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Would you buy a house with lead pipes - if the water tests came back fine?

(18 Posts)
oldtrees Mon 03-Jul-17 15:30:58

1930s house, lead piping under the sink for the drinking water. and possibly leading to the mains. (Mains are modern and not lead apparently).

Had the water tested and it's come back well below the legal level considered dangerous.

Hard water area (I think that's relevant?)

Would you consider it - or would it be an outright no?

wowfudge Mon 03-Jul-17 15:34:43

I believe the limescale coats the inside of the pipes meaning the water doesn't come into direct contact with the lead. We have lead pipes and have had some replaced and otherwise run the tap before drinking the water or take it from the fridge dispenser which has a filter which helps remove any lead. All depends on your attitude to risk really.

oldtrees Mon 03-Jul-17 15:53:58

THanks for the reply?

So would you put an offer in anyway?

Or would you expect to get rid of the pipes once you move in and for the price to reflect that maybe?

Tulips2lips Mon 03-Jul-17 15:54:52

Yep, if you haven't run the tap for a while/ first thing in the morning, run it for a few seconds to get past the sitting-in-the-lead-pipe bit. It'll be fine.

You can also get filters that remove/reduce heavy metals fitted to the cold supply of your drinking tap.

Tulips2lips Mon 03-Jul-17 15:57:26

something like this and use that for drinking / cooking..

that said, if it has past the test the risk is low

specialsubject Mon 03-Jul-17 16:56:54

Yes, lived in one for years. Non issue in hard water area, or spend a miniscule percentage of the cost of the house replacing it.

Sukitakeitoff Mon 03-Jul-17 16:59:42

Yes! Really not an issue in a hard water area, even though the survey often makes it sound scary hmm

PigletJohn Mon 03-Jul-17 18:33:27

yes, but I would want to replace with modern pipe of larger bore. A modern plumbing system will benefit from a better flow.

Also, lead pipes can start leaking around the age of 100 years.

mayhew Mon 03-Jul-17 18:39:16

My house had this. As do many old houses. We have replaced the pipes when we put in new sinks etc. Not a big job. We also had live gas lighting pipes in the walls which were more of a surprise!

Changebagsandgladrags Mon 03-Jul-17 19:17:11

We replaced it in our last house, was easy and inexpensive. So it wouldn't put me off in a future house.

wowfudge Mon 03-Jul-17 19:19:02

To answer your question - it wouldn't put me off. If you like period properties it's just one of those things!

oldtrees Mon 03-Jul-17 22:44:15

This is all very reassuring, thanks. It's our house, and we're hoping to sell it next year. I don't have the money to replace the pipes as it would mean possibly getting pipes out from under a large, concreted / tiled driveway and then making good after, as well as lifting the wood floor inside.

It looks expensive!

Coughingchildren5 Mon 03-Jul-17 22:45:24

I would plan to replace them

Coughingchildren5 Mon 03-Jul-17 22:51:24

Sorry, I did not read the post properly. If I was buying the house and I noticed the lead or my survey pointed it out, I would plan to replace the pipes. My offer would reflect that. You can mole under driveways now, to limit the amount of digging necessary. It wouldn't put me off a house I loved either!

Thisisouting Mon 03-Jul-17 22:52:54

We had ours replaced recently as part of building work it cost 1500 all in prior to that we just ran the tap every morning and when we came back from work for a minute.
When I was pregnant I drank bottled water from Tesco that's 17p for 2 litres.

We negotiated money off for replacing the main when we bought the house.

MrsMoastyToasty Mon 03-Jul-17 22:55:25

I'm an ex water company employee with experience in water quality issues.
What a couple of PPs have said about limescale creating a coating is true. There are probably hundreds of properties with lead pipes as the regulations weren't applied retrospectively when the use of lead pipes as a plumbing material was banned.
The best advice is run the kitchen cold tap at the rate of a litre for each metre distance that your kitchen taps is from the main in the street when it's been unused for some time.
We replaced our lead service pipe from the external stop tap in the pavement into the house. Our supplier replaced the company service pipe which joins the stop tap to the main in the middle of the road as it also happened to be lead.

LivininaBox Mon 03-Jul-17 22:59:36

If you plan to have a baby and give formula in any sort of quantity I would plan to have them replaced.

diodati Mon 03-Jul-17 23:09:44


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