View Full Version : Power Cord Cutters


Rental Limo
04-17-2008, 05:57 PM
I was talking to zenithfan1 (Mark) yesterday night telling him about this early B/W Admiral combo that i picked up for him during my cities annual spring cleanup. I told him that the chassis seemed complete, but the power cord was cut. Power cord cutting seems to be the newest trend in my area. If you find any electronics thrown away with a power cord still intact its a plus! This act has been happening in my area the last couple of years. It makes me furious!

drknstrmyknight
04-17-2008, 06:02 PM
The cords can become brittle and shed their insulation, or the unit couls have displayed some pyrotechnics. A cut cord should be an implicit "AS IS" sign and a bargaining chip.

David Roper
04-17-2008, 06:04 PM
It's only a real shame if an unusual original molded plug was still on the end...which there's no way of knowing once the cord is cut. Other than that it's actually a blessing--assuming the power transformer wasn't fried prior to (and was the reason for) the cutting of the cord.

grateful
04-17-2008, 06:33 PM
They are cut and sold for the copper in the cord beleive it or not.

Whirled One
04-17-2008, 07:09 PM
Power cord cutting seems to be the newest trend in my area. If you find any electronics thrown away with a power cord still intact its a plus! This act has been happening in my area the last couple of years. It makes me furious!

This happens all the time here on bulk trash days -- there are metal scrappers that look out for any electrical appliances left out on the curb, and cut the power cord. From what I heard from one such 'scrapper' I encountered one day, a full large-size trash bag full of electric cords will net about $50 worth of copper. Frankly, it seems like it would take a lot of time and labor to get that fifty bucks, but hey. Anyway, it rather annoys me sometimes, because the "Clipper People" are just as fond of cutting up special hard-to-replace and/or expensive muliti-conductor cables found on various computer and A/V equipment, often rendering such items useless. But, hey, it was thrown out in the *trash*, so it's not like anyone has any more 'claim' to it than anyone else.

The scrap-metal collectors also love to dismantle discarded gas barbecue grills; apparently most of them are made of cast aluminum, which is easy to sell as scrap.

radiotvnut
04-17-2008, 07:12 PM
I used to get ticked when the cord would be cut off a TV (or stereo) that I picked up. Many times, a new cord would bring the item back to life. Many people do this to keep someone from getting instant use out of their discarded item. As strange as it is, there's people out there that don't want anyone getting any good out of their garbage.

After the "CRT bashers & yoke snatchers" came along, cord cutting bothered me less. Now, I fell blessed if a cut cord is ALL that has been done!

stromberg6
04-17-2008, 07:52 PM
My neighbor tossed out a microwave oven last week. It was gone in less than an hour. When I scrap out old locks for the brass, I put out the pot metal. They pick up that, too. Some of us must have vast fortunes in copper in our collections.
Kevin

mr_fixer
04-17-2008, 10:03 PM
It's scary how much copper will fetch at the scrap dealers. A friend of mine remodeled his house and moved the bathroom and utility room of his house. he cut out the copper water pipe and replaced it with pvc. He gave me the scrap, I sold only 30 pounds for $90 at the scrap yard. I couldn't believe it. I think burned wire sells for 2.70 a pound. Logan

bricktop
04-17-2008, 10:29 PM
there has been some hooligans around where I live who cut (steal) the copper propane gas lines from hunting cabins to sell for scrap...stupid on so many levels...

Rental Limo
04-17-2008, 10:42 PM
This happens all the time here on bulk trash days -- there are metal scrappers that look out for any electrical appliances left out on the curb, and cut the power cord. From what I heard from one such 'scrapper' I encountered one day, a full large-size trash bag full of electric cords will net about $50 worth of copper. Frankly, it seems like it would take a lot of time and labor to get that fifty bucks, but hey. Anyway, it rather annoys me sometimes, because the "Clipper People" are just as fond of cutting up special hard-to-replace and/or expensive muliti-conductor cables found on various computer and A/V equipment, often rendering such items useless. But, hey, it was thrown out in the *trash*, so it's not like anyone has any more 'claim' to it than anyone else.

The scrap-metal collectors also love to dismantle discarded gas barbecue grills; apparently most of them are made of cast aluminum, which is easy to sell as scrap.


