Are My Water Pipes Made from Lead?  Why It Is Important You Know

How to tell if you have lead pipes?

If you have a house built before 1970 in the Hull area, then there is a chance you may have lead pipes.  From our own observations this may, in particular, be a problem for older properties in the HU5, HU3, HU4 and HU9 postcodes.  After 1970, new building regulations came into play, so if your house was built after that it is unlikely you have lead piping.

Not sure if you have lead pipes, here’s how to check

Find the pipe that leads to the kitchen tap (this may be under the kitchen sink/cupboard).  If the pipe is dull grey, then it may be lead.  Lead is a soft metal so if you take a coin and gently scrape the surface of the pipe; if it is lead it will reveal a shiny/silver colour underneath.  Take care not to disturb the pipe when doing this, and note that lead pipes were often painted over, so it may not be immediately obvious what they are made of.

What is the problem with lead pipes?

Over time exposure to lead can affect health, with the biggest risk being to children under six and to pregnant women. This is the reason the Government banned the use of lead in many products back in the 70s.

What to do if you find you have lead pipes?

In the short term, you should always flush your pipes through before drinking, especially after water has been standing in them for a while, for example overnight.  The longer the water has been ‘standing’ In the pipes, the more lead it is likely to contain.  You could also consider buying a water filter.

In the long term, the best solution would be to have the lead pipes in your home replaced with more modern, safer materials such as plastic (MDPE) piping.

If you have lead piping or are not sure contact HJZ Plumbing, for advice and replacement of pipes should this be required.

For further any information about maintaining your plumbing, you can call us for free advice, we are Hull based, so you can call us on 01482 236483, or should you need the services of an emergency plumber.

author avatar
Steve Atkinson
Call Now Button