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Get the Facts
If you live or do business in the United States you should already have made the transition to Lead Free for applications involving potable water. The new federal mandate, which took effect January 4, 2014, applies to any water intended for human consumption. If you haven’t completed your transition, however, here are some helpful guidelines for managing the changeover.
Make a plan
Your Lead Free transition plan involves several important steps.
Evaluate your current suppliers
Have your suppliers made the transition in full? Do they have a full line of Lead Free products to meet your requirements? Do they have an adequate inventory of Lead Free products? If you’re not comfortable with their answers you may want to consider changing suppliers.
Contact each supplier individually. New Lead Free products will probably require a new SKU or model number, and they may be priced differently than standard products. Confirm that the new Lead Free products are functionally and dimensionally the same as their standard counterparts. If they’re not, you’ll want to inform your customers in order to head off any issues during installation.
Work with your suppliers on the transition
Identify which of your products are affected, including any products that convey water for human consumption. Then determine which products already comply with the new national Lead Free regulations and which don’t.
Any products that don’t comply should be changed to Lead Free immediately. Determine if your state requires any notification to consumers at point-of-purchase. You may also want educational materials on hand to explain the Lead Free changeover to your customers.
In most cases, you’ll want to target and sell off low-volume products first, such as specialty or seasonal products. Work with your suppliers to identify low-volume products based on your current and historical inventory.
Make the Change
Now you’re ready to transition all or parts of your business to Lead Free. Keep in mind this can have significant logistical and marketing impacts that may require substantial time and/or resources to implement.
Watts Water Technologies and its companies are committed to working with you to make the transition as smooth as possible. Contact your local authorized brand representative(s) to discuss your transition plans.