Get Started With Us - Distributors
Get the Facts
First, you need to understand the regulations in your area. If you live where Lead Free* laws are already in effect (CA, MD and VT), you should have already made the change to Lead Free* products for applications that involve water for human consumption. If you are located in Louisiana, Lead Free* laws take effect January of 2013, so you will need to put a plan together fairly quickly.
For those located in the remaining states, changing over to Lead Free* products is currently optional and not required by law, and you may continue using traditional products. However, as of January 4, 2014, you must have made the change over to Lead Free* for products in applications where water is used for human consumption. This is a significant effort for distributors and requires a solid plan; don't wait until the end to prepare. Many distributors are opting to make the change sooner rather than later to ensure a smoother transition.
Make a plan
Once you’re up to speed, develop your plan by:
Evaluating your current suppliers
Do they have what it takes? Some may not completely understand the implications of the Lead Free* mandate or have a full line of compliant product to meet its requirements. Check them out and their representatives. If you’re not comfortable with their answers, consider changing suppliers.
Scoping out the changeover task
Contact each supplier and confirm if their products are already Lead Free* compliant or if they have concrete plans to transition to a Lead Free* equivalent in time for your business to meet its goals. The new Lead Free* products will probably require a new SKU or model number. You should also discuss any potential price changes with the new Lead Free* products. You’ll also want to confirm that the new products are functionally and dimensionally the same as their traditional versions to head off any issues your customers may face installing the new products in the field. Understanding the full scope of the transition will minimize hassles and risks to your business.
Working with suppliers on the transition
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 your low volume products based on your current and historical inventory. Typically, the changeover to high volume Lead Free* products will occur later in the transition plan.
Here is a roadmap to consider:
Planning your move to Lead Free*
- Identify your products that are affected, which includes all plumbing products that convey water for human consumption.
- Of your products, determine which already comply with Lead Free* regulations.
Those products that don’t comply will have to be switched to Lead Free* versions prior to the effective date of the new requirements.
- You may need to review your inventory for products that are affected and determine when to transition to the new Lead Free* versions in order to be ready for the deadline.
- You may need to determine if your state requires any notification to consumers at point-of-purchase and ensure you address these requirements.
- We recommend that you have educational materials prepared to explain these changes to your customers or clients, should they require them.
Make the Change
After you have developed your plan for switching to Lead Free* products, you are ready to make the change. This step in the process involves transitioning all or specific portions of your business to use compliant Lead Free* products. This can have significant logistical and marketing impacts that will require substantial time to implement.
Watts Water Technologies and its companies whose products are affected by the Lead Free* mandate 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.