The Ultimate Guide to Parting Out a Fridge: Selling Your Refrigerator Scraps

Luke Keith

Samsung Refrigerator Part Out

Thinking of tossing your old fridge? Hold on! Parting out your fridge can not only help you declutter your space but also benefit the environment, and even put some cash in your pocket. I figured I spent over $3000 six years ago on my Samsung fridge so I knew there was value left in its parts. I have always been an advocate of reusing parts from old devices. It’s a win-win for everyone and the environment. Through the dismantling process, I learned valuable tips like turning off the water supply before tackling the water line. The specific model I was dismantling is a Samsung RF28M9580SG, but conceptually a lot of this information applies to most refrigerators. I’ll discuss the valuable components you can extract from your fridge, how to prepare for disassembly safely, and provide step-by-step instructions for dismantling it to recover those important components.

Refrigerator Parts and Components

ComponentWhere to SellNotes
CopperScrap yards, metal recyclersPays by weight, separate different grades for better prices.
AluminumScrap yards, metal recyclersClean aluminum gets a better price, some yards specialize in aluminum.
SteelScrap yards, metal recyclersLower value than copper/aluminum, but adds up.
CompressorScrap yards, HVAC specialists, appliance repair shopsWorking compressors can fetch a premium.
PlasticSome recycling centersCheck if they accept specific plastic types, often lower value.
Control Boards/ElectronicsOnline marketplaces (eBay, Facebook Marketplace), appliance repair shopsMay need to find buyers needing those specific parts.
Shelves, Drawers, Other Intact PartsOnline marketplaces, used appliance storesIf in good condition, selling as individual replacements has potential.
Online Listings: Include clear photos, model numbers, and descriptions when selling parts online.
Samsung RF28M9580SG
Samsung Refrigerator Model RF28M9580SG

Why Should You Scrap a Fridge?

Disposing of a refrigerator safely is crucial for environmental reasons. When fridges are scrapped, valuable materials such as copper, aluminum, and steel can be recovered and recycled, rather than being dumped in landfills. This reduces the demand for new resources and lowers the overall carbon footprint. The economic benefits extend beyond just environmental conservation, with individuals and businesses earning a significant profit by selling these recycled materials to specialized recycling facilities or metal scrap yards. Proper disposal methods for scrapped fridges are also critical in preventing environmental damage, as these appliances often contain hazardous components like refrigerants and foam insulation which can cause harm to ecosystems if not handled correctly. Responsible disposal ensures that these harmful substances are safely contained or extracted, reducing the risk of pollution or soil contamination.

Back of Samsung Fridge Water Lines
Back Water Lines of Samsung RF28M9580SG Fridge

Top Refrigerator Brands

BrandStrengthsPrice Range*Notes
Sub-ZeroPowerful cooling, high-end features, long-lasting$$$$Built-in options, known for luxury
MieleEuropean quality, advanced technology, sleek design$$$$Focus on energy efficiency and customization
LGSmart features, innovative designs, various styles$$ – $$$Wide range to suit different budgets
SamsungLarge capacity, smart tech, variety of finishes$$ – $$$Popular for French door models
BoschQuiet operation, reliable performance, thoughtful design$$ – $$$Focus on sleek, counter-depth styles
WhirlpoolPractical features, good value, dependable$ – $$Offers a wide selection across price points
GE AppliancesTrusted name, range of styles and features$ – $$Known for affordability and various configurations
FrigidaireAffordable, classic designs, good capacity$ – $$Budget-friendly, no-frills options
KitchenAidHigh-performance, durable, variety of features$$ – $$$Known for quality and range of styles
VikingCommercial-grade, powerful, customizable$$$$Premium brand, focus on pro-style features
Note: Take note of Strengths and Value. Higher Value means higher replacement parts value.

What Materials Can You Get From Scrapping a Fridge?

If you need to get rid of a refrigerator, you should know that it contains valuable materials that can be extracted and reused. These materials include copper, aluminum, steel, radiators, compressors, and foam insulation. In addition to these primary materials, you can also salvage other elements from the fridge, such as plastic components, glass shelves, and wiring harnesses. Copper is especially valuable as it is highly conductive and recyclable, and can be found in the wiring and tubing of fridges. Aluminum is another sought-after material, commonly used for panels and frames. Steel provides strength and durability, typically found in structural components. You can also recover the radiator to capture its heat exchange properties.

What Parts of a Fridge Can Be Recycled?

Recycling various parts of a refrigerator can help promote sustainable practices and contribute to resource conservation. The copper tubing, steel frames, and aluminum radiators found in fridges are all recyclable components. When these materials are properly processed and reused, it helps reduce the need for mining and manufacturing new materials, thus reducing the environmental impact. Recycling copper tubing not only saves energy but also prevents valuable resources from being wasted. Similarly, reusing steel frames and aluminum radiators reduces the carbon footprint associated with producing these materials from scratch. Therefore, the responsible disposal and recycling of these fridge components play a crucial role in promoting a more sustainable and environmentally friendly society.

