[GUIDE] Maximizing Profits When Stripping Romex® Wire: And A Must-Have Tool To Do It

What is Romex® Wire?

Romex® wire is a brand* of non-metallic sheathed cable commonly used for electrical wiring in residential and commercial buildings. It consists of three main components: the grounding wire, positive wire, and negative wire.

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Common Uses For Romex®

Romex® wire is extensively used for electricity distribution in homes and buildings. It is the go-to choice for electricians due to its reliability, durability, and ease of installation. As such, it’s no surprise that electricians are the primary users of Romex® when installing electrical systems in most homes and buildings.

Where To Find Scrap Romex®

If you’re an electrician, you probably already have your fair share of Romex®. If not, we recommend contacting local contractors and electrical companies in your area that may use it and letting them know you are willing to dispose of any extra material they may have. Oftentimes, overflow copper wire and other materials from projects go to waste, so this type of agreement can help all parties involved.

How to Strip Romex® Wire For Scrap

Efficiently stripping Romex® wire is essential for electricians when installing wire, but also for potential profit from scrappers trying to make the most money at the yard. Here are two methods:

  1. Handheld Tools Method:
    • Gather tools such as razors, snips, or strippers. These can be bought reasonably cheaply.
    • Carefully cut the outer sheath of the Romex® wire along its length.
    • Once you’ve removed the sheath to expose the wires, you can pull the grounding wire out first. This is the most straightforward piece of copper to get
    • After this, you can take the two individually insulated wires and strip them too.
  2. Stripper Method:
    • Invest in a quality wire stripper designed for Romex® wire. These are often a fair bit more expensive than a hand tool.
    • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for setting up the stripper.
    • Insert the Romex® wire into the stripper and let the tool do the work.
    • Enjoy a quicker and more efficient stripping process.

Not All Romex® Is The Same!

When sorting and cleaning your Romex®, check if the grounding wire is copper! Many wire manufacturers have switched to aluminum grounding wire to save costs. Spotting a bright silver wire amongst all the copper should be easy enough!

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Why Should You Strip Romex® Wire When Scrapping It

Stripping Romex® wire is a potential source of profit. With approximately 66% of the wire’s weight being copper, efficient stripping can yield valuable copper that can be sold to your local yard. A streamlined system for stripping Romex® wire can save you time and money before heading to the yard.

How To Find Scrap Romex®

Understanding what Romex® wire is and what it’s commonly used for can help make it easier to find when looking for scrap. Reach out to contacts you have who work in HVAC or electrical fields and see if they have any residential or commercial scrap that you can pick-up. You’d be surprised how many smaller contacts don’t have someone they rely on regularly to pick-up scrap metal. These types of jobs can mean regular work and a reliable pay stream!

*Romex® is a branded product by Southwire and other non-metallic sheathed wire.