If your property was built before 1970 then there is a fair possibility that you have lead water pipes in your home. However, even if the pipework on your property has been replaced there still remains the prospect that the water in your house is supplied via a lead service pipe.
Lead water pipes were prohibited in the 1970s due to the risks associated with lead, which can be toxic to humans when ingested or exposed over a long period of time and result in lead poisoning. Lead is particularly damaging to the liver and kidneys, leading to seizures and in some cases even fatalities.
Most modern properties are fitted with durable plastic alternatives, which provide better water quality and are much less susceptible to things like corrosion (even though lead itself has a low corrosion rate) which can lead to burst pipes and contaminate the water supply to your home. However, if you are unsure whether your property has lead pipework or you have recently discovered that it does and have noticed damage, then Avon Water Services are on hand to talk you through how best to deal with the situation.
What Are Lead Pipes and Why Should You Replace Them?
As previously mentioned, the metal lead is a health hazard. Historically lead was used in many applications from paint to water pipes and was widely used due to its resilience to corrosion as well as its versatility. It wasn’t until recent times that it was recognised as being highly toxic, leading to its prohibition in products like paint and as a raw material in the construction of water pipes in the 1970s.
The main issue with lead as a component in water pipes is, that due to its softness, small amounts can leach into the water supply over a long period of time (this is particularly true if the pipe has received damage) causing contamination and presenting a health hazard. It is important to check for lead pipes and replace them if necessary, especially if they show signs of damage or corrosion.
Replacing lead pipes will ensure that your drinking water is safe from contamination and from potential health risks associated with lead exposure.
How Do I Identify if I Have Lead Pipes in My Home?
Lead water pipes are usually easy to identify to the trained eye but can pose a bit of a concern if you don’t know what to look for.
Lead is a dull blue/grey metal and can be identified by its softness. If you scratch the surface of a lead pipe the shiny new surface will be revealed beneath.
The most common place for them to be located is under the kitchen sink or close to your stop cock. If the pipe is painted, try tapping the pipe to see how sonorous (whether the pipe produces a ringing sound) it is. If you are met with a dull thud, then there is a good possibility that the pipe is made of lead.
If you are still in doubt then call Avon Water Services and one of our expert plumbers can be on hand to test your water supply and determine if there are any traces of lead.
How to Replace Lead Pipes Safely and Cost-Effectively
If a lead pipe has been identified in your property then Avon Water Services offer a full lead pipe replacement service, including the supply pipework that falls inside the boundaries of your property.
What’s more, if you live in Coventry (CV1 – 6) you can take advantage of Severn Trent’s Lead Pipe Replacement Grant Scheme which means that you can receive up to £1,300 off of the cost of replacing your lead water pipes! We will come out and make an assessment and then Severn Trent will cover the cost of replacing the existing lead pipework with brand-new plastic water pipes, which offer a much safer and cleaner source of water.
Call Avon Water Services Today For a Free Inspection
Under the Grant Scheme we can come to your property and complete a full inspection free of charge and talk you through everything you need to know. Call us today on 0808 503 3161 to arrange an appointment with a WaterSafe and Severn Trent Approved installer.
For more generalised enquiries, we serve Leicestershire and the East Midlands as well as Coventry and Warwickshire, so whether it’s a lead pipe replacement or a leaking pipe emergency we’re at your service 24 hours a day 7 days a week.