Quick Guide to Determining Your Service Line Material
Know What's Below
If your home was built before 1930, you are more likely to have lead pipes on your property. If your home was built before 1986, you are more likely to have lead-soldered joints. Here’s a quick guide to help you determine your service line material.
New Jersey American Water’s water mains are not made of lead; however, the water service line that carries the water from the water main in the street to your home could be. Homeowners’ service lines may be made of lead, copper, galvanized steel or plastic. You can assess your service line material where it enters your home, typically in your basement, crawl space or garage, near the inlet valve.
TIPS FOR DETERMINING YOUR SERVICE LINE MATERIAL
YOU WILL NEED: Key or coin and a strong magnet
WHAT TO DO:
- Locate the service line pipe as it enters your home from an exterior wall or floor.
- If the pipe is a dull, silver-gray color, carefully scratch the pipe (like you would a lottery ticket) with a key or coin. Take care not to make a hole in the pipe. If the scratch turns a shiny silver color, it could be lead or steel.
- Place the strong magnet on the pipe. If a magnet sticks, it is a steel pipe.
- Wash hands after inspecting pipe.
TYPES OF PIPE
OTHER WAYS TO CHECK FOR LEAD
- A licensed and insured plumber can inspect your pipes and plumbing.
- Lead test kits can be purchased at local hardware or home improvement stores. These kits are used to test paint, but can also be used to test pipe—not the water inside. Look for an EPA recognized kit. Wash your hands after inspecting plumbing and pipes.
Once you have went through the steps above to identify your service line material, click here to Self-Report your Service Line Material to New Jersey American Water. Your participation is appreciated, but optional.
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