How Do You Scrap A Transformer?

Transformers are important parts to various electronic items, such as TV’s, PC Boards, tools, machines, and more. Transformers help reduce or increase the voltage a current through the electronic that you are using. So if you have an electric drill you are using to install new aluminum shelving, the transformer inside of the drill is control the amount of power you are receiving through the drill head to go in or out with it. Transformers are worth a great deal of money at the scrap yard due to their heavy weight of the steel casing, but they also contain a good deal of copper or aluminum wiring on the inside.

Transformers can vary in size and variety depending on the type of device they are form and what they are used for. The size of transformers can vary from the size of a quarter all the way up to the size of a small car. The large transformers are usually from electric sub-stations and those will be difficult to get a hand on. It doesn’t always pay to take apart transformers, but if you are looking to do so you can follow the steps below.

  1. Remove the transformer from the device or appliance. They will usually be screwed down with a couple screws.
  2. Grab a magnet and see which parts are steel on the outside.
  3. Now use a metal file to figure out the type of wire on the inside. If you file it down and there is a reddish tint it is copper. If it is a silver tint it is aluminum. Be sure to separate the two of them. Be careful sometimes the aluminum wire looks reddish due to a lacker on the outside of the wire.
  4. Once you have the separated you can scrap the transformers as a whole unit with most scrap yards. The weight of the outer casing will usually give you some good weight for them at the scale.
  5. If you want to take it a step further and scrap the individual components of the transformer for the copper wire and steel you can do so. it is a difficult task to take on but it can be done.
  6. Taking a hammer and chisel would be your best option to cut through the steel casing on the outside. If you were to use a sawzall you will ruin your blade. Once you have cut through the transformer, you can take the copper or aluminum winding out.
  7. Set the steel or iron casing aside with your ferrous pile. Once you have removed the wire, if it is insulated you can strip the wire to remove the bare bright copper or aluminum wire on the inside and set those in your separate piles.
  8. Whether you take the transformer apart for the copper or aluminum or you scrap the whole unit, take time to separate your scrap materials and bring them to the scrap yard.

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