Leading The Way, Away From Lead

One year and Counting!

On January 4th, 2014 our industry is going completely lead free!  How will this change what we sell, how we sell and where we sell?

One thing we can all agree on is this change is going to be a lot of work for everyone involved.

Yes, California, Vermont and Louisiana have already seen and adapted these changes, because of state specific legislations to remove lead products from the Plumbing codes in each of these states prior to the federal mandate.   We can use their lessons and models to help us make a smooth transformation in the Rocky Mountain Region.

What is the Law? 

Federal “Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act” – 2011

  • Modified the “Safe Drinking Water Act” of 1974 (amended by “Lead Contamination Control Act” of 1988) to re-define “Lead Free*” regarding pipes, pipe fittings, plumbing fittings and fixtures
  • Re-defines “Lead Free*” to mean: (1) not containing more than 0.2 lead in wetted surfaces of pipes, pipe and plumbing fittings and fixtures
  • Exempts use or sale of lead pipes, solder, and flux in pipes or plumbing fittings or fixtures used exclusively for non-potable services
  • Establishes formula for calculating weighted average lead content

Our Colorado based agency has an interesting viewpoint. As independent Plumbing manufacturers’ rep, we work along side manufacturers, wholesalers and plumbing contractors.  This allows us the opportunity to see the different strategies each takes, as they work out details on how they will become lead free, before the January 4th, 2014 deadline.

The law states we can’t sell any “leaded” product after this date.   This means that we need to have the new “lead free” products available and ready, purge our inventories of older “leaded” product and make all of our industry aware of these new products and their performance.

This means we need to advise our industry partners – such as plumbing contractors, engineers, and kitchen & bath designers – of these mandatory changes.  We feel a responsibility to make sure you are not stuck with unsalable product, as well as to get you started on your transition to Lead Free sooner than later.

I am seeing many manufactures tackling this issue head on, and they should be commended, but I would be concerned about those companies that still – at this date – have yet to define their plan.

The wholesaler has a monumental project of purging their inventories, as well as integrating and transitioning to the new non-lead products.  This all seems to come with a high cost of goods.   Many of our customers are already preparing for this transition and moving to the new products, which will allow them to hit the ground running come January 2014.

Buche Carmco Sales is in the process of converting our Cash Acme inventory to Lead Free.  This will provide our customer with a lead-free solution a year in advance!  Let us know if we can help you find appropriate lead free solutions for your preferred Plumbing products.

Also, join in the conversation, by letting us know steps your organization is taking, problems you are encountering, and solutions you are discovering. Comment below and let us know how this new law is affecting your business.