I recycle gas barbeque grills myself, and made over 200 dollars recycling profit last year from them. About 27 grills i think. Its a messy job, but its an easy recycling profit.

grateful
04-17-2008, 11:13 PM
Seems like a lot of work for $200.




I recycle gas barbeque grills myself, and made over 200 dollars recycling profit last year from them. About 27 grills i think. Its a messy job, but its an easy recycling profit.

bgadow
04-17-2008, 11:14 PM
An amazing number of folks have gotten into this. They'll grab anything that isn't tied down, and some of them will just take plain anything. I have always given away my scrap (I generate tons of junk sheetmetal over the course of a year) but have been thinking I should start selling it myself.

I was talking to a fellow a few days ago about the old TV hobby; he mentioned that he is constantly parting out sets for the wire. (but luckily he has only had one tube set come his way) Said he wraps all the wire up in a ball and then sells it. He told me about getting zapped by the HV line on a TV so I brought him inside and showed him how to discharge them. I was also generous enough to give him a bucket of old unidentified yokes. In return, I told him I expect all future tube sets he comes across to be left on my doorstep!

I will also note that I have several buckets full of cheater cords and pigtails, all thanks to sets I junked over the years. I would never throw anything out without saving the good cord.

The grilles a lot of work for $200? I don't know. What would a weeks wages at McDonalds get you? I guess it depends on what you, personally, charge an hour! I have met some hard working, honest scrap haulers, old men who really appreciated what they got. They would really work hard for their money but given the skill set they had it wasn't like they could go play doctor or lawyer.

fotno
04-17-2008, 11:39 PM
I worked in the construction field for many years, and I can't recall the number of times I've walked on to jobs sites, only to find new construction homes stripped of copper pipe and wire.

If there's a spike in scrap metal prices, it seems to coincide with a spike in theft of metal supplies as well... Who woulda thunk it?

Then there was the one time (in Greensboro NC) that two thieves who hadn't realized the house they were cannibalizing had been hooked up to temp power that very day... Suprise, surprise! The Police didn't have much trouble finding those guys.

fsjonsey
04-17-2008, 11:57 PM
Vacant houses in urban areas, Detroit especially, are being stripped of copper and aluminum, plumbing, wiring, gutters, and all. Because of the damage done by the scroungers, the houses are not worth repairing and are simply torn down. It's beginning to happen in suburban areas too.

andy
04-18-2008, 01:35 AM
Aluminum must be getting more expensive because all the grills I saw when I was shopping for one last month were either painted steel, or stainless. I remember back in PA, every single grill I saw on bulk trash week was missing its top.

Rental Limo
04-18-2008, 03:44 AM
I take the whole grill. Not just the top. Even though i have 2 grills in my yard. (My yard is clean by the way) I havent stripped them yet. I am waiting for more to show up, so i can dismantle several at once. Not 20! Maybe 5. Its not that hard of a job. The dirtest is cleaning out the lava rock. I found a shallow container in the garbage recently that i could dump the lava rocks in. You can either hammer the bottom parts off, or pry them off the frame with a prybar. Most of the nuts are seized to the frame anyways. I was just at the recycler yesterday dropping off stripped computer towers, and i had to go back home to get my wallet. Because of new construction material thefts you need to have a state ID when recycling any scrap at the recycler. Aluminum cans you dont need to have an ID present. Just everything else.

Arkay
04-18-2008, 08:10 AM
At the audio wholesale places here in Hong Kong, MOST of the units have their cords cut, almost as soon as they come in the door. In a way, I can understand it, as when you are stacking, unstacking and restacking piles of gear all day, the cords get in the way, take up space, and actually make things very inconvenient and even dangerous. If I were doing the volume of business they do, I would cut the cords, too, as much as it would pain me to do so. They usually don't cut the cords on the REALLY NICE stuff that they know will sell for premium prices, but most of it gets cut, including sometimes even the nice stuff. Sometimes I see big cardboard boxes or large bags full of cut-off cords.

