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How to check if your pipes are lead pipes

0:04 “Your water supply is virtually lead free, but sometimes small amounts of lead can into the water through the lead plumbing inside your home, or a lead pipe that connects your home to the water mains outside.”

0:16 “If your home is built before 1970, you may have a lead pipe that brings the water into your home. Newer homes usually don’t. To find out what kind of pipes you have, first of all find out where the water supply comes into your home.”

0:30 “This is usually in the kitchen, possibly under the sink, or in a downstairs toilet, or cupboard. Once you’ve found it, here’s a quick way you can check to see what your pipes are made of. Unpainted lead pipes are a dull grey colour, and if scrapped with a coin, you’ll see a shiny, silver coloured metal underneath. Other types of pipes are made of copper, which is a red-ish brown colour, or plastic, which can be a range of colours. Even if you have new copper or plastic internal plumping, the pipe brining the water into your home could still be lead. Look below your stop tap to check if the pipe is lead. If you do have lead pipes, here’s some ways you can reduce the lead in your drinking water.”

1:11 “Replace any lead piping which is the best way to get rid of it completely. Don’t drink water that’s been sitting in a pipe for a while, flush the pipes by running the cold tap for at least two minutes, or flush your toilet.”

1:25 “Always get your drinking water for the cold tap. Never use the hot top, the hot water may increase the amount of lead absorbed in lead pipes. Also, some water filters can remove traces of lead, but check with the manufacturer’s instructions before buying one. For more advice go to stwater.co.uk

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