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Lead in Faucets

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  • Lead in Faucets

    The California Governor recently sighned into law AB1953 which will drastically reduce lead content in faucets. The major manufactures contend that there is currently no faucet that can meet those standards.

    My questions are this:

    1) Are there legitimate dangers with the current lead content in faucets?

    2) Will this drastically raise the price of fixtures if special lines of faucets need to be manufactured for the California market.

    3) California often sets trends that other states and counties adopt. Is this being considered in your area?
    the dog

  • #2
    dog, this happened many years back too with prop 68. prior to this, you could get a price phister wall mount faucet for $20. then they had to redesign them and it was made of bar stock brass instead of a casting. price shot up to $90.

    it's not just faucets. drinking fountains that chill water are far worse. these store the water in a copper tank with lead solder. this leaches lead during non-use and is difficult/ time consuming to flush out. plus you drink from a drinking fountain with a regular faucet, most of it's use is not for drinking, and it stores only a fraction of the water. takes a second to flush out prior to drinking.

    i think the politicians need to hire a plumber before they write the laws

    bob would probably have all sorts of research info. he's been m.i.a. for the last couple of weeks

    phoebe it is


    • #3
      The issue is not lead in solder, Brass has lead in it. All brass faucets contain lead. So do brass shell casings for that matter. Can the industry make brass without lead?

      There are alternatives that are less expensive, plastic. This should make plumbers happy. You get to replace everyone's faucets every couple of years. The faucet is cheap, but your labor is unchanged. Then, you get to blame the state government for the problem.

      If/When people find out that the only faucet they can install is a cheap plastic one, the laws will change back.


      • #4
        Thank You, Big Thom & Plumber Rick! This is like the situation in Denmark, where you are only allowed to TIG weld in stainless, if it comes in any contact with humans or animals. As a stainless master, I welcomed this, because good practice,became law, and a conciencious craftsman wasn't penalised,ie, lost jobs to the guys that didn't care. Imagine my horror when I moved to Norway, and saw pipes for beer and foodstufs welded with electrodes, or MIG, and no gas backing either. I'm hardly surprised that Norwegian researchers claim that stainless causes allergies etc! but consider that in Denmark, even a handrail, or a heating oven for a hot tub must be TIG welded appropriately,- and rightly so !
        A law that applies to everybody is no problem, because that amator moonlighter, that steals your jobs, thus works illegally. Maybe it's a question of informing our customers.


        • #5
          I know this is a hjack, but RiR ifTIG welding of all SS that came in to human contact was required. I would be loveing it, thats my game. I am not a licenced plumber as of yet, just a lowely certified weldor(just joined the plumbers union as a pipe weldor) but TIG welding all SS would be wonderfull. Your absoutly right, most rules and regulations hurt the unlicenced hacks.


          • #6
            RiR & Tozziwelding,

            All of the food grade stainless steel piping I have done was TIG welded by certified welders. I'm not sure what the legal requirements are here in California, but it was specified.

            I agree that high standards benifit the consumer as well as the skilled tradesmen.

            But, I'm not sure if the lead content in the brass fittings of a faucet constitute a health risk for the public. I would assume that if it was a major health concern everyone in the US would be affected by lead poisoning by this time. But, not being a health professional I would like to see the evidence before I took a position.
            Last edited by plumbdog10; 10-28-2006, 09:20 AM.
            the dog


            • #7
              Hej, Dog & Tozzi! nice to have your feedback. To get back to the original subject, I'm curious as to whether brass contains more lead now than for 20years ago? I'm sure some of you (in Danish- Gammel Rotter) old hands know about this. The other question that comes to mind is the increasing occurrence of allergies in children. Have materials changed? or are there more "unlicenced hacks" that don't care? We certainly haven't lowered our standards! but something is happening. I'm looking forward to reading som of your views & oppinions on this.