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Reminder – Don’t buy, sell, or use lead solder for water plumbing!

December 29, 2020 12:00 PM

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For many DIY-ers, a trip to the hardware store is like being a kid in a candy shop: endless possibilities and opportunity. But one thing that store owners and consumers should avoid is lead solder for use in home plumbing. The Pennsylvania Plumbing System Lead Ban and Notification Act (PA Lead Ban) requires the use of lead-free materials in construction or repair of any public water system (PWS), any facility connected to a PWS, or any plumbing that provides water for human consumption. Lead-free is defined as any pipes or pipe fittings that contain less than or equal to 0.25 percent lead, and any solders or flux that contain less than or equal to 0.2 percent lead.

Retail facilities that sell solder in Pennsylvania (PA) should be aware of the PA Lead Ban and take steps to ensure that they are in compliance with the act. Common retail facilities that sell solder in PA include: hardware stores, auto part stores, craft stores, and multipurpose stores such as Wal-Mart. Here are important PA Lead Ban reminders for stores and shoppers:

  • PA’s Lead Ban applies to all plumbing, not just plumbing used for drinking water.
  • The Lead Ban forbids the sale and use of leaded solder, flux, pipe, and pipe-fittings for plumbing purposes. These products were to have been removed from sale by January 6, 1991.
  • Solders banned for sale in PA include 50/50 and 85/15 tin-lead acid and solid core solders, leaded solders labeled for plumbing use, or leaded solders not labeled as to content.
  • Other leaded solders may be sold only if the package bears a prominent label stating that it is illegal to use the solder or flux in the installation or repair of any plumbing. 
  • Leaded solder is not allowed to be located in the plumbing section of the retail facility, nor in the proximity of plumbing materials in any establishment.

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