Fixing a Leaking Lead Water Main in Manhattan: What You Need to Know

Manhattan is known for its busy streets, tall buildings, and vibrant culture. Beneath the surface, there is an entire world that most people are not familiar with. If you suspect that you have a lead water main leak in your Manhattan home, it is important to address the issue to avoid severe damage.

The problem

Lead water mains are found in older homes and have not been used for new installations in more than 50 years. As time goes on the lead pipes will become corroded which may result in leaking pipes, and health risks. The first step when fixing a lead water main is to have a licensed plumber confirm the issue. A few common signs are discoloration in your water, low pressure, or noticeable water pooling. If you have become aware of these issues it is time to investigate.


It is important to understand not only is it illegal to repair a lead pipe in NYC, but it is also extremely risky. Lead becomes brittle as they age which makes them prone to damage when attempting a repair. It is important to mitigate the possibility of this issue and hire a licensed plumber to assist in concluding a safe and effective fix.


The assessment stage includes having your plumber review the damage and confirm that you do have a leaking pipe. Next it is important to isolate the leaking section of pipe to prevent additional damage. This may be completed with a temporary resolution just to avoid a flooded basement.
The most common solution for a leaking lead pipe is to replace the pipe with a copper water main. This will not only allow for compliance with the city but will also prevent any future health issues.


Upon the installation of your new copper water main the plumber will close out the permits and obtain the final sign off for your work!
A leaking lead water main is a serious issue that should not be taken lightly. If you suspect that you have a problem in your Manhattan residence, do not attempt a DIY or allow the handyman to put his best efforts forward. It is far too common that these quick fixes lead to cost emergencies.

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