With all the possibilities that exist for recycling precious metals, you may be wondering whether it’s worth scrapping any household appliances for gold. After all, items like coffee makers and microwaves eventually need to be replaced, and it could be important to know whether they contain useful scrap before trashing them. As such, we’ll explain whether it’s worth scrapping appliances for gold.
To start, it’s important to understand what components increase the scrap value of an appliance.
Although you may have an old coffee maker you want to scrap, if it’s too old, it may not have circuit boards that contain gold. Features have been added to newer models of coffee machines that necessitate the use of circuit boards. These may include models that allow you to set strength levels, set a specific brewing time, and perform other advanced functions.
The presence of circuit boards is not only limited to coffee machines. Gold-bearing circuit boards are increasingly used in appliances like microwaves, air conditioners, refrigerators, and kitchen stoves. A good rule of thumb is: The more technological features that an appliance has, the more likely it is to contain small amounts of gold.
Another component to look for in your appliance if you want to extract precious metals from it is a thermocouple.
Look for Thermocouples
Appliances that you use to heat up products (coffee makers, stoves) or cool down spaces (air conditioners, refrigerators) contain thermocouples. These are wire-like devices that are composed of several metals. Thermocouples may contain palladium, platinum, rhodium, and sometimes a small amount of gold.
Although you may be eager to see how many gold bars you’ll get from your old coffee maker, don’t get too excited yet. There is a catch to recycling precious metals found in household appliances.
You Need Large Quantities
Unfortunately, getting rich isn’t as simple as melting your microwave into gold. The truth is you will likely only find a few cents worth of valuable precious metals in appliances. Your best opportunity when it comes to recycling appliances for precious metals is when you acquire a sizeable number of appliances that you are not able to sell. Take for example, a real estate investor who buys an old apartment building with hundreds of old ovens and air conditioners that need to be replaced. In this case, it may be worth recycling them.