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  1. #1
    us
    Feb 2007
    United States
    White's M6
    1,024
    96 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Microwave Question

    I found a microwave this weekend and I was wondering if there is anything worth scrapping in the microwave? I figured the power cord has copper, but what else would it have in there?

  2. #2

    Aug 2006
    archdale N.C.
    100

    Re: Microwave Question

    you might want to see if the microswitches on the door latch's are still good last time i had one go out it was $40.00 to buy a new one and that on the internet had to replace it myself Jerry
    Dear Heavenly Father, we have lost our way and we are in need of your help, guidance, and love. We trust that you will provide us with the strength to find our way back to your house.

  3. #3
    Kentucky Kache

    Re: Microwave Question

    Microwaves have capacitors that can hold a deadly charge, so unless you know what you're doing, I'd say stay away from them.

  4. #4
    us
    Aug 2006
    earth
    1,780
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Microwave Question

    Quote Originally Posted by jbot
    Microwaves have capacitors that can hold a deadly charge, so unless you know what you're doing, I'd say stay away from them.
    how can you get rid of the charge?
    what if you throw it in something like a river or wet it down with a hose first?
    How to clean your copper coins using peroxide:
    http://www.associatedcontent.com/art...gen.html?cat=6

  5. #5
    Kentucky Kache

    Re: Microwave Question

    You can drain the charge with a probe, but you still have to know what you're doing.

  6. #6

    Apr 2007
    66

    Re: Microwave Question

    What's in a microwave? Well, the oven case is sheet metal. There is a copper transformer inside, some copper wiring, a circuit board or two, a blower fan, and the magnetron itself which produces the microwaves. There is a capacitor inside also. I'll get to this dangerous business of handling the capacitor in a minute (?!?) but first about the magnetron. The very earliest microwave ovens had a connector piece on the magnetron that was gold plated, figure about 35 to 75 cents in worth. The magnetron is usually made of steel with some stainless steel made into it on occasion. There is also some uninsulated copper wiring also and a couple of very nice donut shaped magnets about 2 to 3 inches in diameter. You have to dismantle the magnetron to get to all this with some good effort but it can be done. Now the biggest thing about microwave ovens is that a lot of scrap yards don't take them. I believe the reason to be that the very earliest made ones had PCB's in the capacitor. That stuff isn't dangerous to you while inside the capacitor but scrap yards shred appliances so they then have to contend with it in their waste stream. All recently made capacitors do not contain any PCB's but the scrap yards just ban all them so they won't have to figure which ones do or don't. Now I always dismantle mine anyhow to get at everything inside so all the scrapyard sees when I bring one in is an empty case shell. I save the magnets, the copper wiring and sell the capacitors fairly regularly, sometimes on ebay. I don't get much for them, maybe $5 for a half a dozen sometimes. Now with great respect to the other responding members to this question, I don't consider the capacitors that dangerous at all. For one thing over a period of time the charge in them pretty much drains away completely. They go dead just like a battery does over time. But unlike a battery they still can be charged up again to work. Over the years I've dismantled nearly a hundred microwaves and thousands of pieces of electrical equipment containing capacitors and have never been charged up myself working on the stuff! Just treat the capacitors like you would a car battery and don't let anything cross out the terminals which includes you. All recently made metal can type capacitors have rubber covers on the terminals so its extremely hard to accidently cross them out. Regards, Chris Hyder.

  7. #7
    us
    Feb 2007
    United States
    White's M6
    1,024
    96 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Microwave Question

    How much copper are we talking about in the microwave?

  8. #8

    Apr 2007
    66

    Re: Microwave Question

    There is a small amount of insulated wiring in the microwave and including the power cord and everything maybe a pound total, figure $1.25 per pound. The magnetron should have a coil of uninsulated copper wire inside it which will be about 16 or 14 gauge in size, maybe a couple of ounces but No. 1 scrap copper. The copper transformer will weigh about a pound or two. The scrap yards pay anywhere from 12 cents to about 35 cents a pound for these. Regards, Chris.

