While scrapping will always be necessary in an ever-expanding society, certain materials regularly wane in and out of public use. When we think of previous generations’ usage of Lead vs. how modern materials such as steel and aluminum have shaped our world, it shows us that we find new uses for existing metals. While we haven’t fully phased out Steel BX and replaced it with non-magnetic cable (like Romex®), it still plays a role in our lives.
Steel BX and insulated steel BX shine as noteworthy finds within discarded materials.
In this deep dive, we’ll discuss what Steel BX is, the grading methods used by scrap yards, and valuable insights into cleaning and sorting.
We hope to unravel the details of these materials and identify potential sources where you can come across scrap steel BX.
Understanding Steel BX
What is Steel BX composed of?
Insulated Steel BX is characterized by its copper core enclosed within a steel outer casing, differentiating it from aluminum BX. A simple magnet test can determine the type of casing. Viewing the video below, you can easily see Tom distinguish (with the help of a strong magnet) between the two.
Grading and Pricing
Scrap yards typically grade steel BX based on the magnet test results. A magnetic attraction indicates steel casing, resulting in a lower scrap price. Non-magnetic materials, like aluminum BX, command higher prices.
Where to Find Scrap Steel BX
- Construction Sites: Scrap steel BX is abundant after construction or remodeling projects. Electricians and contractors often discard unused or replaced materials.
- Remodeling Projects: Home rewiring projects generate insulated steel BX. Homeowners and DIY enthusiasts can capitalize on the scrap value of these materials.
Other Scrap Wires To Lookout For With Steel BX
Separate your BX for Maximum Value
Differentiating between steel and aluminum BX is crucial. Separating these materials ensures that you receive optimal compensation for your scrap. Large quantities may prompt individuals to strip the wires for bare, bright copper.
Steel BX, commonly found in older structures, is heavier and more challenging to strip. Aluminum BX, designed for convenience, is lighter and popular in commercial applications.
Separating copper from aluminum in BX requires time and effort. Homeowners often prefer non-metallic (NM) cables like Romex® for easy handling.
Want to strip that Romex® wire? Here’s how →
Should You Strip Your Steel BX?
When dealing with Steel BX cable, a common question arises: Is it worth the effort to strip it for the valuable copper inside? The answer depends on factors like quantity, time investment, and market prices. Stripping Steel BX can be labor-intensive, akin to the childhood challenge of freeing oneself from Chinese finger traps. For those with a large amount of Steel BX, the return on investment from stripping might justify the undertaking, while smaller quantities may be more efficiently processed as is. If you expect to be doing a lot of cutting, you may wish to invest in a specialized BX cutter to make your life easier.
Definitely Scrap Your BX!
Scrap steel BX and insulated steel BX offer an opportunity for any scrapper to turn discarded materials into cash. By understanding its composition, pricing, and where to find it, you can know for sure that you have the right material and are getting the right price.
Whether you’re a seasoned scrapper or a first-time recycler, keep up to date on your metal knowledge with our extensive Metal Lists and Pricing Pages. You can also join our group of like-minded scrappers over on Facebook to keep in the know and learn a thing or two from them.
Scrap ya later!