Why has Romex wire gotten so expensive?

Romex wire used to be near $20 or so for a roll, and now its near $100. Why has the price jumped so high?

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On 6/18/06 8:29 AM, in article snipped-for-privacy@c74g2000cwc.googlegroups.com,

It cannot be! Over the last 10 years we have been assured that inflation is under control by our Government. Would it lie?
Bill -- Ferme le Bush
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On Sun, 18 Jun 2006 12:27:38 -0500, "PanHandler"

That is $135 for 250'
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On Sun, 18 Jun 2006 08:29:43 -0700, potnisanish wrote:

You don't say what length of wire is a "roll", so I can't confirm or not whether the price has jumped.
That said, if the price has risen, no doubt the price of copper has had a big impact.
TTYL
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     snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com writes:

T&E (Twin & Earth) in the UK has also jumped in price, due to the increase in price of copper due to heavy demand from China. However, not by anywhere near the amount you cite above.
--
Andrew Gabriel

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writes:

someone told me a few weeks back that a tuppence was worth 3p weighed in at the scrappy.
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Gave us:

Well if that don't just tip your scales!
Over here, we have pennies that are 99.7 percent ZINC. A clad strip is used to coin them, and it is even done in such a way as to cover the edges with copper when struck as well.
Next thing ya know, Zinc will be going up too!
RoHS will likely have a hand in that.
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I read "somewhere" that even with the zinc, the $.01 piece cost more than $.01 to make.
I don't know about the UK, but the time has long since past for the US to be making the smallest coin ($.01).
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On Tue, 20 Jun 2006 18:06:10 -0400, "John Gilmer"

I think it would be nicer to put the value back into it.
A kid should still be able to walk down to the corner store and buy a penny stick of bubble gum.. Not that a good parent would let their kid out alone in this world, but I speak of better times past... in so many ways.
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Well, "Penny Candy" was just about history when I will still sort of a "kid" back in the 1950s.
Since then the cost of just about everything has gone up by a factor of from 5 to 10 times. That's sufficient reason to give the $.01 piece the heave ho.
If we enter another round of inflation the US should either seriously consider dropping both the $.05 and the $.10 and/or issue some "new" currency that's 1/10 the value of the old stuff.
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On Sun, 25 Jun 2006 00:36:09 -0400, "John Gilmer"

The last of the penny gumball machines seemed to be around 66, 67. Maybe we can blame this oin Vietnam too. ;-)
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On 6/24/06 9:36 PM, in article 449e12ca$0$ snipped-for-privacy@dingus.crosslink.net, "John

It is clear to me that the average inflation factor over my lifetime is about 40. Not all price increase is inflation. Similarly, not all price stability is indicative of no inflation.
Postage is a good example of a service whose price increase is bitterly opposed by most politicians. First class postage has gone up by a factor of 20 during my lifetime. That is in spite of increased productivity from automatic sorting machines, zip codes and all that.
One common fallacy is to equate price increase with decline in the value of money. The electronics industry is one in which price has remained constant or even gone down. You can buy a much better television set now for about the same number of dollars than in about 1960. Nevertheless, because of increased productivity of electronic components, the price should possibly be lower.
On the other hand, when the price of a scarce commodity goes up, it is not necessarily a sign of inflation. Certainly, in the US, copper has to be extracted from poorer ores as the better ones get consumed. It takes more effort and capital investment for that. Price increase of that nature is not inflationary but indicative of necessarily lowered standards of living that will be forced upon us by a poorer environment. That is not to say that there is no inflation in the price of copper.
As far as I can see, the primary driver of inflation in the US is the Congress with their profligate deficit spending. Almost all politicians like to spend--Democrat and Republican alike! They just want to spend on different things.
One Congressman asked about how he managed to get reelected so many times said, "I always voted against tax increases and never voted against an appropriation." We are also our own enemy because we reelect them.
Bill -- Ferme le Bush
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Simple. The price of copper has gone up. Here in the SF Bay Area you can get $1.65/lb. at the recyclers for #12 THHN ***with*** insulation.
I know a lot of electrical contractors are hurting because the price is going up so rapidly. One in particular under bid their job by 50K because the price of copper went up so much from time of bid.
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us:

Raw copper scrap is at like $3 a Lb. That would make processed copper even higher than that. It used to be a buck a pound.
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The last time it peaked we got stuck will Al wire in homes that caused lots and lots of problems.
Maybe "this time" the technology will be up to the job. If the problems are truly solved then copper wiring for power will go the way of the dodo.
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On Tue, 20 Jun 2006 18:13:49 -0400, "John Gilmer" wrote:

NOFI, but there _is_ a tried and tested fix available for decades. It's called 'abandoning 120V' :-P
(Go figure: Utility-side and 'power hungry' devices 120-0-120 => 240-0 = same power with 33% less copper Replacing 120V appliances with 240V ones = 1/2 current = same power with 50% less copper
But seriously, unless someone invents some conductive polymer that rivals copper in both conductivity and price ('alternative' metals/alloys obviously won't qualify), phasing out 120V would be a damn good start at slowing down the copper price hike and keeping wiring affordable!)
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Depends on how you "do things."
If you require a ground wire, then you only save 25% of the copper (savings depend upon the relative sizes of the neutral and ground conductors.) But many 240 volt appliances have 120 volt motors and timers and lamps.
Folks like to have 120 volts for "small stuff."
Unless the government steps in and requires 240 volt for anything that draws more than 9 amps, it just will not happen.

True. But only if you go 100% unbalanced and give up 120 stuff (or pay the penalty of transformers all over the place.)

Well, expensive copper has just about permanently priced itself out of a lot of applications. It's still used for a lot of residential plumbing but some of the techniques used for plastic have been transferred to copper. Next step is to just drop the copper in the first place.
Right now houses keep going up and up in price and folks just don't care about saving a few $100 in wiring. But when the market shifts and the builders have to pinch every penny or go out of business, I bet Al will be back. If will have some kind of "lifetime" guarantee.

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The 3-wire, single phase 110/220 volt system was deliberately picked by the Rural Electrification Association in the early days of the Roosevelt administration becuase it "did" and still does offer the maximum in safety (most circuits at the lower 110V. level), flexibility (Two voltage levels available, the higher 220 for heavy-duty circuits), and simplicity (the ability to power 10 HP and larger motors) while using single phase transfomer banks. The common neutral with the higher voltages also minimizes voltage drop when the loads are balanced.
Keep in mind that this was in the days before GFCI's and any solid state electronics. The US Government was extending light & power to the farms of the land and was looking to do it as economically as possible.
The rejected the choice of the Euro-Continental model, essentially bringing 3-phase primarys to a central town transformer and using thick secondary conductors to serve 200 houses or so from one facility.
American farms were different than what geographically was found in Europe. Rural Europeans tended to live in clusters in small towns and villages surrounded by farm fields. America, on the other hand, consisted of isolated farm houses on each plot of land separated by great distances. The single phase model, typically served by a set of poles with a simple neutral and hot primary wire (no crossarms necessary) and a small distribution transformer at the end made the most sense.
Beachcomber
Beachcomber
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snipped-for-privacy@notreal.none (Beachcomber) writes:

Where I grew up (upstate NY) all the really old stuff from that era in rural areas was two hots on a crossarm, no neutral. Everything seemed to be wired delta then.
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