Help & Advice

How do I know if I have lead pipes?

If your house was built before 1963 it may have lead water pipes. If you are unsure, you can make some simple checks.

  1. look at the pipework inside your home, such as the pipes leading to the kitchen tap or the pipe which leads to your internal stop-tap (usually under the kitchen sink).
  2. Unpainted lead pipes are dull grey and soft. If you scrape the surface gently with a knife or coin you will see the shiny, silver-coloured metal beneath. Tapping a lead pipe with a metal object will produce a dull thud rather than a clear ringing.

    As a guide other pipe materials have the following appearances:
    • Copper - bright or dull orange in colour, and hard
    • Iron - dark, very hard and may be rusty
    • Plastic - may be grey, blue or black
  3. To identify whether you have lead pipes supplying your property open the stop tap chamber outside your property and examine the pipe which leads from the stop tap back to your property to see if it has the lead appearance described above.

If you are still unsure whether your pipes are lead, or if you are unable to reach your pipes, a plumber will carry out these checks for you.

Click here to find an approved plumber

If you suspect that you have lead pipes, then please contact us. and we will be happy to check the lead content of your tap water.

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