  9. #9

    Jul 2007
    86

    Re: Microwave Question

    Quote Originally Posted by hyderconsulting
    What's in a microwave? Well, the oven case is sheet metal. There is a copper transformer inside, some copper wiring, a circuit board or two, a blower fan, and the magnetron itself which produces the microwaves. There is a capacitor inside also. I'll get to this dangerous business of handling the capacitor in a minute (?!?) but first about the magnetron. The very earliest microwave ovens had a connector piece on the magnetron that was gold plated, figure about 35 to 75 cents in worth. The magnetron is usually made of steel with some stainless steel made into it on occasion. There is also some uninsulated copper wiring also and a couple of very nice donut shaped magnets about 2 to 3 inches in diameter. You have to dismantle the magnetron to get to all this with some good effort but it can be done. Now the biggest thing about microwave ovens is that a lot of scrap yards don't take them. I believe the reason to be that the very earliest made ones had PCB's in the capacitor. That stuff isn't dangerous to you while inside the capacitor but scrap yards shred appliances so they then have to contend with it in their waste stream. All recently made capacitors do not contain any PCB's but the scrap yards just ban all them so they won't have to figure which ones do or don't. Now I always dismantle mine anyhow to get at everything inside so all the scrapyard sees when I bring one in is an empty case shell. I save the magnets, the copper wiring and sell the capacitors fairly regularly, sometimes on ebay. I don't get much for them, maybe $5 for a half a dozen sometimes. Now with great respect to the other responding members to this question, I don't consider the capacitors that dangerous at all. For one thing over a period of time the charge in them pretty much drains away completely. They go dead just like a battery does over time. But unlike a battery they still can be charged up again to work. Over the years I've dismantled nearly a hundred microwaves and thousands of pieces of electrical equipment containing capacitors and have never been charged up myself working on the stuff! Just treat the capacitors like you would a car battery and don't let anything cross out the terminals which includes you. All recently made metal can type capacitors have rubber covers on the terminals so its extremely hard to accidently cross them out. Regards, Chris Hyder.

  10. #10

    Dec 2004
    70

    Re: Microwave Question

    Quote Originally Posted by jbot
    You can drain the charge with a probe, but you still have to know what you're doing.
    Well, that counts me out.

  11. #11
    us
    "The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits."~Albert Einstein

    Jan 2007
    Tesoro Bandido II and DeLeon. also a Detector Pro Headhunter Diver, and a Garrett BFO called The Hunter & a Garrett Ace 250.
    4,281
    231 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Microwave Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Talos
    Quote Originally Posted by jbot
    You can drain the charge with a probe, but you still have to know what you're doing.
    Well, that counts me out.
    Don't worry about those capacitors. Within those electronic circuits are what's referred to as "leak-down" resistors whose sole job is to trickle off any charge in the capacitor. That is done everytime the unit is turned off. It takes only a microsecond to charge a capacitor which is accomplished at unit turn-on. If you want to insure the thing is discharged, you can take a thick shanked common screwdriver WITH AN INSULATED HANDLE ( that's one of solid plastic or plastic covered in rubber, or of wood ) and short the two contacts of the capacitor by bridging them with the end of the blade. If there's a charge, you'll get a small spark and hear its crackling sound. You can safely do this on capacitors up to fairly large physical sizes. That's the way we used to "test" the caps of A/C electric motors. If that technique makes you nervous, then take a piece of 1"x2" seasoned lumber about 2 to 3 feet long and screw a piece of metal (3 or 4 inches long). Attach a length of insulated wire to one of the screws before "seating" it. ( a piece of scrap appliance power cord will work ). Attach an alligator-styled clip on the other end of the cord. Now you have a "poor man's" version of the grounding probe we had in the military for grounding the caps in mainframe computers; the old type telephone switching stations; etc ) Just clip the end of the cord to a good grounding point then bridge the contacts with the metal strap on the stick.

    "Dobie created the HUNGER............Von Mueller said, EAT". comment by HELM Associates on the dedication page of their book, Treaasure Lead Generation.

  12. #12

    Jul 2007
    Spectrum XLT
    310
    1 times

    Re: Microwave Question

    Magnetron tube you might be able to sell to the E bay geeks for a few bucks... same goes for the transformer. The rest, some copper wire, aluminum cooking fins, and steel for the case.

    The caps id not worry about saving trying to make a buck, they are a dime a dozen... probably a lot less to be honest. The switches yes some will say they are worth x amount of $$$ but the thing is, it's only worth what you can get someone to pay for it. A ring. the jeweler might tell you it's worth 5K but if you can only get 2k for it, then it's really only worth 2k....nuff said.

    The circuit boards are going for around 25 cent to a buck a pound depending on where you live....

    If it works you might get more money selling it as is as a working unit than scrapping it.

    aaron
    If god meant for us not to swing a coil; He'd have made our arms shorter!

  13. #13
    us
    Dec 2004
    South Florida
    70's Whites TM Amphibian, HH Pulse, Ace 250
    24,061
    875 times
    Beach and Shallow Water Hunting

    Re: Microwave Question

    I was going to say the same that I encounter capacitors on A/C units and if it doesnt have a bleed resistor, just short across the terminals, like Shortstack says, it will only spark for a second.

    My only bad experience with a capacitor was on a wet flat roof working alone on a live 220Volt A/C unit. As I bent over, my wet hair touched the terminals of the 440 volt Cap and electric vibrated through my head and I landed on my back. Thank goodness I didnt get stuck to it.

 

 

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