About “Lead Free Laws”

What is the “Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act”?

US Senate Bill No. S. .3874. On January 4, 2014 – The Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act sets new, lower standards for the amount of lead permissible in plumbing products that come into contact with potable (drinkable) water. The Law is now requiring material that will be in contact with potable (drinkable) water to have a lead content of less than 0.25%.

Why is this important to me?

In most cases the cost of the new lead law compliant material is higher than the cost of the material you are purchasing today.  You must take this difference into account when estimating your future material costs.  In addition, there will be penalties and fines for non-compliance with this law.

Who is affected

All consumers, businesses, and manufacturers distributing plumbing products will be affected.

What products are affected by this low lead requirement?

All devices at the point-of-use that are intended to dispense water for human consumption.  This includes kitchen faucets, bathroom faucets and any other end-use devices intended to convey or dispense water for human consumption through drinking or cooking.
Examples of the products this bill will cover include kitchen faucets, bar faucets, manual lavatory faucets, supply stops, bubblers, glass fillers and pot fillers and drinking fountains including pipe and fittings.  There is no differentiation between commercial and residential products.

What products are not affected by the low lead requirement?

Any device designed for purposes other than dispensing water for human consumption.  Examples of faucets not impacted include laundry, and service sink and laboratory fittings.  Other devices might include: fire hydrants; fittings and valves for wastewater distribution systems, decorative fountains, marine applications, air and vacuum appliances, bathtubs, showers, Roman tubs, sanitary sewer drains, irrigation sprinklers, toilets, urinals, bidets, laboratory uses, service sinks, whirlpools, spas therapy pools, and clothes washers; hose bibs, fittings, tees and splitters; flush valves; solenoid valves; pre-rinse assemblies that do not include an auxiliary spout or other outlet; bath tub faucets; shower heads and shower head adapters.

Why is meeting this new standard important?

Products that do not meet the criteria by January 4, 2014, cannot be sold or consumed for purposes dispensing potable water. Fines and penalties will be assessed to those who do not choose to abide by such laws.

How do I know if a product is certified to meet this new standard?

Products must receive certification from an independent ANSI-approved, third-party testing organization.  The manufacturer and the third-party organization that tested the products to the standard will be able to provide proper documentation.