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Thread: ID supply line material?

  1. #1
    DIY Senior Member Nate R's Avatar
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    Default ID supply line material?

    I've often been wondering what material my water lines were. They appear to be metal, and flexible enough to be bent a bit w/o kinking. But they are a silvery-gray color, similar to galvanized. I've never seen flexible galvanized. (I would think it would be too thinwalled to work long anyway)

    My wife today brought up the possibility of lead. I have no idea.

    The house was built ~1923, but I don't know when it got indoor plumbing. It certainly got it after it was built based on the way the stack is put in, but I have no idea if it was 1928 or 1940.

    The water meter is in a pit about 30 feet in from the front of the lot. The house sits 80 feet back from the front of the lot. (Not sure if this would matter at all) Once the line from the meter comes up into the house, in transitions to copper, so I haven't a place to get a good close look at it.

    I took a picture of the meter and such in the pit. You can see that the water lines to and from the meter have been bent somewhat.

    Any ideas what the material is?
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  2. #2
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Your wife may just be correct!

  3. #3
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    Take a key and see if you can scratch into it easily, if yes it is lead, or get a magnet and see if it will stick to it, if yes it is galvy if no it is lead or plastic but my guess is galvanized.

  4. #4
    Plumber patrick88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redwood View Post
    Your wife may just be correct!
    I 2nd that.

    Give it a scratch. Lead scratches real easy. That would tell you real fast.
    Try to be gentle. If you rub it with a piece of sand paper or something ruff. It would shine up nice and silver looking.
    I'm just starting to work with an old friend of mine to bring solar electric and hot water systems, wind turbines, Flex Fuel Boilers, batteries, hydroponic gardening, books, pellet grills and more. Also the parts for DIY installation.

  5. #5
    DIY Senior Member Nate R's Avatar
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    Tried to tonight. Couldn't quite reach it w/o getting soaked w/ the melting snow. I'll try it again when I'm better dressed for getting dirty. Looking at it tonight w/ a flashlight instead of sunlight, the pipes actually looked greenish, like they might be copper. Could've fooled me. I'll find out for sure soon whether it's copper, galvy of some sort or lead.

    Thanks for the help. I didn't think of scratching it.

  6. #6
    Plumber krow's Avatar
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    That looks like oxydized copper to me

  7. #7
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Could be the sandpaper will tell for sure.

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    I&C Engineer (mostly WWTP) Lakee911's Avatar
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    Personally it looks like oxidized copper to me. Scraping it will turn it copper color. FWIW, I have seen black iron and galvy pipes bent before.

    Jason

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    I think Colonel Mustard did it with the Lead Pipe in the dining room


    http://www.hasbro.com/games/parkerbrothers/clue/

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    DIY Senior Member Nate R's Avatar
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    Good one Terry! Woke my wife up with my laughing!

  11. #11
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default pipes

    Too thin for lead, and too flexible for Bundy-Weld. Probably just discolored copper, but a picture showing how it is connected would be very helpful.

  12. #12
    DIY Senior Member Nate R's Avatar
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    I'll take more pics when I get out there w/ the sandpaper.

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    Sr. IT Analyst spryde's Avatar
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    Note: I use to work for DCWASA in a IT capacity more than a plumbing capacity so take this with a grain of salt.

    That is about the right time for lead services. I did see copper steadily increasing around that time (until WWII which galvanized made a showing).

    SP
    Shawn
    spryde is not a professional plumber. spryde merely acts like one around his own domicile (spryde has delusions of grandeur). spryde would be a professional plumber if he did not enjoy playing with computers more. Do not taunt spryde. Do not fold, spindle, or multilate. spryde is not available in all states.

  14. #14
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default pipe

    A 3/4" lead pipe would be much, much larger than those pipes, and if they are going to and from the meter, then they are probably copper, assuming they are metal.

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