Here's The Low Down On Lead Pipes

Did you know that lead piping can be traced back all the way to the Roman Empire? That’s right—it’s been around for millennia. But that doesn’t make them the best choice. In fact, traces of lead in your water can lead to a whole host of health issues, so it’s important that you know what type of pipes are delivering your water to your drinking glass.

How to tell if you have lead pipes

If your home was built before the mid-1980s, there’s a chance lead pipes were used (but even if it was built after that, we still recommend checking). The easiest way to determine whether you have lead piping is to check the pipe near the water meter. The following are all indications that your pipes are made of lead

  • Swelling near connection points
  • Irregular bending
  • Soft metal material
  • Shiny silver-coloured metal under the existing paint when scratched with a coin

Note that homes with wells or a private water system require regular water testing. You can pick up an at-home test kit from a variety of places—even Amazon has some options. It’ll determine whether there are traces of lead and other toxins in your drinking water.

Next steps

After your self-inspection, if you’ve determined that you have lead pipes, your only course of action should be getting them replaced. Lead poisoning is dangerous, so it’s essential that no traces of lead are present in your water. When you chat with your plumber or local plumbing store about replacements, there are three options you’ll be recommended:

  1. Copper – Generally, copper is regarded as the safe, long-term solution when opting for metal pipes, however it can be expensive and hard to work with for DIYers.
  2. PVC — More modern than copper, PVC is flexible and easier to work with than metals, but it’s brittle and can lead to leakages when glued together.
  3. PEX — Used only for distributing water, PEX is a super flexible material that’s a great choice for DIYers. One downside? Because it’s relatively new, its long-term durability is still questionable.

When it comes to home renovations and projects, we have loads of combined experience to help you nail it all down. Whether it’s your pipes, your porch, or your paint, we can help! Get in touch with us today if you have questions or even just need a little inspiration.

Indre Valadka Paz and Lara Stasiw, Sales Representatives

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