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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I own a home and one of the shut off valves was leaking by the meter. Actually it was only leaking when I turned it off to replace a shut-off valve under the kitchen sink. I did it a favor by replacing it with a new 3/4" gate valve by shutting off the meter and applying some pipe dope at the joints. I tested everything for leaks. There was no problem here at all.

The local municipality was where the problem was. They required me to replace everything since I tampered with 1 leaking valve. Stating that since the water meter set was grandfathered in, it is no longer up-to-code. Actually, the whole thing is made of brass and copper fittings, but they're stating that the brass may contain lead, and started citing things from a city an hour away which uses a lot of lead pipe... I understand I should probably follow the rules, but do any of you guys have any knowledge of brass fitting markings? I researched lead-free markings on the web and have come to the conclusion that there is no universal marking system for brass fittings. I see some markings on the brass fittings that I am not sure about, maybe you guys could explain them to me:

AE, "A" without the middle line, may also be NE connected
LEE
34
34 USA
RED WHITE TOYO
3/4 125 B
200 WOG

In fact, the new gate valve I installed does not even have the letters LF but from the store tag it is certified lead free. The guys who came out and looked at it could not initially find anything on it, and when I said I bought it at the box store they later stated that the "N" meant no-lead :vs_worry:

I know this is something I probably can't avoid without strong evidence of LF brass, but my state is Michigan and there aren't much laws on it. If the municipality demands it I will do it. The only thing that I have not done before is making a flare on a 3/4" copper main line.. I've soldered (which they do not allow in this situation), joined pipes, gas pipes, cut and threaded them even. Attached some pics for reference.

p.s. The only reason I had to call them was because of the wire they put on the meter to prevent tampering. I had to snip it to get the new gate valve on and let them know to prevent any penalty.
 

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I understand I should probably follow the rules, but do any of you guys have any knowledge of brass fitting markings? I researched lead-free markings on the web and have come to the conclusion that there is no universal marking system for brass fittings. I see some markings on the brass fittings that I am not sure about, maybe you guys could explain them to me:

AE, "A" without the middle line, may also be NE connected
LEE
34
34 USA
RED WHITE TOYO
3/4 125 B
200 WOG
Red white toyo is the manufacturer of the valve. Go to their website or give them a call and ask them directly. No doubt it contains some lead. Click link: http://www.redwhitevalvecorp.com/

You're kinda of in a catch 22. Unfortunately, you will have to comply to your local municipality rules governing the grandfathering. I know it's too late now, but probably should of called them first before you tampered with the meter.

Please wait for the plumbers to respond, maybe they can give you a few more ideas.
 

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Bear in mind that "lead free" brass fittings were legally able to contain up to 8% lead until very recently (see https://www.sciencenews.org/blog/science-public/lead-free-faucets-are-anything). Even the most stringent current regulations allow "lead free" brass fittings to contain lead, see http://www.uscti.com/u_pages/publications/pdfs/ItemFNoLeadFlyerStark.pdf for a lengthy discussion on the exact meaning of "lead free".

Conclusion: There are probably no "lead free" brass fittings for sale in the United States at this time, probably never have been. The critical question is how much lead will leach into your water, which is a complicated question, and depends on the type of brass you have, and the chemistry of your water.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You more of an issue with the solder used to connect all your copper pipes then you do with the brass valves.
They used actual lead pipes in the houses in the city they mentioned with the lead water issue. Even removing the piping with lead in them did not get rid of the lead issue there. How would one do a flare on a 3/4" copper main inlet or should I hire a plumber?
 
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