How Do You Scrap A Transformer?

Transformers are essential for various electronic items, such as TVs, PC Boards, tools, machines, and more. Transformers help reduce or increase the voltage and current through the electronics that you are using. So, if you have an electric drill you are using to install new aluminum shelving, the transformer inside the drill controls the amount of power you receive 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 the heavy weight of their 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 from 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 substations, and those will be difficult to get your hands on. It doesn’t always pay to take apart transformers, but if you want to do so,, follow the steps below.

Steps to Scrap a Transformer

  1. Remove the transformer from the device or appliance. They can usually be removed simply enough with a screwdriver.
  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 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 on 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, 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 would ruin your blade. Once you have cut through the transformer, you can remove the copper or aluminum winding.
  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 it to remove the bare bright copper or aluminum wire on the inside and set it in your separate piles.
  8. Whether you take the transformer apart for the copper or aluminum or scrap the whole unit, take time to separate your scrap materials and bring them to the yard.