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A plumber had came to my house to sweat pipes to install a water valve which controlled water going to the garden spigot. Upstream to the valve is a t-joint. The other output to the t-joint went to the kitchen faucet. Now, he suggested to me that if the water line to the garden spigot on the output end of the t-joint contained lead solder or lead pipes, it would not contaminate the flow of water going to the kitchen. Instead, all of the water-contaminated lead will be used to water the grass.

Is this true??

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  • My understanding (I am not a chemist or water quality expert) is that (a) while even a small amount of lead is "really bad" over extended time periods, much lead piping does NOT necessarily cause problems due to chemical reactions as noted in another answer and (b) you can certainly use a Brita or similar pitcher to filter out lead (and a lot of other nasty stuff) )from your drinking and cooking water while still using the water "as is" to wash dishes, etc. – manassehkatz Apr 12 '18 at 19:52
  • You're eating much more heavy metals when eating fish. If you're really concerned, just add a 1-way valve between the tee and the new valve so backflow is prevented. I won't care much kitchen sink as water flows so much and doesn't have time to take up the lead. – DDS Apr 12 '18 at 20:29
  • Many hundreds of millions of people have been drinking tap water from lead soldered copper pipe for many years, No problem . Many people have drunk water from solid lead pipes ( Difficult to estimate the number but it was a lot .) – blacksmith37 Jul 17 '18 at 15:14
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The water supply piping in our house is copper sweated with lead-tin solder in 1971. We have lived here since 1978. Dallas water is slightly basic (ph 8 or so) and has some minerals in it that I believe would react with the lead to form an insoluble passive surface. We drink water from the taps.

I don't think you have anything to worry about.

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Water doesn’t always flow the same direction in your pipes. Sometimes there’s “reverse” pressure that causes the water to flow in a different direction if, 1) your fire department is testing a local fire hydrant and “draws” water from surrounding residents, 2) lawn sprinklers could, especially if a faucet is open, 3) break in the main line, etc.

Yes, all are remote, but...

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In the 70's we had to stop using lead solder, the recommended practice was to run the water for 30-60 seconds to flush the water that had been sitting in the pipes, longer if there were known problems. Had to add this since it came up again and no OP response to answers, How would a plumber even know what type of solder was used? I have used old 60/40 solder prior to to the lead free requirements, and lead free and silver solder, to tell the truth if well done I can only tell the difference in silver solder and even then if someone was really good there is not enough to tell the difference.

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