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AB 1953- LEAD free in CA

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  • AB 1953- LEAD free in CA

    The other day I got to talking to one of the top dog's at my current favorite wholesale house about the new "lead free" requirements in effect Jan. 1, 2010. Turns out that most valves and fittings (rough) that are having the re-formulation will be seeing a 30+% increase in cost. The other thing that came up in the conversation is that some faucet companies will just not be selling in CA anymore, and others will be replacing brass waterways with plastic...

    Not sure how I feel about all of this, the increase of cost on the rough fittings and valves is what it is, and should be universal across the board, but the plastic waterways in faucets seems cheap.

    What do you guys think?

    Greg

  • #2
    Re: AB 1953- LEAD free in CA

    I'm using up all my old brass. Any project with a permit dated prior to Aug. 1, 2009 is exempt from the new rule.

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    • #3
      Re: AB 1953- LEAD free in CA

      By coincidence, I ran into the Nor Cal red-white rep this morning. He said he'll take back old valves in their original packaging. He can still sell them in Nevada. I'll bet the same goes for other brass items. And, the bill takes effect next Jan. 1.

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      • #4
        Re: AB 1953- LEAD free in CA

        Kinda weird that "They" say it will increase the cost of the product by 30%... If that logic holds true we should be packaging all of the things we buy in brass as a cost savings over plastic...lol

        We sometimes forget that the model of big business has changed over the last 20 years... Think Outsourcing, globalization, ect...

        Corporate production has shifted away from the civilized world to places like China and India not because they are better but because they are cheaper and are willing to sacrifice their environment and safety for the almighty $.

        It will only cost 30% more because "They" want it to

        We will just pass the cost along to the customer who will in turn complain that plumbers are so expensive (Remember our customers are loosing their jobs in record numbers right now).

        So what we end up with is a customer base that is earning less money, corporations who in the race to bolster their bottom line due to lagging sales (jobless customers) artifically raise the prices of products which causes prices across the board to rise all for the sake of the almighty greenback...

        I was at Wal-Mart yesterday where I saw more then one person paying for the bare minimum out of jars of change The DIY'er used to flock to the web / here to save a few bucks so they could line their own pocket on a quick house flip now they are doing it because they can't afford anyone else.


        *Bill steps off his soapbox*

        Last edited by OkieBill; 09-20-2009, 03:41 PM.

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        • #5
          Re: AB 1953- LEAD free in CA

          I am looking at several PP and Moen kitchen models right now. The ultra low lead is about 10% higher. The thing that I don't like...they tend to be coming with 36" long flex. pvc supplies permanently attached, not replaceable. They have 3/8 compression connectors on them. The extra long supply line helps them average down any brass that may still be used on a body part.

          And I was looking at a Brasscraft 1/4 turn angle stop, and the "innards" appear to be plastic-lined. I don't know if chrome plating the inside gets you off the hook on the lead!
          Last edited by lovetheUSA; 09-21-2009, 06:51 PM.

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          • #6
            Re: AB 1953- LEAD free in CA

            Hi guys,

            I'm a manufacturer. Plating is not allowed by the DTSC as a method to meet the requirements of AB1953.

            AB1953 states that the material in contact with the water (wetted surface area) may not contain a weighted average of more than 0.25% lead. Since it's a weighted average, some mfrs have re-designed their products to incorporate more plastic so they can use a less expensive brass alloy with more than 0.25% lead content and limit or avoid price increases.

            Note that this law applies for products that are intended to convey potable drinking water and there are some exceptions. For a full description, you can find & read the actual Bill by searching AB1953.

            The old NSF 61/9 standard was based on how much lead actually leached out of the material from a plumbing product and into the water. The new law tells you how much lead you can have in the brass, period.

            Brass Alloy 360, which has been one of the predominant materials used in manufacturing plumbing components/products, has approximately 3% lead content. There are many brass alloys used in the industry but let's use this as the example since most of them contain their share of lead.

            The lead acts as a lubricant when machining the brass and means lower temperatures, easier machining, longer tool life and more.

            Now take 11/12ths or more of that lead away....industry manufacturers are seeing cycle (production) times per part increasing signficantly PLUS tooling lasts about 1/3 as long as it used to. In a nutshell, the new "lead-free" brass not that different than machining stainless steel.

            It's not pretty and we (at my company, anyway) don't like it any more than any of you do. I know that we're all fed up with greedy, paper-pushing SOB's in ivory towers that line their pockets by outsourcing our infrastructure and giving us nothing real in return but this is one case where everybody's costs have gone up astronomically no matter where they're located (we're domestic and machine all of our own parts).

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