Guide to Scrapping a Washing Machine for Valuable Parts

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If you’ve got an old washing machine sitting around and you’re wondering how to get the most value out of it, you’re in the right place. Here’s a comprehensive guide on scraping a washing machine effectively, separating valuable parts versus bringing in the whole unit.

Which Parts Of A Washer Are Valuable?

Washing machines contain several components that can fetch a decent price when stripped out and sold separately:

  • Motor: This is one of the most valuable components. It’s usually copper-wound and can be extracted relatively easily.
  • Compressor: Often made of stainless steel or other metals, the pump can also be sold separately for a reasonable price.
  • Control Panel/Board: Think of these as small computers. They will often have smaller circuit boards, trace amounts of copper wire, and other e-scrap goodies.

How Do I Scrap A Washer?

Before scrapping the washing machine, remember a few steps to follow to start parting out the unit.

  • Cutting any visible wires: Whether it’s the power cable on the outside of the unit or the smaller wires attached to the board on the inside, once you’ve unscrewed the backplate of the machine, you can get a better look at most of these wires.
  • Check the material of the washer drum: In many cases, the drum can be stainless steel (typically 300 series) or aluminum. Unfortunately, it can also be plastic, so take a look before bringing it to your yard.
  • Flip the unit over: This will expose all the expensive parts of the washer. Typically, you’ll have a motor or compressor here, as they are the heaviest items in a
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Should You Scrap A Washing Machine Whole or As is?

When deciding whether to scrap a washing machine or sell it whole, consider the effort involved and potential profits. You may be looking at a lot of labor, and tools or drill bits that you might not have.

  • Selling Whole: Some scrapyards pay a flat rate per whole unit, which can be convenient if you don’t want to dismantle the machine. Rates vary but can be around $3.45 or more per unit. Check with your yard to confirm whether the price is by unit or weight.
  • Dismantling for Parts: If you have the time and tools, dismantling valuable parts like the motor, pump, and gearbox can yield higher returns. If some parts are still in working condition, you can sell them privately through eBay or Craiglist. Selling these parts individually can fetch anywhere from $100 to $300, depending on the market and condition.