Freezer Guard Right Drawer for Samsung Refrigerator RF28M9580SG
Freezer Guard Right Drawer for Samsung Refrigerator RF28M9580SG

Refrigerator Parts and Estimated Value

PartTypical Price Range*Selling Tips
Compressor$50 – $200+List model compatibility, specify working or not, include clear photos
Control Boards/Electronics$20 – $100+Provide model numbers, test functionality if possible, offer warranties for higher value items
Ice Makers$30 – $80+Include photos of all connections, specify if it includes water filters or additional parts
Evaporator Coils$20 – $60Clean before listing, ensure no leaks, package carefully for shipping
Shelves & Drawers$10 – $40+Clean thoroughly, note any scratches or damage upfront, list dimensions
Door Gaskets/Seals$20 – $50+Measure accurately, specify brand/model compatibility
Water Filters$10 – $30+Consider selling in packs, list compatible models
Thermostats$10 – $40Test before selling, provide clear installation instructions (if possible)
Note: Prices are approximate and vary depending on the brand, model, and condition of the part
Controller Boards Back of Fridge
Controller Boards Back for Samsung Refrigerator RF28M9580SG

Additional Selling Tips for Ebay

  • Research: Check completed listings for similar parts to price competitively.
  • Detailed Descriptions: Include model numbers, condition notes (new vs. used), and any relevant specifications and conditions.
  • Bundle Items: Offer compatible parts together (e.g., water filter + valve) for convenience and to save on shipping.
  • Shipping: Calculate shipping costs carefully, especially for bulky items like compressors.
Removing Water Filter
Removing Water Filter for Samsung Refrigerator RF28M9580SG

What Chemicals Can Be Extracted From a Fridge?

Refrigerators contain chemicals like Freon, which need to be extracted during the scrapping process, along with other refrigerant lines and foam insulation. Proper disposal of these chemicals is crucial to prevent any harmful effects on the environment and human health. It’s important to follow specific protocols to ensure environmental safety. Proper disposal not only protects the ecosystem but also helps recover valuable resources. Careful handling of refrigerants and foam components is necessary to avoid leaks and emissions that contribute to ozone depletion and global warming. The process of reclaiming these chemicals promotes sustainability in the refrigeration industry and contributes to a cleaner and healthier planet.

Samsung Fridge Condensor Coils
Condensor Coils for for Samsung Refrigerator RF28M9580SG

How to Prepare for Fridge Disassembly?

Gather Your Tools

  • Power drill
  • Gloves and goggles
  • (Optional) Tools for cutting refrigerant lines (if you plan to do this yourself)

Safety First

  • Wear protective gear at all times.
  • Unplug the fridge immediately.
  • Sealed units: Handle with extreme caution. May contain harmful refrigerants.

Handling Refrigerants

  • Refrigerants can be hazardous to the environment. Consult professionals for safe extraction and disposal. Check local regulations for any permits required.

Begin Dismantling

  1. Use the power drill to remove screws holding the fridge together.
  2. Carefully detach doors and shelves.
Left Door Assembly for Samsung Refrigerator RF28M9580SG Removed

What Safety Precautions Should You Take?

When scrapping a fridge, it is vital to observe safety precautions, especially when handling compressors and potentially contaminated aluminum parts, ensuring personal safety and environmental protection.

When dealing with compressors, it is recommended to release any remaining refrigerant in a safe and environmentally friendly manner to prevent harmful emissions. Always wear protective gloves and eyewear to shield oneself from sharp edges and potential contaminants during the disassembly process.

Regarding the aluminum components, be cautious of possible contaminants such as oils and chemicals, which should be properly disposed of according to local regulations to avoid environmental damage. Proper disposal also includes separating different materials for recycling purposes.

General safety practices should always be followed, such as working in a well-ventilated area and keeping fire extinguishers nearby in case of emergencies. Regularly inspect tools and equipment for any signs of damage or malfunction before use to prevent accidents.

How to Dismantle a Fridge?

When it comes to dismantling a fridge, there are several steps you need to follow. First, unplug the unit and remove all doors and shelves. Next, extract the insulation from the fridge by carefully separating the plastic parts to reach the inner layers. Be careful when handling the insulation material, as it may contain harmful substances. After the insulation is removed, it’s essential to cut the refrigerant lines with precision to avoid any leaks or spills. Properly dispose of any refrigerant that may be trapped in the lines, following environmental regulations. Salvaging components like compressors and radiators requires a careful approach. These parts can be valuable for recycling or repurposing. Pay attention to any attached wiring and connections as you dismantle them from the fridge. Depending on your experience, it may take 2-4 hours to disassemble the fridge and a few extra hours to list the parts. I have a lot of experience with disassembly of electronics so I didn’t need to watch any Youtube videos but depending on your experience it may not be a bad idea.

