The pipes in your home allow water to flow freely to faucets and various appliances. The material of your pipes typically depends on the age of your home and where you live. Lead water lines are especially problematic because you’ll drink this water. Exposure to lead is dangerous, so find out how to tell if you have lead pipes in your home.
Is Lead Dangerous?
Knowing whether you have lead pipes in your home is important because any level of exposure to this material is bad for your health. Drinking water contaminated with lead can lead to health problems for children and adults. Children may experience:
- Learning disabilities
- Stunted growth
These effects are irreversible and can occur at even a low level of exposure. Additionally, adults could develop health problems such as hypertension or impaired kidney function. Remember, no level of lead exposure is safe, and if your home has lead pipes, you should replace them as soon as possible.
How To Tell If Your Pipes Are Lead
Now let’s get into how to tell if you have lead pipes in your home. If your home’s original plumbing was built before 1986, the pipes or the shoulders connecting them could be lead. In addition to this, you should evaluate what material makes up your faucets and other fixtures.
Keep in mind that if you or a previous homeowner renovated the house, the plumbing could be newer. Contact a plumber for a closer evaluation if you’re in doubt about what material your pipes are.
How To Tell if Your Service Line Is Lead
Your service line links your home to the water main for your city, and sometimes this or one of its components is lead. The “gooseneck,” which connects the line to the water main, is another vital part to inspect.
You can test if your water line is lead by checking the color, since lead lines are a matte, dark gray. You can also scrape the line’s surface; lead pipes appear shiny when scratched. Another easy way to test the materials is by placing a magnet on them—lead and copper pipes are not magnetic.
Dealing With Lead Pipes
Contact a plumber for a closer evaluation and possible replacement if you have concerns about your pipes or another plumbing fixture. Experts also recommend buying a water filter for faucets to keep the water you drink free of contaminates and minerals.
If you discover that your water main is lead, you’ll need to replace it. For water main replacement in New York, contact Harris Main and Water Sewer Contractors. Remember, lead pipes or water mains can contaminate your drinking water, so deal with this issue right away.