Some really old homes still have lead pipes in them. While lead pipes are still allowed for wastewater usage in some states, they are not allowed for incoming water. The lead from these pipes can leach into your drinking, washing and bathing water, and after a time, accumulates in your body and poisons you. If you find that your home still has lead pipes, regardless of where and what type they are (incoming, outgoing), and you want them replaced or removed, here is how plumbers ply their plumbing services to get you safer water.
Suiting Up and Isolating the Area
The first thing your chosen plumber will do is suit up in protective gear to keep him- or herself free of potential lead contamination. Then the areas in your basement will be sectioned off. The plumber may use plastic tarps underfoot and around the areas on which the work will be done. This limits the amount of lead-contaminated water that may leak out, as well as any metal shavings in the event that the plumber has to cut through the pipes to remove them. Either a saw or a blowtorch will be used if any cutting needs to be done.
Turning the Water off and Unscrewing the Pipes
Next, the plumber will turn off the main water supply lines. He or she may even "bleed" the pipes to make sure all the water that recently passed through the lead pipes is not headed into your home's plumbing. Then he or she will unscrew and detach all of the lead pipes you want and need removed, cutting free any stubborn pipes that refuse to be unscrewed. If there are some pipes submerged under your basement's concrete floor, these may have to stay put unless you are willing to have a concrete contractor come in and rip up your basement floor, too. Then all of your home's drains will be attached and connected to replacement pipes -- typically those made of PVC (plastic), copper or another metal alloy.
Bagging up and Removing the Lead Pipes
Lead pipes have to be destroyed and/or disposed of according to specific regulations. Your plumbing contractor will probably have a small dumpster at the ready to hold your old lead pipes, unless they can be bagged and easily fit inside the work truck. The price of the services provided when lead pipes are removed often includes the price of their disposal as well, so once your plumber has completed the job, there should be no additional fees connected to getting rid of the lead pipes because the plumbing contractor will do it for you.
To learn more about lead pipe removal, contact a plumbing company like R Acres Plumbing Company LLC.