Lead Water Lines In Richmond
During our inspections in Richmond, it is not uncommon for us to find that the main water lines are lead. While home inspectors aren’t required to test for, or discover lead components, a visible main water will have a distinct feature often indicating it is lead. In the photo below, the bulge in the line is the tell tale sign that it is a lead line.
Lead water lines can cause a lot of anxiety for home buyers. Lead has been used for hundreds of years used to transport water. It is durable, and flexible which are important factors for water piping. The only problem is that lead is poisonous and leads to an array of health concerns. Many areas stopped using lead water lines n the 1920’s but many Richmond homes were built before that time. Lead was also used in the solder for copper pipes which wasn’t banned until 1978.
If you, or your home inspector identifies a lead water pipe, you should have your water tested for lead content. Replacing the service pipe is possible, but often expensive. The EPA lists additional methods of reducing your exposure to lead.
Reduce Your Exposure to Lead in Drinking Water at Home
- Use only cold water for drinking, cooking and making baby formula. Boiling water does not remove lead from water.
- Regularly clean your faucet’s screen (also known as an aerator).
- Consider using a water filter certified to remove lead and know when it’s time to replace the filter.
- Before drinking, flush your pipes by running your tap, taking a shower, doing laundry or a load of dishes.
- Contact your water system to learn more about sources of lead and removing lead service lines.