How to Inspect Your Water Pipe for Lead

How to Inspect Your Water Pipe for Lead


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In older homes, there is a risk of lead contamination in the tap water. It’s important to inspect your home on your own or by a lead inspection service to make sure that you are free from any problems. This video shows how you can conduct an inspection on your own to make sure that your water supply is lead-free.

The first thing to do is to locate your water meter. The water meter is usually located in the basement. Find the remote water meter outside of the home, and that will usually tell you what side of the basement you will find the water meter. Once you find it, visually inspect it.

Common types of water pipes include copper, which is bronze or blueish green. PVC is white or light blue. Lead pipes are a dull gray, but so are galvanized alloys, which are safe. To make sure you have a lead pipe, you can conduct a scratch test.

Grab a coin to conduct a scratch test. Perform the test on the pipe from the wall and between the main valve and the wall. Be fragile because some of the pipes may be very old. If you see a silvery gray appearance when you scratch, it may be lead. To discern between galvanized alloy and lead, tap the pipe gently with the coin. If you hear a “ting” noise, it isn’t lead. Lead is dull and makes almost no noise when it’s tapped.

For more information, check out the video above.