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Lead pipes in our new house, any advice?
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Posts: 20
Joined: Jan 2014
Post: #1
05-02-2017 10:04 AM


We've just moved into a house in Honor Oak and discovered our mains water pipe is lead. Not all of it, just the last two meters running out of the property. I know Thames Water have a replacement scheme, but I just wondered if anyone on this forum has had their lead pipes replaced and what the process was like? And which plumbers did you use?

Thank you!

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Posts: 34
Joined: Jun 2012
Post: #2
05-02-2017 11:18 AM

I wouldn't bother to replace it as a matter of urgency or maybe not at all. There is a lot of hysteria about lead poisoning which is plain wrong - similar in a way to the gross exaggeration of the asbestos issue. When controlled there is no problem. Maybe attend to it when you are refurbishing the house or doing other disruptive work.

In the case of a mere 2m length of lead pipe the lead dissolved / washed off would be minimal even in a brand new pipe. A pipe that's been there for 30 or 40 years will have a coating of crud and be furred up to an extent as a result of our hard water. The water will barely/if at all be in contact with the lead.

If you are still bothered, then run the tap for 30 seconds each morning - or if you flush the loo first thing in the day that'll do.

I've still got a full run of lead pipe in my home and I've been here 30 years - we've brought up two kids, university educated and now in top professional jobs. Parents and children are healthy. Our brains are fine.

PS I'll get round to replacing the pipe one day - if only to keep a buyer's surveyor quiet when selling the house.

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Posts: 557
Joined: May 2010
Post: #3
05-02-2017 09:45 PM

This is really more of a problem in soft water areas where the slight acidity is able to dissolve trace amounts of the lead. As the water in this area is quite hard I wouldn't fret about it too much.

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Posts: 20
Joined: Jan 2014
Post: #4
06-02-2017 10:19 AM

Thank you, Hillman and Erekose. However, I might ere on the side of science on this one:

I'll update this thread once I know more so that others can find out what's involved.

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Posts: 95
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #5
06-02-2017 01:24 PM

I'd have a look at this first.

It confirms that the coating of limescale in a hard water area is a form of protection. Also, see the reference to getting your water company to take a sample free. Anyway there is enough water flowing down the gutters for sampling, courtesy of Thames Water's incomparable maintenance of the mains.

This post was last modified: 06-02-2017 01:25 PM by Theotherbrian.

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