How Do You Scrap A Refrigerator?

scrap a refrigerator

When you are looking for scrap items that can be taken apart, oftentimes, refrigerators are an everyday item that is easy to find. Whether someone is replacing their outdated one or their current one got busted. Many people place their refrigerators on the curb, hoping that a scrapper or garbage man can pick them up on bulk garbage day. While they are very bulky and hard to transport, some valuable metals are hidden inside scrap refrigerators. There are some tricky things to keep in mind when looking to scrap a fridge.

Step By Step Guide To Scrapping A Refrigerator

  1. First, when scrapping a refrigerator, ensure you have the right equipment and transportation to move a refrigerator. Be careful when picking it up; always lift with your legs to prevent throwing your back out. It may help if you have a helping hand and a hand truck too. 
  2. Remember a few things when you have finally removed and transported your fridge to your house or wherever you want to take it apart. A licensed HVAC contractor should remove or recycle the freon inside of your fridge. Scrap yards will not be able to accept a fridge that has not been drained of its fluids. You can call your local HVAC contractor, and they can legally remove the chemicals.
  3. Now that your fridge is drained, you can begin dissembling it for the different scrap parts inside. First, you will want to remove the back of the fridge (if there is one) with a power drill. Once you do that, you will be able to see the guts of the appliance. There should be a sizeable sealed unit and some wires.
  4. Cut the power cord and any other wires that may be attached to the backside of the fridge. You can stick those in your copper wire pile.
  5. After, you can remove the sealed unit with a power drill. It is probably bolted down, but once you remove it, you will see why. An average sealed unit from a fridge can weigh around 30 lbs. If you want to scrap a sealed unit for the copper inside, breaking open the steel casing can be difficult, but we suggest scrapping it as a whole unit.
  6. You can cut the copper tubing around the sealed unit and the back of the fridge. These pieces of tubing will likely be graded as #2 copper tubing or dirty copper. While they may have no solder or paint, the oil residue inside the copper tubes will make it a #2 copper price at your local scrap yard.
  7. Once you have removed those items, you should be able to see that there is a fan on the backside of the fridge to keep it cool. Also, there may be one on the front side too. Once you remove those, there should be an electric motor attached that you can remove for scrap, too.
  8. You can also scrap the fridge frame for steel, stainless steel, and aluminum. The fridge’s inside is usually plastic on the side, but the shelving could be steel, so be sure to remove those. Have your magnet handy to see what kinds of metals you have.

Something else to think about is that if the fridge has a freezer and icemaker, the coil inside can be considered Cast Aluminum.

Keep everything separate when heading to the scrap yard; your yard can sort through your materials. If you decide to scrap the fridge as a whole unit, be sure to get the freon removed.