Brass plumbing and pipes are often used by general contractors and plumbers. It is usually found in older homes built before 1950 since it is rarely used in plumbing in modern construction, however it can be scrapped for cash if desired.
If you aren’t sure if you have brass pipe or bronze pipe, brass will typically be a little more yellow in color; whereas bronze pipe tends to have a more red tone to it. If you still don’t know, you can always ask your local scrap yard, or take a file to the pipe to see the true color. There are several types of brass that you can take to your local yard, bright yellow, mixed clean and mixed red. Depending on the type, the price per pound may fluctuate.
Lots of brass plumbing and pipes can be found when doing a home renovation; especially on an older property. This is a perfect time to upgrade the plumbing while scrapping the old piping for some money. Some of the brass may have a layer of chrome plating on it to keep the brass surface from corroding. You will need to make a deep cut into the chrome to see the yellow brass underneath the plating.
Brass is not considered as desirable of a material as copper, but it can still sell for a decent amount if you scrap your metal properly and prepare it before bringing it to a scrap yard. Make sure it’s separated from any other metals and solid brass should be stored in a different container than plated brass. Brass prices can also depend on cleanliness, color and brightness. If you can see your reflection in it, you will typically get a good price for it.
You can clean brass by using ketchup. The light acid from it will help free up imperfections without damaging the metal. Just put some ketchup on it, rub it all other the brass and let it sit for a few minutes, and then rub it off with a clean rag and buff. If this doesn’t work, you can make a stronger paste from 1 tsp salt and ½ cup vinegar and flour. Mix everything together and use the paste on difficult to clean areas on your brass. Let it sit for 10 minutes then rinse and rub/buff it off. Do not use steel wool when cleaning brass, you will scratch and damage the metal.
Brass is also commonly used in ammunition casings and can be recycled from that as well. Generally fire arms ranges collect their brass shells and scrap them once they’ve accumulated enough to justify the trip to the scrap yard.
Whether your brass comes from old plumbing and pipes or spent ammunition casings, it can be sold to a scrap yard for money. The key with brass is to make sure it’s separated as to whether it’s solid brass or plated, and if possible, clean the brass and get it as shiny as you can before taking it in for scrap. The cleaner the brass, the more you’ll get.