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Re: Lead in Water - Replacing Lead Water Service Line
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Quote:

jcgurl wrote:


I'm curious why you guys opted to replace the lines rather than install a whole house filter (which is sort of what I'm leaning toward right now).


Age of the line. Was was already leaking when I bought the property. Another disintegrated when the plumber tried disconnecting the service line from the rest of the plumbing.

I later came to regret not replacing the 100+ year old terracotta sewer line the property that the line disintegrated. I paid for not doing so rather dearly a few years ago. I had to replace an entire floor and a couple floor joists to get to the busted line. I had a lake of poop-water in the inaccessible crawl space below.

Sometimes it is best to bite the bullet and rip out anything and everything that is old and electrical and plumbing related.


Posted on: 2016/9/30 19:08
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Re: Lead in Water - Replacing Lead Water Service Line
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I am also very interested in a whole house filtration system and would be really interested in hearing any info people have as most internet info seems to be mainly focused on well water. While lead and other metals in the water concern me I also get really grossed out by how quickly our water gets moldy in the toilet tank etc - I replaced one of our seals less than 2 years ago and it needed an entire new "fresh" water line about 18 m later and when I opened the tank and saw what was in there.... ughhhh

Posted on: 2016/9/30 18:07
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Re: Lead in Water - Replacing Lead Water Service Line
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Thanks so much to everyone for all the really useful information! MDM, you are a font of knowledge (water pun!).

I'm curious why you guys opted to replace the lines rather than install a whole house filter (which is sort of what I'm leaning toward right now). On a related note, can anyone recommend a filtration system? ;)

Posted on: 2016/9/30 17:35
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Re: Lead in Water - Replacing Lead Water Service Line
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Had our lead line replace last year by E & V Dirt Works, L.L.C. from Little Falls, NJ. Supply lines is all they do and they did a quick and good job. 6k or 7k and for near side of the street.

Posted on: 2016/9/28 4:14
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Re: Lead in Water - Replacing Lead Water Service Line
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You might find this helpful while you sort out your problem. Nutrition Action is a great resource for all things food and health in general.

https://cspinet.org/tip/do-you-know-what-your-water-filter-removes

Posted on: 2016/9/24 19:50
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Re: Lead in Water - Replacing Lead Water Service Line
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My bad.. I mixed terms up. Water main from house to street = service line.

The cost of replacement depends a great deal on how far it is to the street main. Generally the street main is only on one side of the street (look which side the fire hydrants are on). If it is on the same side as your building, then you only have to open up the sidewalk. If its on the other side, you have to take up your sidewalk and the whole street (big adder in cost).

A lead service line generally pales in lead source to other piping in the home. The reason is that the water in the service line 'moves' whenever anything is turned on (shower, toilet, etc.). While the water going to say, the kitchen sink get run briefly a few times per day. The standing water in the leaded pipes going to the kitchen sink will put a lot more lead into the water vs your service line.

It would be a shame to spend a fortune on replacing your water service line to then keep having the lead in your water issue. Check out the rest of your plumbing first. You might get the lead levels down by replacing some old lines with copper or pex. Copper is installed with press fit fitting now (no solder), and Viega brand pex is really good stuff (13+ years in my building with no issues).

I posted information about lead (and toxicity of metals in general) just to assuage a bit any panic over the lead. Heavy metals like lead or mercury in their elemental form, really aren't much of a threat in small doses. Your body can't metabolize them (in part because they are not readily soluble in water). They have to be in the form of a salt or made into a certain type of organic compound (combined with carbon, not the sold in Whole Foods kind of 'organic').

Examples:

Lead acetate is a salt of lead that makes lead toxic (acetic acid + lead). For mercury, miners would sit in a steam bath at the end of the shift, and the mercury would be sweated out of their pours. Thiomersal is a mercury compound (organic) used in vaccines, but isn't readily absorbed by the body, so it is harmless in small doses. However, methyl mercury (created by hydro-thermal vents and the bacteria that lives around them) can build up rather quickly in your system, if you eat a lot of fatty or deep sea ocean fish (i.e. tuna).


Edit: I missed your flushing of the lines statement in the first read. It might be possible that the lead service line is REALLY deteriorating, which I figure could give you the results you got. I had only one building where I didn't replace the lead service line and I had almost nothing (don't remember the amount.. too long ago) in the way of lead. Everything else in the house was new copper though.

Edit Edit: Do you have any brass water pipes? That could be a lead source (leaded brass). Brass pipes were popular in buildings a 100 years or so ago. I had a whole bunch of it ripped out one of my properties.

