What Is #2 Copper? How To Sort and Find This Copper Scrap

#2 Copper Tubing - scrap metal prices

When it comes to scrapping copper, every piece of metal has a unique identity and value. We’ve talked a ton about Bare Bright and #1 Copper, but let’s dive into the specifics of #2 Copper. Shedding light on what sets it apart from #1 and #3 Copper that you typically find when scrapping.

What’s The Difference Between #2 and Other Forms Of Copper?

When scrapping copper, the grading matters significantly. #2 Copper differs from #1 and #3 Copper in purity and quality. #1 Copper is the purest form, typically free from any alloys, whereas #3 Copper may have higher impurities. #2 Copper falls in between, containing moderate impurities but retaining considerable copper. The grading system is not just about the alloy’s purity; it also considers the condition of the copper, such as tarnishing, solder, or burnt attachments.

RIDGID Metal Tubing Cutter
$36.80 $28.69

Close Quarters AUTOFEED 1/4" to 1-1/8" Copper, Aluminum, Brass, and Plastic Tubing Cutter

  • Efficient Compact Design
  • Convenient and Powerful
  • Optimal Control & Accuracy
Buy Now
We earn a commission when you buy, with no additional cost.
03/14/2024 05:55 am GMT

Common Places To Find #2 Copper Scrap

Understanding the common uses can help you as a scrapper when looking around your neighborhood for any materials. When looking for scrap #2 Copper specifically, the best places you can look are:

  • Construction Sites: You’ll typically find #3 Copper in the form of flashing and roofing copper. But, if you can clean any of that material, you may be able to upgrade it.
  • Demolition Projects: Demolished industrial or commercial buildings may have electrical panels, switchgear, and control panels that contain #2 Copper. Check for copper bus bars and wiring.
  • Older Homes: Appliances and electrical outlets all contain their fair share of copper.. Most of which will have some form of contamination.
  • Recent Plumbing Renovations: Bathroom and kitchen fixtures, including faucets and showerheads, may contain #2 Copper. Check for copper in these fixtures, especially in older homes.

Given that many of these fields use different attachments and construction methods, the amount of impurities amongst them may differ. While not as valuable as #1, #2 copper is still in demand due to its versatile applications.

Cleaning and Separating to Obtain #2 Copper Scrap

To maximize how much you make off of your scrap copper, you must know how to sort and clean the items you have to make the most money. When dealing with #2 Copper, there are some general ways that we recommend going about separating:

  • Remove Any Insulation: If you have insulated copper wire, strip the insulation to see what wire grade you have underneath.
  • Remove liquid Contaminants: Unfortunately, many #2 and #3 copper items have fittings containing oil, paint, or solder. Cleaning out any remaining liquids or cutting off soldered ends can be easy.
  • Cut off Solid Contaminants: #2 Tubing may have Brass fittings or Tin coating that must be removed.

Bringing Your #2 Copper To The Scrapyard

If you’re uncertain about which classification of copper you have, it never hurts to contact your local yard and ask if they will take your material and what it will be graded as. Once you know what you have, weigh your materials before heading to the yard. The last thing you want is a surprise when getting to the scale.

Stay informed about market conditions and changes in scrap metal prices. A resource like the iScrap App can help you decide when and where to sell your #2 Copper scrap for the best value.