Lead used in service lines and interior plumbing could be a health concern. Older homes may be more at risk than others. Edwardson Plumbing can inspect the service line or interior plumbing for the presence of lead pipes, lead solder, or lead fixtures. The following conditions will help determine if your home is at-risk for lead plumbing.
- Lead pipes are dull gray in color and are soft enough to be scratched with a house key. Lead pipe is shiny when scraped, and a magnet will not stick to it. (Galvanized steel pipe is dull when scraped and a magnet will stick to it.)
- Homes with copper pipes built before 1987 may have used lead solder joints. Lead solder was banned after this time.
- Since January 1, 2014, only lead-free fixtures and fittings are allowed to be installed or used to repair drinking water plumbing. Plumbing and fixtures
installed before these dates or purchased from sources outside of the US may contain lead.
What you can do…Let It Run… Anytime the water in a particular faucet has not been used for six hours or longer, let it run…or “flush” your cold-water pipes by running the water until it becomes as cold as it will get. (This could take as little as five to thirty seconds if there has been recent heavy water use such as showering or toilet flushing. Otherwise, it could take two minutes or longer.) The more time water has been sitting in your home’s pipes, the more lead it may contain.
Only Use Cold Water for Consumption
Use only water from the cold-water tap for drinking, cooking, and especially for making baby formula. Hot water is likely to contain higher levels of lead. The two actions recommended above are very important to the health of your family. They will probably be effective in reducing lead levels because most of the lead in household water usually comes from the plumbing in your house, not necessarily from the local water supply.
How Can Edwardson Plumbing Help?
We recommend the following to customers looking to take precautionary measures to reduce the lead in their water.
- Edwardson Plumbing can inspect the service line or interior plumbing for the presence of lead pipes, lead solder, or lead fixtures.
- Installation of a Reverse-Osmosis System
Reverse-osmosis devices, usually installed underneath the sink, use a membrane with pores tiny enough to screen out contaminants. They are, on our opinion, the most effective device to reduce inorganic materials, including lead. These units can easily be installed by one of our plumbers.
- Install Filters
Filters, the simplest type of point-of-use devices, trap particles in a porous material while allowing water to pass through. There are many brands and types of filters which vary in their effectiveness at reducing lead. We can help you determine which filter is best for you if you choose this option. Keep in mind, with any type of filter, regular maintenance is critical. As filters remove particles from the water, they become clogged and have to be replaced or cleaned. Failure to do so may result in an increase in the bacteriological content in the water.
- Replace Lead plumbing lines: Replace your home’s lead service line or interior plumbing. Lead pipe is shiny when scraped with a screwdriver, and a magnet will not stick to it. (Galvanized steel pipe is dull when scraped and a magnet will stick to it.) Replacement must be done by a licensed plumber and Edwardson Plumbing can definitely help you with this.
Give us a call and we’d be happy to take a look at your plumbing and recommend the best course of action for your home. 608-290-9144
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