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As anyone involved in the scrap industry would know, copper is one of the most valuable metals in existence. If you have some old power cords that you would like to sell for scrap, you might be surprised to learn that you can actually make a better profit through removing the copper from the cords. This is actually quite a simple process.
Step 1: Using diagonal cutters, remove the plug and the appliance from either end of the power cord. For an extension cord, be sure to remove the plugs from both ends.
Step 2: Take a sharp pocketknife and use it to cut through the insulation at one end of the cord. You should be able to judge from the change in resistance when the knife has reached the wires within. Pull the knife down the length of the insulation to split it open.
Step 3: Each copper wire running through the cord will have another layer of insulation around it. Choose one of the wires and repeat step two to free the valuable metal within. Then, push back the insulation at one end until you have enough copper to get a good grip on.
Step 4: Pull the copper wire out of the power cord through the cuts you have made. Keep the pocketknife on hand to cut away at any spots where the insulation wasn’t severed properly. Once you have removed one of the wires, you can move on to the others in the power cord until you have removed all of the copper. Ungrounded cords (the ones with two-pronged plugs) will have two separate copper wire stands whilst grounded cords (the ones with three-pronged plugs) will have three.