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  • Gas Hot Water System

    Got my hands on this Bosch Hydropower Hot water unit after it gave up the ghost. I've only ever scrapped out cylinder hot water systems before, so this style is new to me.

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    As many are aware of the difference between copper and steel cylinders, I was eager to see if these systems were the same. Open the front cover and the unit speaks for itself.

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    The copper centre is like a radiator or oven and heats the copper coil that surrounds. Gas jets burn through it from down the bottom, and the top half is mostly just like a exhaust hood. Looked simple with plenty of aluminium components, brass fittings and copper piping.

    Much like my gas heater I did this year, chasing all the brass fittings is time consuming, but I can't help myself. Lots of screws, and brass that had to be cut away from aluminium, the unit was simple but fiddly. The copper centre was the easiest part to get out. Parts like this were also easy, a row of brass jets on a heavy aluminum rail.

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    I got every last bit separated and sorted, and it took me forty minutes. In the end, despite so many chunky, heavy brass fittings, there was more weight in aluminium then brass within the unit.

    The breakdown is as follows:

    Aluminium: 1.1kg @ $1.05/kg = $1.15
    Brass: 0.86kg @ $3.20/kg = $2.75
    Burnt Copper: 3.8kg @ $5.80/kg = $22.04
    L/G Steel: 13.2kg @ 13c/kg = $1.71 (I understand that steel prices have dropped ATM, but I always base my prices on what I'd previously been given just as a guide).

    Total price: $27.65 @ 40minutes = $41.47/hr

    It doesn't get much better then that, if only you could scrap them every day. It's obvious that the copper centre is the big money earner, and would really push the hourly rate up if you just ripped that out and scrapped the rest as light gauge. But I'm a recycler and hate too see pretty brass go to waste. At $41/hr, if you spend the first ten minutes earning the $30 part, and then the last 50 earning the next $11 does it really matter? As long as you're earning the $41, who cares?

  • #2
    That's a good one, think I did one of them ages ago, the copper would go as candy, like copper piping so it's probably 20c kg more then burnt
    Buying eWaste link here

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    • Tybo
      Tybo commented
      Editing a comment
      Oh really, cool! I generally only sort copper into milberry or burnt, and knew it wasn't milberry.

  • #3
    Millberry generally relates to wire, so too does burnt.
    The way I understand it is millberry stands on it's own, then you got the two others.

    Millberry Copper
    #1 Copper (chunky or clean pipe)
    #2 Copper (burnt wire or green oxidized pipe)
    Buying eWaste link here

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    • #4
      Copper can be so confusing. My millberry bucket is almost 90% degaussing cable, the other 10% would be made up of spool wire. Any other copper I put in the burnt bucket, green, oxidised, laquered, anything. I used to put all copper in one bucket, just called 'copper'.

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      • WEEE Ben
        WEEE Ben commented
        Editing a comment
        That's good enough, there isn't much difference really.
        Won't be long you'll probably go back to just the good ol' copper bucket since degaussing cables will be just a memory

      • Tybo
        Tybo commented
        Editing a comment
        I guess so, it'll be interesting to see next years Kerbside Collection and see if there's a sizable reduction in CRTs. I still get my fair share at this stage.

    • #5
      Just an update on this topic, if you see the Rinnai branded ones they are well worth taking also. Much the same value inside, nice big chunk of copper.

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      • WEEE Ben
        WEEE Ben commented
        Editing a comment
        be interesting to see how I go with one's I got the other day, could always use more copper and I've been lucky with brass lately

    • #6
      All of these small hot water units, regardless of the brand have a copper heater bucket. Though there are a few things to watch out for. The larger gas units like the first one posted have the largest copper buckets. They are often clean copper but sometimes the bucket is completely tin plated. The fittings that connect directly from the copper bucket to the rest of the piping are actually brass. They need to be removed. There is also often a brass nut on the base on one side. when the nut is removed a stainless steel heat probe can be removed.

      The smaller electric ones like the one posted above are more fiddly to take apart. They often have stainless steel or even steel bracket welded to the top and bottom of the bucket. It is often only held on by about 6 spot welds which can be easily broken.

      When you get going you can get 5 or 6 done in an hour if you dont go for every bit, just the main copper bucket, the brass fittings and the motor/transformer.

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