How to Scrap Televisions

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This article describes how to scrap an old television. If you are a television owner looking for options around having your television recycled, then follow this link.

Getting back to scrapping, the dismantling of old televisions for scrap metal is a popular tact for scrappers. The price of old, non-functioning televisions is noremally less than the price of scrap metals contained in it. So, it’s always a good idea to separate the valuable metals such as scrap aluminum, scrap copper and circuit board.

Here is a detailed instruction on how to scrap your old televisions:

Necessary Tools for Scrapping a TV:   A razor knife, screw driver or power drill with screw bits, gloves, hex (socket) head bit or nut driver, wire cutters or side cutters, and a few 5-gallon buckets.

Step One: Remove the Back Cover of the Television

Removing the back plastic cover takes a little bit of trial and error as every TV is different and technique can vary from television to television. But it should not be very difficult as there should be just a few fasteners holding on the plastic cover with the TV. Commonly the fasteners are 3/8’’ hex head screws and at least one in each corner of the TV’s back cover. Once you remove all the screws, the plastic cover will easily pop off. For some models, it might be necessary to cut off the power cables to ease the process.  

Step Two:  Discharge the Television’s Capacitor

If the TV set you are scraping was plugged-in any time during the last week or so, then it can still hold a charge and can hurt you.

So, after removing the back cover, the first thing you need to do is discharging the capacitor of the TV.

Step Three: Cut Out Scrap Circuit Boards

Every TV set has at least two circuit boards; one big board that normally rests on the bottom of the TV and the other one attached to the narrow top of the TV’s tube (the “electron gun”).

Both boards should be easily separated with hands and may need undoing the screws or cutting zip-ties. The circuit board attached to the top of the tube is normally held on with some soft calking which works as an electrical insulator. Carefully pull off the board so that the glass on the TV is unharmed. Then, you can pull off any other valuable attachments such as small precious-metal-bearing IC chips, small aluminum heat sinks, small inductors, and small scrap transformers.

Step Four: Disassemble the Scrap Copper Yoke

After you cut out the circuit boards and remove some other valuables, you should find the copper yoke which is a cone-shaped ware coil placed at the end of the tube. Once you detach it from the tube, you will be able to pull all the copper very easily. Copper yokes have 1/2 stainless steel clips/ screws holding them onto the tube and by undoing the screws; you should disassemble the copper yoke easily. If it gets a little difficult, you can use a hammer to break the copper yoke off the glass. But make sure, you don’t hurt yourself in the process.

Step Five: Break Apart the Copper Yoke

To separate all the copper off the ferrite (made of magnetic ceramic) core of the yoke, simply use a hammer.

Set all the copper yokes in a wide based basket and firmly tamp down on them with a sledge-hammer. To separate the copper from other materials in the bucket, crush the black ferrite that the copper is wound around.

Step Six: Separate and Strip the Scrap Degaussing Coil

A scrap degaussing coil is a solid gauge wire which runs around the front of the tube and is covered with black, sticky and thick electrical tape. Scrap degaussing coil is normally made of copper or aluminum. So, simply cut the degaussing coil to have the copper of aluminum using a razor cutter.

Step Seven: Dispose of the Leaded Glass TV Tube

Now that you have removed every valuable component from the TV, the next step is to dispose of the leaded glass or cathode ray tube. Note that the disposal of old tubes is increasingly regulated.

Be sure to check local disposal regulations and recycling opportunities, such as those in New York.