Lead pipes have been used to supply water to homes for thousands of years. In the modern era, people know that lead is a hazardous contaminant and no longer use the material to carry drinking water. However, many older homes still have lead pipes. If yours is one of them, call a plumbing contractor to discuss an immediate replacement. This guide can tell you more about lead pipes and what to watch for.

How Lead Pipes Affect Your Health

When lead leeches into drinking water from pipes, it can lead to lead poisoning. This condition can cause a number of long-term effects, including kidney damage, high blood pressure, headaches, mood disorders, declining fertility, and pregnancy and childbirth problems. 

Lead poisoning is especially detrimental to children, who can experience brain and nervous system damage, slow growth and development, learning difficulties, hearing and speech problems, seizures, and behavioral issues.  

How to Tell If You Have Lead Pipes

plumbing contractor

You may have lead pipes if your home was built before the 1986 Safe Drinking Water Act, which mandated that all new plumbing be lead-free. The most likely spot for a lead pipe is the main line into the home. Lead pipes are dull, dark gray, and when scratched, reveal shiny silver. They also tend to have irregular bends and are softer than other metal pipes.

Lead could also be present in soldering or older valves and fixtures. A plumbing contractor can inspect your water system to determine where lead may be found.

How to Deal With Lead Pipes

Until a plumbing contractor can address the issue for the long term, filter all tap water used for drinking and cooking, or purchase bottled water. Flush the water system regularly; this gives the water less time to come into contact with the lead. You can also contact the utility company to ask for lead testing. The more information you have, the better equipped you'll be to tackle the issue.


If you suspect your home has lead pipes, turn to the experts at Millard Plumbing & General Contractor. Owner and operator Keith Millard and his team provide over 30 years of plumbing experience to residential, commercial, and industrial clients across Dardanelle, AR. The licensed, bonded, and insured technicians handle everything from water heater repairs and clogged sinks to sewer line inspections, and their 24/7 emergency response service will help you out when disaster strikes. Call (479) 229-1025 for a free estimate, or visit their website to learn more about their services.