Posted on: 2016/9/22 22:02
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Re: Lead in Water - Replacing Lead Water Service Line
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MDM, thanks for the input. You seem knowledgeable on this topic so I'd like to ask you for some clarification: You mentioned the water main but I'm talking about the water service line. Aren't those two different things? i.e.: the service line is what connects the home to the main? From what I read on Suez's website the service line is "shared" but not sure what that means in terms of who pays for the replacement.

Also, what do you mean "what side your building is on vs. what side the water main is on"?

And, are you saying that I need to find out what *type* of lead is in the water?

The lab that tested it said it constituted a risk and recommended using filtered water (which we always have) and checking the service line which is likely lead (based on their results). I sent them 3 samples - one after the water was in the pipes for 6 hours, one after flushing the pipes 45 seconds and one after flushing the pipes for 5 minutes. The second one was higher than the first which they said indicated a lead service line.

Posted on: 2016/9/22 20:35
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Re: Lead in Water - Replacing Lead Water Service Line
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Quote:

DtJcQdMf wrote:


Great summary. You've distilled hours of research into easily palatable paragraphs.
Who's responsible for replacing the main? I'm assuming the homeowner...but maybe nah?



The property owner is responsible for the replacement. Not all plumbers do this work or they have to sub the excavation work. The excavation work gets difficult if you have to go through bluestone (this happened to me at place I own in the Heights).

You also have to pay for an off-duty cop to stand around all day and watch the other guys dig up the street.

Posted on: 2016/9/22 19:30
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Re: Lead in Water - Replacing Lead Water Service Line
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Quote:

MDM wrote:
Last one I had replaced cost I think about $8k (this was a long time ago). A big factor in the cost depends on what side your building is on vs. what side the water main is on.

Are you sure the main is the only source of lead? Water mains tends to not have standing water for long periods (to allow lead levels to build up) and JC's water isn't acidic (that is how that city in Michigan suddenly had a major lead contamination issue), which would cause a big uptick in lead (the new water source was acidic).

Leaded solder in pipes?
Really old plumbing fixtures?

Elemental lead, like other heavy metals isn't generally the problem (won't metabolize easily). It is when the metal is consumed in the form of a salt (i.e. lead acetate) that is what makes is dangerous. Kids tend to get it worse because they drink leaded water which is first used to make fruit juice (acetic acid + lead).

Geek trivia: It wasn't the lead pipes that gave the Romans lead poisoning. It was common practice to use lead acetate as a sweetener for low quality wine (wine was a important source of B vitamins), created by boiler wine in lead vats.



Great summary. You've distilled hours of research into easily palatable paragraphs.
Who's responsible for replacing the main? I'm assuming the homeowner...but maybe nah?

Posted on: 2016/9/22 19:27
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Re: Lead in Water - Replacing Lead Water Service Line
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Last one I had replaced cost I think about $8k (this was a long time ago). A big factor in the cost depends on what side your building is on vs. what side the water main is on.

Are you sure the main is the only source of lead? Water mains tends to not have standing water for long periods (to allow lead levels to build up) and JC's water isn't acidic (that is how that city in Michigan suddenly had a major lead contamination issue), which would cause a big uptick in lead (the new water source was acidic).

Leaded solder in pipes?
Really old plumbing fixtures?

Elemental lead, like other heavy metals isn't generally the problem (won't metabolize easily). It is when the metal is consumed in the form of a salt (i.e. lead acetate) that is what makes is dangerous. Kids tend to get it worse because they drink leaded water which is first used to make fruit juice (acetic acid + lead).

Geek trivia: It wasn't the lead pipes that gave the Romans lead poisoning. It was common practice to use lead acetate as a sweetener for low quality wine (wine was a important source of B vitamins), created by boiling wine in lead vats.


Posted on: 2016/9/22 19:10

Edited by MDM on 2016/9/22 19:32:27
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Re: Lead in Water - Replacing Lead Water Service Line
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I think several of us can help you get started in this investigation. For starters, is this an old or new building? Lead lines were discontinued many decades ago. Do you have access to the entry point (presumably in your basement) of the water feed line? If so a little DIY will cost you nothing to determine what the metal type is.

I had to replace a lead line in a rental property I owned about 25 years ago and it's a HUGE hassle to have a backhoe digging a trench from the middle of the street to your basement wall. And not cheap...

Posted on: 2016/9/22 18:36
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Lead in Water - Replacing Lead Water Service Line
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I had our (unfiltered) water tested for lead and the results indicated a "serious" amount of lead (15.9 ppb). It recommended we check our water service line which is the likely source. Suez's website says to have a qualified plumber inspect the line.

Does anyone have experience with this? Or can anyone recommend a plumber who knows about these issues?

For the record, we always use filtered water and my son has tested negative for lead but in light of the results I will be having him re-tested. And since we have a small child in the home I want to make sure there's no risk of drinking contaminated water.

Posted on: 2016/9/22 18:14
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