Although lead is not used as a material with potable water supplies in plumbing systems and has not been used even as solder in drinking water lines since 1986, it is still used in some applications.
The Uses of Lead in Plumbing
Lead solder is often used for the joining of cast iron pipes. While iron pipes with lead solder are not used for drinking water to homes or businesses, they are used in industrial applications and when non-potable water has to be transported underground through pipes. The durability, strength and the long-life cycle of cast iron makes it a natural material for these types of applications.
To add to the durability of these systems, lead solder is an excellent material. It is very easy to work with, and it is corrosion and water resistant, which is ideal for plumbing applications. However, this same material is also used in a variety of other applications including in soundproofing applications, to fill in gaps in radiation barriers and shields, as well as in the construction of marine vessels and structures.
This means that plumbers lead ingots are still available, although they are not always easy to find. For those interesting in locating this type of material for plumbing or other uses, shopping around online is the best option.
Different companies can sell different grades or purity levels in their plumbers lead ingots. Standard ingots are typically considered to be 99.7% lead, while there are also very high grade 99.9% pure lead ingots available, usually through specialized lead manufacturing and supply companies.
Typically, general contractor and industrial suppliers have very limited if any stock in plumbers lead ingots. They may be able to order, but this is often a slow process with a higher cost than simply ordering directly from the manufacturer.
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