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Dealing With Lead Pipes in North Shore Homes

Older Homes, Plumbing

Testing, Mitigation & Replacement Options

Lead water pipe

Renowned for its historic properties and beautiful architecture, the North Shore area is a beautiful place to call home. However, all that rich history can come with a few disadvantages, namely lead pipes. While lead plumbing was once common, it’s now understood that lead exposure can lead to serious health issues, especially for children and pregnant women.

In this guide, the older home experts at American Vintage Home explain some of the risks associated with lead pipes, how to identify them in your home, and methods for testing for lead contamination in your drinking water.

The Risks of Lead Pipes

National plumbing codes approved the use of lead pipes in homes through the 1970s and ’80s. With most homes in the North Shore area built in 1951 or earlier, it’s likely that your property may have these materials in place. Lead pipes can pose several health risks and other concerns, including:

  • Lead poisoning: Lead can leach into drinking water, leading to lead poisoning, which can cause developmental delays, learning difficulties, and other serious health issues, especially in children.
  • Pipe corrosion: Lead pipes are prone to corrosion over time, which can result in water discoloration and the release of lead particles into your home water supply.
  • Decreased value: Homes with lead pipes may be valued lower due to the potential health risks and the cost of replacing the plumbing system with modern materials.

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How To Identify Lead Pipes in Your Home

It’s critical to be able to determine whether your home has lead pipes so you can avoid the risks associated with them at all costs. Here are some steps to help identify whether your home has lead piping:

  • House records: Review your home’s construction records to gain insight into the materials used in your plumbing system. If your home was built before the 1980s, it’s more likely that you have lead pipes.
  • Inspect pipes: Lead pipes are often dull gray and may leave a mark when scratched with a key or coin. They also produce a dull thud when tapped, unlike copper pipes, which produce a clear ringing sound.
  • Professional assistance: If you’re unsure about the material of your pipes, hire a professional plumber to have your system thoroughly inspected.

Testing for Lead Contamination

Testing your water for lead contamination is a good way to get ahead of the problems caused by lead in your water supply. This can be especially helpful if the pipes in your home have already been updated to modern materials, but the lead service line below your property is still in place.

Here’s how to test your water for lead contamination:

  • Water testing kits: Homeowners can purchase water testing kits from hardware stores or online retailers. These kits typically cost between $20 to $100 and provide detailed instructions for collecting a water sample and sending it in for laboratory analysis.
  • Professional water testing: Alternatively, homeowners can hire a professional to test their water for lead contamination. Many local health departments offer this service, or you can contact a certified laboratory for further assistance.

Our Lead Pipe Mitigation & Replacement Strategies

Copper pipes

If you suspect that your North Shore area home has lead pipes installed, it’s important to have the issue addressed promptly by a team that’s skilled in servicing vintage properties. American Vintage Home has the expert plumbing team you need to get the job done right. We provide safe and reliable lead pipe replacement services in the Chicago North Shore area. We also have experience swapping out galvanized pipes, another unsafe plumbing material common in older homes. Our team will switch your pipes out with safe, modern materials like copper. We go above and beyond to ensure access to a safe, reliable water supply while preserving the historic integrity of your property.

Contact us to schedule a lead pipe replacement service in the North Shore area today.

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