I’m sure most electrical contractors know about the fluctuation of copper pricing in the last few years which means they understand they need to keep all excess copper wire to scrap later on. Copper has been as low as .86 per pound and as high as 4.10 per pound so the stock market slogan “buy low, sell high” comes into play here.
Sometimes electrical contractors tell the homeowner to find the wire and cable they need on their own to save a few dollars on the cost of the installation. However, they may not know that they can sell the unused wire to a scrap yard for cash. You can call them and ask what the current copper price is and they’ll give you a little bit less than what you might see on the NYSE. Then they melt down the copper and sell it to copper wire manufacturers to make a profit.
Currently copper is about 3.30 per pound so if you have 50 ft of Romex 6/3 then you can probably get about $55.00. Romex 6 awg 3 conductor weighs about .357/foot and you can get about 3.00 per pound right now. So it adds up quicker than you think.
Be careful of those copper thieves out there though! We have another blog post with a video showing all the people stealing copper wire to scrap it for cash. They’re stealing it from live connections (some are getting electrocuted) and anywhere else they can find it because it’s worth so much right now and it’s so easy to scrap for cash.