It bugs me for several reasons:

1. Sometimes the gear are things like Marantz 22xx receivers, which always have the distinctive light-grey cords with large molded plugs on the ends (Usually European-style, here). Those are impossible to reproduce; you either find an original, or you can tell at glance that it is a replacement. I always look when I see boxes/bags of cords, to see if any of that type are in there, but as one would expect, I seldom find any. Even when I find one, attaching it to a unit as a replacement leaves me with a cord that is around a foot shorter than the original was. :sigh:

2. The little 2-part plastic clamps that keep the cords from pulling out (I forgot their proper name) are a BIG PAIN IN THE BUTT to get loosened, and also to re-insert with the new wire, and if they break in the process, there is no guarantee you can find a replacement of the correct size. If anyone has easy techniques for dealing with those awful things, please share them, because half the time I end up with broken ones, pained fingers and/or tried patience when dealing with them.

3. Every cut cord means one replacement cord that has to be found and installed. It doesn't take TOO long, but when you have to do it for nearly every piece you bring home, it adds up to a lot of "wasted" time.

Metal prices are high and going higher for the foreseeable future, mostly because (1) they are denominated in US$, and the US$ is weak and weakening, and (2) greatly expanded demand for metals in developing countries (especially China and India) is pushing prices up. Theft of metal stuff for recycling will only get worse --especially in places and times of recession, when more people at the bottom of the financial ladder get desperate to earn even modest sums for daily survival.

holmesuser01
04-18-2008, 10:52 AM
Vacant houses in urban areas, Detroit especially, are being stripped of copper and aluminum, plumbing, wiring, gutters, and all. Because of the damage done by the scroungers, the houses are not worth repairing and are simply torn down. It's beginning to happen in suburban areas too.


Funny you should mention this here.

A home in my neighborhood sat empty for about 3 months. When the new owners started getting it ready to rent, which is another problem to me entirely, they found that all the water lines were gone, along with all of the wiring that ran through the basement. The furnace was stripped, also.

I am amazed at how brazen people are getting. What ever happened to leaving things alone that dont belong to you?

zenith2134
04-18-2008, 11:46 AM
We have a 1940s oil burner with steam boiler which is on its way out. I'll make sure I'M the one who profits instead of some scrap guy 'getting rid of it for us'

And maybe I;ll start pulling yokes from junked sets.... But I doubt I'll get that desperate for paper. People are nuts, stealing propane lines??!!

wa2ise
04-18-2008, 01:20 PM
Funny you should mention this here.

they found that all the water lines were gone, along with all of the wiring that ran through the basement. The furnace was stripped, also.

I am amazed at how brazen people are getting. What ever happened to leaving things alone that dont belong to you?

I would imagine that someone who owns a house that is about to be foreclosed/reprosessed, they might take out all the scrappable wire and pipe themselves. It's still their house until the repro guy shows up. As they are getting kicked out of the house anyway.

Twenty20Man
04-18-2008, 01:33 PM
i hate thieves.. let them come on my property they will be carried off....

onepixel
04-18-2008, 02:05 PM
I was once told that some techs would cut the power cords off on dangerously dead equipment so people who find them won't plug them in and get fried.

Phil Nelson
04-19-2008, 01:36 PM
so people who find them won't plug them in and get fried.
I think a lot of cords were cut out of safety concerns (real or imagined). I can especially understand this if people had children in the house. I can't tell you some of the idiotic things I did with electricity while growing up.

Phil Nelson

old_tv_nut
04-19-2008, 11:05 PM
Talking to a friend at NAB this year - he knows someone who had a 2" quad machine in storage - came to find it bashed and all the servo motors etc gone - makes me start to feel that cutting off the thief's hand is not cruel and unusual.

colorfixer
04-20-2008, 01:12 PM
A transmitter site at a local AM station recently had as much of its copper wiring, ground strapping, and cabling stolen as they could without taking the station off the air. It wasn't until the power went down that they discovered the theft, as all the wiring and the emergency generator was missing.

Caused over $100000 worth of damage.

Anyone stupid enough to pull grounding off a live 50KW broadcast transmitter running off of high voltage 3 phase AC deserves a quick visa to hell IMHO.

fujifrontier
04-23-2008, 08:48 AM
We have a 1940s oil burner with steam boiler which is on its way out. I'll make sure I'M the one who profits instead of some scrap guy 'getting rid of it for us'



pictures :)

larschr
04-27-2008, 04:26 PM
I usually cut the cords and put it inside the cabinet when i trash stuff to avoid the cord getting in the way when carrying the appliance. The stuff i trash is usually unrepairable or only usable as spare parts, so i guess it doesn´t really matter.