Short Answer: A refrigerator compressor may contain anywhere from one to two-and-a-half pounds of copper. Below, we detail how much this copper is worth and how much you can earn by scrapping refrigerator compressors.
How Much Copper Is in a Refrigerator Compressor?
Compressors from small refrigerators contain about one pound of copper; large refrigerators compressors can have about two and a half pounds of copper. We contacted scrap yards in Colorado, Kansas, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania to confirm this information and gather more details.
Value of Refrigerator Compressors as Scrap
The type of copper found in refrigerator compressors is considered #2 copper scrap, meaning it may contain oil, paint, or sediment and be welded to other materials. It isn’t as valuable as bright copper wire or #1 copper scrap. However, you can still earn money for refrigerator compressors at scrap yards.
A whole compressor is worth about $0.15 per pound. As noted above, there are about one to two-and-a-half pounds of copper in a compressor; #2 copper scrap is worth about $2.50 per pound at the time of writing. This means you can make up to around $6.25 for the copper alone if you remove it and sell it separately.
The refrigerator may also include copper tubing to add to your scrap and increase your earnings. Keep in mind that exact prices will vary depending on your location and the current market conditions.
Note that you can also scrap a refrigerator as a whole unit. However, it’s best to remove the compressor and any other valuable elements to scrap separately. The refrigerator’s metal frame is worth around $0.30 per pound (with the exact price depending on whether it’s made of steel, stainless steel, or aluminum).