I'd just finished installing a in-line water filter when I discovered a 2nd
spool of solder mixed in my work area. I know that I had one set that was
lead-free, but don't know about the 2nd. Now I am unsure which I used on my
pipes, the lead-free or the unknown. Unfortunately neither were labeled. I
only soldered 2 joints in the pipe, would it be worth the effort to undo my
work just to redo it with known lead-free solder? I don't know the danger
level of potentially having solder with lead in my incoming water lines.
I tried looking up if there was any way to differentiate between lead-free
solder & solder with lead, but couldn't find anything.
I wouldn't worry about it.
How many older solder joints (leaded) do you have in the system?
Will two new joints make that much diffference?
What's the local water chemistry like? Acidic water will leak more
When solder is on the spool, lead free looks shiny, leaded looks dull.
When soldered into a joint I find it more difficult to discern the
difference but again the leaded stuff looks dull.
There are test kits to check for leaded vs lead-free.
Vote me with the no problem folks. Kids who grew up with lead soldered
pipes defeated the Nazis, invented the computer and put a man on the
moon. Since we banned lead solder we got Britney Spears, Paris Hilton
and Robert Downey Jr
I am curious about that too. I am thinking that there is a very small
amount of surface area of solder exposed to the water, and that prior
to 1990 or whenever they banned leaded solder, every copper water pipe
in the country was soldered with tin-lead solder, without much in the
way of bad effects. Also if your water is like ours, it tends to line
the inside of the pipes with minerals anyway. But, then why did they
ban leaded solder?
Because lead is bad for you and some does get sucked inside soldered
joints when they're sweated. Enough small pieces adds up to enough to
be a concentration of potential for concern, apparently...
I think solder has composition on the roll somewhere. Any plumbers'
solder in the US (other than, of course, something imported that might
not meet US guidelines) will currently be lead-free. Electronics
solders and other special-purpose solders may still contain varying
amounts of lead...
Ok, well thanks to everyone who replied. I guess I have little to worry
about. My house was built in the 70s & has the original plumbing, so it
sounds like it probably has lead solder in the other joints too. I suppose
a little more isn't going to make much of a difference.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.