Step 1: Unplug the Fridge

When you want to dismantle a fridge, the first step is to unplug it from the power source. This is important for your safety and for preparing the fridge for further dismantling or disposal. By disconnecting it from the power, you protect yourself from potential electric shocks during dismantling and also ensure the safety of the components inside the appliance. This step is crucial in the process of preparing the fridge for disposal or recycling because it allows you to safely and efficiently work on removing other parts without the risk of electrical hazards. Properly unplugging the fridge also ensures that any utility connections, such as water lines or icemakers, are safely disconnected before disposal.

Step 2: Remove the Doors and Shelves

To safely dismantle a fridge, you should first unplug it. Start by removing bins inside the fridge first. These parts typically you can sell easily on a local or online marketplace. Next, remove the doors and shelves of the fridge with care and possibly using tools like steel tubes. To remove the fridge doors, open them fully and lift them upwards to unhinge them from their slots. You should be cautious as the doors can be heavy and delicate, especially if they have glass components. To remove the shelves, gently lift and tilt them to remove them from their tracks. If you encounter any stubborn components, use steel tubes to help pry them off, but make sure to place a cloth over the tube to prevent scratches on the fridge’s surface. It’s important to always wear gloves and protective eyewear to ensure your safety. These tools can be particularly useful when dealing with tightly secured or frozen parts.

Unscrew Door Hinges Samsung Fridge
Unscrew Door Hinges Samsung Fridge

Step 3: Remove the Insulation and Plastic Parts

When dismantling a fridge, it’s crucial to remove the insulation and plastic components with precision to ensure proper recycling or disposal. Efficient removal of these elements is essential for environmental sustainability and effective separation of foam materials and plastic parts. By carefully disassembling these components, you can contribute to reducing landfill waste and promoting the reuse of valuable materials. Proper recycling of plastics and foam insulation minimizes environmental impact, conserves resources, and supports the circular economy. By responsibly handling these materials, you can help decrease pollution and energy consumption associated with manufacturing new products.

Step 4: Cut the Refrigerant Lines

When dismantling a refrigerator, it is crucial to cut the refrigerant lines with care to prevent leakage of harmful gases into the environment. Proper handling of refrigerants is essential, including Freon recovery and disposal. It is recommended to involve HVAC contractors who have the necessary expertise and equipment for safe handling and disposal of refrigerants. Freon recovery involves capturing and containing the refrigerant for safe disposal or reuse. To prevent environmental damage and comply with regulations, it is important to follow appropriate disposal practices such as recycling or incineration. Refrigerants contain substances that can be harmful if released into the atmosphere. By following proper disposal guidelines, the environmental impact can be minimized.

Disconnecting Ice Maker
Disconnecting Ice Maker
Ice Maker Power Cables
Ice Maker Power Cables

Step 5: Remove the Compressor and Other Metal Parts

When it comes to recycling programs, extracting the compressor and other metal parts from a fridge is a crucial step. This practice helps to recover valuable components for reuse and promotes sustainable practices. Technicians carefully remove the compressor, copper tubing, aluminum fins, and other metal components from the fridge during the dismantling process. Subsequently, these parts are sorted and sent to specialized facilities for further processing. Recycling programs play a vital role in ensuring that these metals are not wasted, but instead, they are utilized in the production of new products. Through the extraction and recycling of these materials, the environmental impact of discarded fridges is significantly reduced, contributing to a more sustainable future.

Disconnecting Circuit Boards
Disconnecting Samsung RF28M9580SG Refrigerator Circuit Boards

Where to Take Your Old Fridge

Choose the best option for you based on your priorities:

Scrap Yards

  • Turn your scrap fridge into cash at a local scrap yard. They pay for valuable metals like copper and aluminum.

Recycling Centers

  • Opt for a recycling center to maximize the environmental benefits. They specialize in safely processing various materials from your fridge.

Donation Centers

  • Donate a working fridge to help those in need and reduce waste. Some centers may even offer pickup services.

Remember: Always check if facilities accept fridges before going.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the first step in scrapping a fridge?

The first step in scrapping a fridge is to unplug it and remove any food or other items inside.

Can I scrap a fridge for money?

Yes, many scrap yards accept fridges and may even pay you for it. However, it is important to check with your local scrap yard for their specific policies and procedures.

How do I safely remove the refrigerant from a fridge?

Refrigerant, also known as Freon, can be harmful to the environment if not properly disposed of. It is recommended to have a professional remove the refrigerant from the fridge before scrapping it.

What materials from a fridge can be recycled?

Many components of a fridge can be recycled, including the metal frame, copper wiring, and plastic parts. However, it is important to properly disassemble and separate these materials before taking them to a recycling facility.

Are there any regulations or laws I should be aware of when scrapping a fridge?

Yes, certain countries and states have laws and regulations in place for scrapping fridges. It is important to research and follow these laws to avoid any fines or penalties.

How should I transport a fridge to a scrap yard?

It is recommended to transport the fridge in an upright position to prevent damage to the compressor. You may also need to secure the doors to prevent them from opening during transport.