What’s The Difference between Light Copper and Roofing Copper?

Crushed #3 copper bale

There’s a common misconception that light copper, roofing copper, and #3 copper are different materials. In reality, they are all synonymous terms used to describe the same type of copper scrap. The terminology can vary depending on the scrap yard’s language and grading system. Still, all three terms refer to lower-grade copper that typically includes copper with impurities such as paint, solder, or coatings. Knowing this can help clear any misconceptions about the prices you may receive when you head to your local yard.

Other Names For #3 Copper

Common Sources of #3 Copper

#3 Copper is often found in various places, predominantly in construction and roofing materials. Here are some common sources:

  • Plumbing Fixtures: Older plumbing fixtures can also source #3 copper. This includes old pipes, faucets, and valves that have been soldered or have paint and other residues.
  • Roofing Materials: As the name suggests, #3 copper is frequently sourced from roofing materials. Old copper gutters, downspouts, and roofing sheets are typical examples. These items may have paint, tar, or other materials attached, classifying them as #3 copper.
  • Electrical Components: Some electrical components, such as older wiring or electrical contacts soldered or containing non-copper attachments, can fall into this category.
  • Decorative Items: Antique copper decorations, statues, or other items with coatings or solder can also be considered #3 copper when scrapped.

Scrap ya later!