Law Supply, Inc.
Web Page - Lead Free

Federal Public Law 111-380
Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act
** Final as Passed Both House and Senate **

NSF/ANSI Standard 61
Regulatory Change Overview

Safe Drinking Water Act
In Short

The Federal Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act go into effect on January 4, 2014.
The law makes it illegal to sell or install anything non-compliant providing water for human consumption.
Failure to comply can result in fines and lawsuits.
Some of the Ways to Identify Compliance

Lead Free Compliance
Lead Free
No Lead
Complies with California Law AB1953
Item Not affected -- Exemptions
  • pipes, pipe fittings, plumbing fittings, or fixtures, including backflow preventers, that are used exclusively for nonpotable services such as manufacturing, industrial processing, irrigation, outdoor watering, or any other uses where the water is not anticipated to be used for human consumption.
  • toilets, bidets, urinals, flushometer valves, tub fillers, shower valves
  • service saddles, or water distribution main gate valves that are 2 inches in diameter or larger
Lead [mostly] free

While the term "lead-free" is used frequently when referring to the Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act, the law does not completely ban lead from plumbing products. lt does, however, require no more than a weighted average of 0.25 percent of lead on the wetted surfaces of the component. So basically, when you average together every component of a faucet that touches water (and there are quite a few), the total lead content averaged between them cannot exceed 0.25 percent.
This calculation was arrived upon through collaboration between industry and govenment during the passage of the California lead reduction law. lt represents a level that industry can work with and also ensures acceptable water quality and public safety for the end user.
Why Lead?

In the midst of all the legislative and technical effort going into reducing lead content in plumbing products, many may ask a very simple question, "What is lead doing in plumbing products in the first place?" There are several reasons for its presence in the metallic alloys that make up our pipes, valves and fixtures. The first is historical. Lead has long been used to move water around. In fact, the word "plumbing" itself derives from the Latin word for lead, "plumbus."
The reason lead has been used so commonly is because of its high malleability and relatively low melting point. These qualities, along with the metal's high resistance to corrosion have made it popular for use in plumbing. Also, when added to other metals, lead permits the alloys to retain many of their original properties. This eases the machining of plumbing components.
"Lead serves two main purposes," said Joel Smith of Kohler Faucets North America. "One, it is a lubricant. So you're machining brass it lubricates the tool as it goes through so you get a lot less wear on the tools. And two, lead helps fill in porosities in the metal so when you are castirig brass components, lead will help fill in a lot of the holes and give you a more leak tight casting."

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Last updated 11/30/2013
Law Supply, Inc. (also known as Law Plumbing Supply) 401 S. Jefferson, Magnolia, AR 71753, Phone-(870)234-1940, Fax-(870)234-3299
KEY WORDS: Lead Free