How to Determine the Scrap Value of Water Heaters

How to Determine the Scrap Value of Water Heaters?

Sometimes, you need to get rid of some old or broken equipment, such as a water heater, but instead of throwing it away or illegally disposing of it, you could sell it and make some extra money. If you’re interested, keep reading!

Water heaters are made up of reusable, valuable components that may be recovered and resold. This procedure does raise the cost of recycling water heaters slightly. As a result, the cost would be relatively modest. Because the metal is a low-quality alloy, the entire thing is rendered useless. If you try to sell the water heater in bits, it might be worth more as scrap metal.

What is the Worth of Water Heater Scrap?

A water heater typically costs $18 at a local scrap yard. The price of the heater at the scrap yard will be determined by its size and weight. You could get as little as $7 if you don’t correctly disassemble it before bringing it in.

A large heater containing valuable metals such as copper may be worth $30 as scrap metal. The heater will be worth more at the scrap yard if disassembled. A scrapyard cannot tell you how much they will pay for your water heater until you bring it in.

Brass, copper, and aluminum are among the more expensive materials in high-quality heaters. At any one time, the market value of recyclable rubbish fluctuates. Before disassembling your old heater, please determine how much your local scrap yard would pay.

Also, Read: Can a Water Heater Explode?

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Factors Affecting the Scrap Cost

Scrap from a water heater is valuable for gold, silver, and platinum. Pricing is also affected by the size of the heater. A 40-gallon water heater, for example, will have a lower scrap value than a 50-gallon heater since it contains less material overall. Even the price a scrapyard will pay you for an old  heater varies seasonally. Throughout the year, production, resale, and demand all work together to make one metal less expensive than another.

Like any other commodity, supply and demand heavily influence scrap metal prices. Aluminum, for example, is plentiful and inexpensive, making it unsuitable for use in the heaters. Copper and other costly materials used in water heaters are in high demand, causing prices to rise.

The material cost is the most essential factor in determining the scrap metal value of a water heater. The most common metals used in water heater construction are aluminum, copper, and brass.


In some scrap metal markets, brass can get up to $1.50 per pound. Scrap yards value pure brass found in heater components such as drain valves, fittings, protective caps, and burner assemblies (gas heaters).


Even though aluminum is less valued than brass, some recycling centers will pay up to $1 per pound. Aluminium’s value is defined by its purity and the amount of alloying elements present. Anode rods, drain pans, pipes, valves, and valve bodies for water heaters are all aluminum.


Copper is used extensively in water heaters. Scrap yards may pay up to $2 per pound for pure unalloyed copper. Despite their continuous popularity, copper alloys are less expensive than pure copper.

Some of the most essential features of copper-based water heaters are piping and tubing equipment, Thermal Components (electric water heaters), and magnetic mineral deposits.

What Is The Scrap Value of a 40-gallon Water Heater?

A 40-gallon heater’s estimated scrap value normally ranges between $10 and $30. This value, however, might change depending on factors such as location, the current market price for scrap metal, and the condition of the water heater.

What Is The Scrap Value of a 50-gallon Water Heater?

The estimated scrap value of a 50-gallon heater is between $15 and $40. This value, like the 40-gallon unit, can be influenced by factors such as your geographic location, current scrap metal values, and the overall condition of the water heater.

How to Get Rid of an Old Water Heater?

Before disposing of a heater, it must be thoroughly cleaned. This is especially true if you purposely deconstruct the system to shred individual components more quickly. The following actions must be taken to prepare your heater for disposal:

Drain Water

Because many salvage yards charge by weight, you may be asked to puncture the tank to demonstrate that all water has been emptied. The draining method will be covered in greater detail later.

Dismantle the Heater

The only tools necessary are a hammer and a pipe wrench. Copper and other valuable metals should be kept away from less valuable items.

Look into your state’s legislation.

Some states may require proof of ownership, seller identity, and entire serial numbers. It is critical to collect these facts before visiting a scrap yard. This information can be obtained by visiting a scrap yard or researching your state’s scrap legislation online.

Recycling Price:

The cost of recycling a water heater varies depending on its size, type, and market conditions. A conventional household heater may bring between $10 and $50 at a recycling center. Larger or more specialized heaters, on the other hand, may command a greater price. When deciding the price, recycling centers analyze the weight and materials in the water heater, such as steel and copper components. For the most current and up-to-date price information, contact your local recycling center.

Should I disassemble or sell my water heater as-is?

Because the effort-to-return ratio is a significant element in deciding how much money you will receive from a scrapyard when recycling metal, removing the heater yourself will frequently offer the highest return. If you put effort before delivering your broken equipment to the scrapyard, you will get a greater price.

To begin the process of reducing the heater to scrap metal, disconnect the top pipe connections. These are usually made of a one-of-a-kind substance, although they nevertheless have some value as waste. The gas regulator can be removed from the heater by striking it hard enough with a hammer.

This may be recoverable depending on the type of regulator used. Finally, the larger cylindrical tank usually commands a greater scrapyard price.


Now that you know what you can rescue from the water heater, you can try selling it rather than throwing it away. Many companies provide disposal services for aged heaters. Their websites offer extensive communication. Daily updates are also made to online scrap metal prices.


About Author

Mobeen Shahid

Mobeen Shahid

Mobeen Shahid is a Mechanical Engineer with two years of experience in the HVAC industry. His passion is analyzing HVAC issues, and he works relentlessly to devise customized solutions. He has been in the industry long enough to know the ins and outs and ensures that areas are optimally heated, cooled, and ventilated.

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