash days.

Clean up the Pipes and Donate Them

If the pipes are just mottled green with age but there are no holes present, then you can actually clean up the pipes. There are chemical baths and treatments you can purchase to clean copper. Once the pipes are back to their reasonably coppery, shiny selves, you can donate the pipes to a construction materials resale shop.

Customers of these shops are often looking for restoration parts at a cheap price. You get the tax write-off for the donation, and the customer that buys the pipes for an old restoration project gets needed parts for cheap. Cleaning the pipes prior to donation just gives the buyers a clean product that they know are free of holes and that are completely functional. Contact a buyer, like Dabal & Sons Inc, for more help.