Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@. Skimlinks & other affiliated links are turned on

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • restless6
    • By restless6 13th Jul 18, 6:57 PM
    • 420Posts
    • 356Thanks
    restless6
    Lead water pipes
    • #1
    • 13th Jul 18, 6:57 PM
    Lead water pipes 13th Jul 18 at 6:57 PM
    Hi
    Following a thread I posted on here he other day about plumbing in my washing machine - one kind user spotted my mains water pipe looks about to pop.
    The plumber has been and confirmed this and said all the pipework is old and lead.
    Should I be drinking this water ? Is it safe ?
    I have never had lead pipes before so do not know much about them
Page 1
    • greyteam1959
    • By greyteam1959 13th Jul 18, 7:20 PM
    • 2,398 Posts
    • 1,106 Thanks
    greyteam1959
    • #2
    • 13th Jul 18, 7:20 PM
    • #2
    • 13th Jul 18, 7:20 PM
    If you are worried about the lead pipes just make sure that you run your tap for a minute or two before using the water.
    It's not something that would worry me though.
    You might be surprised how many lead pipes are still on the go in millions of properties.
    • MrsStepford
    • By MrsStepford 13th Jul 18, 8:15 PM
    • 131 Posts
    • 309 Thanks
    MrsStepford
    • #3
    • 13th Jul 18, 8:15 PM
    • #3
    • 13th Jul 18, 8:15 PM
    When we moved into our house we had no idea that the main into the house was lead - until it burst. That was easily replaced with plastic piping BUT as lead is a good conductor of electricity, sparkies of yore would attach the Earth to it.

    However, if the water main in your road has been replaced with plastic and you have lead with an Earth on it - the Earth won't work and you need to get an electrician in.
    • blackshirtuk
    • By blackshirtuk 13th Jul 18, 9:46 PM
    • 526 Posts
    • 294 Thanks
    blackshirtuk
    • #4
    • 13th Jul 18, 9:46 PM
    • #4
    • 13th Jul 18, 9:46 PM

    However, if the water main in your road has been replaced with plastic and you have lead with an Earth on it - the Earth won't work and you need to get an electrician in.
    Originally posted by MrsStepford
    But the pipe is buried in the ground, or earth. Isn't that the intended destination for any electricity in the earth wire?
    • MX5huggy
    • By MX5huggy 13th Jul 18, 9:49 PM
    • 4,128 Posts
    • 2,694 Thanks
    MX5huggy
    • #5
    • 13th Jul 18, 9:49 PM
    • #5
    • 13th Jul 18, 9:49 PM
    However, if the water main in your road has been replaced with plastic and you have lead with an Earth on it - the Earth won't work and you need to get an electrician in.
    Originally posted by MrsStepford
    No as long as the lead pipe is the earth it will provide an earth it doesnít need to be connected to a metal pipe meters away in the street.

    Iíve had the lead pipes at 2 properties replaced FOC with plastic by water companies. I did have to do the digging myself.
    • tonyh66
    • By tonyh66 14th Jul 18, 6:30 AM
    • 1,222 Posts
    • 856 Thanks
    tonyh66
    • #6
    • 14th Jul 18, 6:30 AM
    • #6
    • 14th Jul 18, 6:30 AM
    No as long as the lead pipe is the earth it will provide an earth it doesnít need to be connected to a metal pipe meters away in the street.

    Iíve had the lead pipes at 2 properties replaced FOC with plastic by water companies. I did have to do the digging myself.
    Originally posted by MX5huggy
    You can use an earth spike to ground your electricity supply. no need to connect it to a metal pipe in the street.
    • sevenhills
    • By sevenhills 14th Jul 18, 9:49 AM
    • 1,518 Posts
    • 564 Thanks
    sevenhills
    • #7
    • 14th Jul 18, 9:49 AM
    • #7
    • 14th Jul 18, 9:49 AM
    Hi
    Following a thread I posted on here he other day about plumbing in my washing machine - one kind user spotted my mains water pipe looks about to pop.
    The plumber has been and confirmed this and said all the pipework is old and lead.
    Should I be drinking this water ? Is it safe ?
    I have never had lead pipes before so do not know much about them
    Originally posted by restless6

    Grants may be available for replacing lead pipes. Contact your Local Authority before you start work.

