Get Started With Us - Professionals
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 specifying or installing 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 specifying or installing Lead Free* products in applications where water is used for human consumption. This is a significant effort for contractors and engineers and requires a solid plan; don't wait until the end to prepare.
Make a plan
For engineers, once you're up to speed, develop your plan by:
- Determining what projects you're working on that will be constructed after January 4, 2014 or the state's specific Lead Free* deadline date to ensure that you spec out Lead Free* products;
- Ensuring that the manufacturers and suppliers you use can provide the Lead Free* products that you specify. Check to ensure those products have been certified as Lead Free* by an independent source, such as NSF;
- Getting updated Lead Free* product specifications from manufacturers as well as the updated CAD details and literature. You'll need to ensure that new Lead Free* versions of products you have been specifying are dimensionally the same as their traditional predecessors.
For contractors, once you understand your area's Lead Free* requirements, develop your plan by:
- Ensuring your distributor or product source is stocking Lead Free* products;
- Purging any traditional product inventory you have on your truck(s) or in your warehouse as it will be illegal to install traditional products for potable water applications after your area's deadline date;
- Talking with your distributor's customer service folks about what they're doing to plan and prepare for the changeover of their stock from traditional to Lead Free* product and to ensure you're installing a product that complies with the law. You should also discuss any potential price changes that may occur as a result of the changeover;
- Checking that new Lead Free* products are dimensionally the same as the traditional models you have installed in the past. If the product has changed, you need to be aware of this.
Here is a roadmap to consider:
Planning your move to Lead Free*
- Identify those products that are affected, which includes all plumbing products that convey water for human consumption.
- Of those products, determine which already comply with Lead Free* regulations.
Products that don't comply will have to be switched to Lead Free* versions prior to the effective date of the new requirements.
- Update product specifications and details
- Review your current project list and determine projects that will be constructed after their area's Lead Free* deadline
- Update your purchasing system with new model numbers and prices
- Review your inventory for non-compliant products and determine when will be the best time to make the change
Make the Change
After you have developed your plan for switching to Lead Free* products, you are ready to make the change. This involves transitioning all or specific portions of your business to use compliant Lead Free* products. For plumbing contractors, this may have significant logistical impact that will require substantial time to implement, depending on the size of your on-truck inventory. For engineers, this will impact your product specs by requiring additional product information clearly differentiating the new Lead Free* products from the traditional ones.
It is important to stress the need for stringent quality/process control because once Lead Free* laws take effect:
- It is illegal to introduce into commerce or install any plumbing product that is not Lead Free* that touches water used for human consumption;
The potential penalties for non-compliance are:
- Callbacks and the cost of removing and replacing installed illegal product
- Lawsuits from private parties and/or governmental agencies.
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.