How do I know if there are lead pipes in my home?

If your home was built before 1970 it may have lead pipes. If it was built after 1970 it is unlikely to have lead pipes as the installation of new lead pipes and use of lead solder on pipework supplying drinking water has been banned for more than 25 years.

Even in properties with no lead pipework there may be other sources of lead in drinking water, such as brass fittings or improperly used lead-based solders.

Each property is different. However, start by checking the incoming pipework behind your kitchen cupboards or under the stairs – this is also where you would normally find your stoptap. Find the pipe leading to the kitchen tap. Unpainted lead pipes are dull grey in colour. They are also soft. If you scrape the surface gently with a coin, you will see shiny, silver-coloured metal beneath if the pipe is made of lead.

Watch our video to see how to check if your pipes are made of lead. 

If in doubt, ask a WaterSafe approved plumber or your local water company for advice. You can also ask your water company to test the water at your kitchen tap.

Find Your Nearest Approved Plumber

Our Partners

WaterSafe Approved Contractors' Scheme Operators

Anglian WaterAssociation of Plumbing & Heating ContractorsCIPHESevern TrentSNIPEFThames WaterWIAPS