lead pipes

15 Apr 2005
Reaction score
United Kingdom
Are there any rules about lead water supply pipes where they exist in commercial premises? Come across one place with the following:

Lead incoming to meter. Copper from meter across cellar. Converts to lead for a tee, then back to copper both directions from tee. One way from tee is all copper to the tap in the downstairs warehouse sink. The other way emerges on the 1st floor, and is converted back to lead and tees one way to the canteen and one way to the toilet and basin. In close proximity to the taps they convert back to copper. At the toilet, someone has used a leadloc fitting, attached a short length of copper, and converted to braided hose to attach to toilet, all at funny angles and no supports for the copper. The rest of the copper-to-lead joints are "melted" joints, including the incoming to the first floor, where the copper pipe attaches to a length of lead at right angles to form a tee.

Should all this lead be ripped out and replaced? The premises had a legionella check carried out, should they have picked up on lead pipework and noted it?
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the water company will test water at the taps to see if it contains more lead than is considered safe.

Are you in a soft water area?
In the London area they now add phosphoric acid to the water to prevent the lead from being brought into solution to the water!

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