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Testing for Lead

Are any of you testing for lead in your customer's domestic water? If so, do you have a lead testing equipment recommendation?
8.33 lbs./gal. x 60 min./hr. x 20°ΔT = 10,000 BTU's/hour

Two btu per sq ft for degree difference for a slab


  • Brewbeer
    Brewbeer Member Posts: 616
    Are you looking to determine if lead is dissolved and present in water, or are you looking to assess whether piping contains lead? If it's the former, samples are usually collected into laboratory provided sample containers, according to a specific sampling protocol, depending on what you are trying to assess. The test is fairly inexpensive, about $25.
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  • Alan (California Radiant) Forbes
    Yes, the former. I was hoping that by this time, test kits were available.

    My son, daughter-in-law and grandson just bought a house that is on community well water. The house also has a few older Chicago faucets which I'm told, have high concentrations of lead that can leach into the water. And seeing as though I'm doing plumbing in a lot of homes, it would be a service to provide a lead content test.
    8.33 lbs./gal. x 60 min./hr. x 20°ΔT = 10,000 BTU's/hour

    Two btu per sq ft for degree difference for a slab
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,289
    It would be a service... maybe. There really are three problems, though:

    First, the protocols for testing to obtain a reliable sample are rather fussy, and there are two distinct procedures: one for the "first flush" (which is more useful for point of use fixtures) and one for overall assessment. The sample containers must be really clean -- labs have definite protocols and QC checks to ensure that.

    The second problem is that the acceptable limits are rather low (which is also why the protocols are fussy -- contamination is all too easy) so the actual measurement is also set about with rather strict protocols.

    The third problem is... if you get a sample bottle from the lab. and send it back to test, which isn't hard to do, as @Brewbeer said the cost is quite reasonable. Better yet, for only slightly more coin you can have the lab. run the entire metals scan.

    That said, there are lead test kits out there for water, even on Amazon. How reliable they are I wouldn't care to say...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Canucker
    Canucker Member Posts: 722
    @Jamie Hall is correct, the sample testing can be fussy. We've had cleaning failures on some equipment were I work that turned out to be a testing error in the lab. It causes an investigation the really isn't cheap when you price it out. An ounce of prevention...
    You can have it good, fast or cheap. Pick two