Fool’s Copper? Don’t Lose Money on This

Everyone’s heard of Fool’s Gold as a kid, where you found a rock that was spray painted, and you thought you hit the jackpot, but it turns out…it was only a rock. Fool’s Copper typically comes in the form of different electrical pieces of copper. Bare Bright, any scrapper’s dream, can be mistaken for copper-clad pieces of steel.

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03/14/2024 06:01 am GMT

What is Fool’s Copper?

Some scrappers may have already seen it and didn’t even know! Some people may have had it and tried to pull a fast one on their scrap yards. Fool’s copper is a copper-clad steel wire used for grounding rods or electrical cables. 

So now that you have an idea of what Fool’s Copper may look like and what it’s used for, it’s time to figure out how to identify it!

How To Identify Fool’s Copper

Always have your magnet handy! That’s why a scrapper’s best friend is always the handy magnet. Using a magnet is the easiest test to determine real copper from fake copper. The magnet will stick to the Fool’s Copper because, while there is a thin coating of copper, most of the material will be made out of steel, so the magnet will naturally stick to it.

When ‘Fool’s Copper’ is bought by scrap yards, they become the big losers. However, they are unlikely to go after all the scrappers who could have sold them this fake copper.

What is a grounding rod?

A grounding rod, or earthing rod, is a vital element in electrical systems, providing a safe path for electrical currents to dissipate into the ground. Typically made of copper with a steel or aluminum core for their conductivity and corrosion resistance, the rod is connected to a grounding wire to prevent electrical charge buildup, reducing the risk of fires or shocks. Copper grounding rods will probably be graded as some form of Mixed Copper lower than a #1 tubing.

Do you carry a magnet scrapping?

It’s always a good idea for scrap yards to have their employees carry magnets to avoid predicaments like this. It’s in the best interest of both the scrap yard and scrapper to have a magnet present. The scrap yard will quickly be able to tell whether they are being duped, while scrappers will know going into selling their material that they won’t be cheated.