When Brass Use Means Less Lead Worries

Future plumbing materials won’t be completely “lead-free,” but their lead content would be far too low to pose any form of health risk. The Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act (RLDWA) is spearheading efforts to minimize lead content by requiring plumbing manufacturers to fabricate parts with a maximum of only 0.25 percent lead. The initiative took effect last January 2014.

Over the course of compliance, however, manufacturers have raised some concerns, primarily about the solderability of lead-free brass. For one, the difference in soldering temperatures between lead-based and lead-free fixtures may require changes in familiar soldering patterns. However, the Copper Development Association (CDA) pointed at the soldering procedure.

With every inch of plumbing across the U.S. gradually phasing out lead fixtures, plumbers and other involved industries should adjust their current practices to accommodate these changes. Safety has always been the name of the game in plumbing, so changes in comfort zones aren’t unusual.

Brass is one of a handful of materials that meet RLDWA standards. Residential and commercial establishments want nothing less than safe drinking water, and quality brass extrusions should be on a plumbing manufacturer’s list. Fabricators can supply brass materials for plumbing and heating applications, including custom parts that would fit the requirements of various homes and businesses.

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