In our last article we could not get a straight answer as to when the lead free regulations were coming into effect here is British Columbia.
Well, mark your calendars, the date is:
December 19, 2014
Q: What does ‘Lead-Free’ mean?
A: Maximum lead content of the wetted surfaces of plumbing products such as pipes, pipe fittings, plumbing fittings and fixtures to be to a weighted average of 0.25% or less.
Q: Is there a ‘Lead-Free’ regulation in Canada similar to the one in the U.S.?
A: No, there are no regulations related to the lead content in Canada, However, the lead-free issue is approached through plumbing codes enforced provincially/territorially through local codes. Currently the requirement for low lead content has been incorporated into the 2012 CSA B125.1 and B125.3 standards which impact many products used in potable water plumbing systems.
Q: What applications are affected?
A:Potable water plumbing systems anticipated to convey or dispense water for human consumption through drinking or cooking are affected.Some of the products affected include drinking fountain supply fittings, kitchen, sink, and lavatory supply fittings, supply stops, automatic compensating valves other than those for individual wall-mounted showering systems, temp. actuated in-line mixing valves, etc.
Q: When do the Provinces in Canada adopt the lead-free standards?
A: Ontario, Nova Scotia and Yukon adopted the new lead-free standards effective Jan 1, 2014. Most of the other provinces have indicated adoption by mid-2014. British Columbia December 19, 2014
Q: What is the cost of lead-free products compared to their leaded counterparts?
A: Generally the new lead-free products cost 20-40% more than their leaded counterparts. This could vary depending on the type of product. This is due to higher material and manufacturing costs of lead free products.
Q: What if I still want to use standard brass products?
A: You can still buy and use standard brass products if your local provincial code permits it. As of Jan 01, 2014, manufacturers were obligated to product only lead free products for applications as above; their lead free stock might be running out soon.
Q: What if I already bought all my product for a job that started before the December 19, 2014?
A: If your building permit is before December 19, 2014 and the job is continuous you can use leaded product (that falls with-in the old regulations) until that job is complete. If the job stops for an unreasonable amount of time, lead-free product must be used when the project re-starts.
Contractors are obligated to follow local plumbing codes.
Please refer to all the new BC code changes in the document below.
A special thanks to Mannan Mohammed of Reliance Worldwide Canada for putting this together.