Identifying and Dealing With Lead Pipes

Whilst the majority of pipes in Yorkshire, and the rest of England, have recently undergone upgrades, some older properties may still have lead pipes remaining in their infrastructure. Lead pipes were formerly used in buildings predating the 1970’s, however more modern structures have been more inclined to use iron, copper, or plastic (polyethylene). This is due to the detrimental health effects drinking water contaminated by lead can have on the body, specifically in young children and pregnant women.

To identify the material of a pipe, locate a section of the metalwork that is exposed and not covered by polystyrene or an insulator. With a pair of scissors or a screwdriver, scratch the pipe gently. If the colour was a grey colour and became a shiny silver when scraped, it is made of lead. Another test you can do is by touching it with a magnet. A magnet will not stick to lead but it will to iron or steel. Copper pipes will be the same colour as a copper penny. If you are unsure, a specialist from Alternative Drainage will be able to define the material, and assess whether a pipe replacement is required.

Pipe replacement is one of the many drainage related solutions that can be offered at Alternative Drainage. If you own a property, it may be in your best interests to ensure that the piping structure is up to standard. For one of our specialists to come out and assess your piping or drainage issues, or for general advice on diagnosing any of these issues, just give us a call on 0800 980 1362.