    • JohnB47
    • By JohnB47 14th Jul 18, 10:00 AM
    • 1,135 Posts
    • 368 Thanks
    JohnB47
    • #8
    • 14th Jul 18, 10:00 AM
    • #8
    • 14th Jul 18, 10:00 AM
    Hi
    Following a thread I posted on here he other day about plumbing in my washing machine - one kind user spotted my mains water pipe looks about to pop.
    The plumber has been and confirmed this and said all the pipework is old and lead.
    Should I be drinking this water ? Is it safe ?
    I have never had lead pipes before so do not know much about them
    Originally posted by restless6
    I'm pretty sure he didn't say it was about to pop, only that it is a lead pipe. That sort of swollen joint is common on lead piping - its solid lead, not thin skinned like a balloon. So, to my mind, it's just a case of you not wanting to drink water fed through lead - fair enough.

    Every house I've lived in has water fed through lead, at least into the house. Actually, my wife and I currently drink only bottled water - my wife can't stand the taste of tap water and I started drinking bottled after a year of gut problems. No idea if it helped cure that but the problem has gone and I'm happy to continue drinking bottled. Nothing to do with lead though - may be something to do with chemicals added to tap water. I found this advice on the Anglian Water site:

    If you choose not to replace any lead pipework in your property,

    "Only use water from the kitchen cold tap for drinking and cooking, as hot water dissolves more lead than cold. Never cook or mix infant formula using water from the hot tap.

    Run the tap for a few minutes before you use the water and make sure you feel the temperature drop before cooking, drinking or brushing your teeth. This is especially important if the water has been standing for a long time in the lead pipes, such as overnight."

    I'm a cynic and I particularly like the advice about running the cold tap 'for a few minutes' before drinking. Useful advice to waste water from a company that charges you for it. Still, probably cheaper than bottled.

    Personally I wouldn't worry. I wonder if any reputable agency has done any research on the levels of lead typically found in drinking water fed through lead piping and the possible health risks.
    • EachPenny
    • By EachPenny 14th Jul 18, 10:52 AM
    • 6,573 Posts
    • 17,632 Thanks
    EachPenny
    • #9
    • 14th Jul 18, 10:52 AM
    • #9
    • 14th Jul 18, 10:52 AM
    Personally I wouldn't worry. I wonder if any reputable agency has done any research on the levels of lead typically found in drinking water fed through lead piping and the possible health risks.
    Originally posted by JohnB47
    The problem with lead is it is a cumulative poison. The human body gets rid of it relatively slowly, so if your intake is greater than the body's ability to remove it then the concentration of lead in your body will gradually increase over time.

    Therefore even a very small quantity of lead in drinking water could over time cause some people to have significantly high levels of lead in them. Even if studies show that the quantity of lead in drinking water is not a significant concern for the general population, you could be one of the unlucky ones whose previous/ongoing exposure to lead in other forms and/or individual body chemistry, combine to cause a level of lead which has a harmful effect.

    The safe course of action is to identify potential sources of lead exposure and eliminate them where feasible. If your local water company or council will pay for your lead pipes to be replaced then it would be crazy not to.

    Every house I've lived in has water fed through lead, at least into the house. Actually, my wife and I currently drink only bottled water - my wife can't stand the taste of tap water and I started drinking bottled after a year of gut problems. No idea if it helped cure that but the problem has gone and I'm happy to continue drinking bottled. Nothing to do with lead though - may be something to do with chemicals added to tap water.
    Originally posted by JohnB47
    We're not supposed to give medical advice on the forum, so I'll just quote a bit from wikipedia and leave it at that.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lead_poisoning#Signs_and_symptoms
    Early symptoms of lead poisoning in adults are commonly nonspecific and include depression, loss of appetite, intermittent abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, and muscle pain.
    "In the future, everyone will be rich for 15 minutes"
    • konark
    • By konark 15th Jul 18, 2:25 AM
    • 1,059 Posts
    • 812 Thanks
    konark
    As JohnB47 says that is a standard wiped solder lead joint and it's definitely not going to pop. Lead pipes are so old they are probably all lined with limescale etc by now so the water won't really be touching the lead.


    By the way, don't forget to weigh the lead in when you replace it, it should help pay for the replacement pipe.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

62Posts Today

2,650Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • RT @Dora_Haf: @MartinSLewis So many people on here saying they're great until you get your PROPER job. What if Your proper job Is ON zero?

  • RT @hslt88: @MartinSLewis I?m a trustee for a youth charity. We only have a limited pool of funds for flexible youth workers for holiday sc?

  • RT @Dan_i_elle_88: @MartinSLewis Loved working zero hour agency care work. Never out of work and I loved having the flexibility! Only left?

  • Follow Martin