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Is this a lead water supply pipe?

Discussion in 'Plumbing and Central Heating' started by boolie, 9 Jun 2021.

  1. boolie

    boolie

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    Having some fun and games trying to figure out what type of pipe supplies the property with water. Filling in a form to get a new water connection - and they want to know where I want the new stop cock fitted. I'm trying to figure out where the existing pipework on my side of the fence is before I decide where I'd like the new stopcock

    Anyway, anyone seen this kinda set up before? what kind of material is that pipework underneath the second stop cock? why is there no handle on that second (lower) stop cock? what's that bulge thing (oval shaped)?

    PXL_20210609_130543810.jpg PXL_20210609_131846385.jpg
     
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  3. Lower

    Lower

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    Yes, that is a lead incoming supply pipe.

    The lack of handle probably means the stop cock is seized.

    The bulge is a wiped lead joint connecting the old stop cock to the lead pipe.
     
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  4. HERTS P&D

    HERTS P&D

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    Yep! That's lead!!

    Andy
     
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  5. boolie

    boolie

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    fook me! this is gonna get expensive :cry:

    as a safety precaution I'm guessing if no one drinks the water we should be alright
     
  6. aptsys

    aptsys

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    Many water companies will subsidise the replacement of a lead water supply. Worth checking the website of your supplier.
     
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  7. boolie

    boolie

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    I'll give them a call and ask them.. cant find anything on their website about it
     
  8. Lower

    Lower

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    I wouldn't get too stressed about it. Old lead pipes are normally lined with a layer of scale that stops the water getting in contact with the lead.

    Yes, you should get it replaced. But drinking water from that pipe is not going to cause you any damage in the short-medium term.
     
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  9. oldbuffer

    oldbuffer

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    1. As Lower said above, the inside of the pipe will be almost certainly be lined with scale, particularly if you are in a hard water area.
    2. It would be wise to run off the contents of the pipe after it has been sitting overnight. Run the kitchen cold tap for a minute before using the water.
    3. The vast majority of properties built before about 1965 will have lead pipe connections to the water mains. Except in very soft water areas it is a very minor issue.
    4. Replacing with MDPE would be best. As others have said, your water company may subsidise the cost.
     
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  11. boolie

    boolie

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    spoke to the water company and they wont subsidise anything as it's all after the stopcock. To throw a further spanner in the works between my boundary and the stopcock there is someone else's land (drive + garden) so the existing pipework likely goes underneath there and if I wanted to replace the lead pipes I'd have to get permission to dig up the neighbours drive/garden. Sounds exceedingly expensive!

    Have submitted an application to the water company about running a new supply - will see what they come back with.
     
  12. Roadrider

    Roadrider

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    It's a few years ago now, but I'm pretty sure that when I replaced my supply pipe from the road (there was a leak), the guys didn't dig a trench all the way. They used one of those new-fangled 'bullet' things which makes its own hole underground. Depending on how far your supply pipe travels under your neighbour's land, perhaps you can avoid having to dig it up? (By the way I'm not a plumber so forgive me if I'm talking cobblers).
     
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  13. HERTS P&D

    HERTS P&D

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  14. Roadrider

    Roadrider

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    That was it! :D
     
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  15. jacko555

    jacko555

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    I had a lead supply replaced.

    Don't stress.

    Requested the water company test for lead levels. In a very hard water area and lead was 100 times lower than the "safe"/"acceptable" limit.

    Water company confirmed it was plastic on their side to the meter (on property boundary), but, lead from the meter to my house. Gave a £200 off my bill for replacing the lead.

    Original pipe was 13 meters from boundary to kitchen, then, inside another 5.

    Got a few quotes for "moling", and went with a firm who did the following at my suggestion

    1) pit dug by meter
    2) pit dug at front of house (6m) nearest to meter
    3) moling machine drove the new pipe through
    4) hole drilled into sub floor in the pit
    5) routed new pipe under floor to the back of the house

    It was easier to do a smaller moling run and go through the house. It was helpful I had easy access to lift all floor boards as well.

    About £700
     
    Last edited: 9 Jun 2021
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  16. jacko555

    jacko555

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    Get quotes from a private firm, quicker and cheaper
     
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  17. Roadrider

    Roadrider

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    That's true Jacko, you can use a private firm and they'll probably be cheaper.

    Because I had a leak, from memory my water company (was Three Valleys, now Veolia) paid for the first x metres from the road and I paid for the rest, which i think was only about 3m up to the outside of my house.

    They used a mole for that, and then I got a local builder guy to do the last little bit into my house and up to my inside stop cock.
     
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