Frequently Asked Questions
Here you'll learn more about new lead-free regulations, the new UltraPure no-lead product line, and how Milwaukee Valve makes it all work together. Check back often for updates.
- What is California Bill AB 1953?
- When does the new law take effect?
- How is 'Lead Free' defined?
- What is Vermont S.152?
- What is Standard 61, Annex G?
- Is this the beginning of a stricter national standard?
- Does this law apply only to residential buildings?
- Which Milwaukee Valve products does AB 1953 impact?
- Which Milwaukee Valve products does AB 1953 NOT impact?
- What is Milwaukee Valve doing to comply with California AB 1953?
- When will UltraPure products be available?
- How will Milwaukee Valve communicate compliance?
- Will compliance with the new law cause inventory duplication?
- Is there a price difference between compliant and non-compliant product?
- What is Milwaukee Valve's return policy for products containing the higher lead content?
What is California Bill AB 1953?
California AB 1953 is the California Assembly Bill that was passed and signed into law on September 30, 2006. AB 1953 prohibits the use of lead in pipe, pipe or plumbing fitting or fixture, solder, or flux used in potable water systems.
When does the new law take effect?
The effective date is January 1, 2010. At that time:
- "No person shall use any pipe, pipe or plumbing fitting or fixture, solder, or flux that is not lead free in the installation or repair of any public water system or any plumbing in a facility providing water for human consumption, except when necessary for the repair of leaded joints of cast iron pipes."
- "No person shall introduce into commerce any pipe, pipe or plumbing fitting, or fixture, that is not lead free, except for a pipe that is used in manufacturing or industrial processing."
How is 'Lead Free' defined?
'Lead Free' means not more than a weighted average of 0.25% when used with respect to the wetted surfaces of pipes and pipe fittings, plumbing fittings, and fixtures. The weighted average lead content of a pipe and pipe fitting, plumbing fitting, and fixture shall be calculated by using the following formula: The percentage of lead content within each component that comes into contact with water shall be multiplied by the percent of the total wetted surface of the entire pipe and pipe fitting, plumbing fitting, or fixture represented in each component containing lead. These percentages shall be added and the sum shall constitute the weighted average lead content of the pipe and pipe fitting, plumbing fitting, or fixture.
'Lead Free' means not more than 0.2% lead when used with respect to solder and flux.
What is Vermont S.152?
Vermont has passed a bill regulating lead in consumer products similar to the California AB 1953, which also prohibits the sale of plumbing fixtures whose wetted surfaces contain more than a weighted average of 0.25% lead. Vermont S.152 also takes effect January 1, 2010, though does not require third party certification that products are achieving the standards in question.
What is Standard 61, Annex G?
NSF/ANSI Standard 61 addresses a crucial aspect of drinking water system components; whether contaminants that leach or migrate from the product/material into the drinking water are above acceptable levels in finished waters.
In December 2008, NSF/ANSI revised Standard 61 to add requirements allowing manufacturers to have their products certified to a lead content standard in jurisdictions with a 0.25% weighted average lead content requirement. For more information on Annex G, go to www.nsf.org.
Is this the beginning of a stricter national standard?
At Milwaukee Valve, we believe this is the start of a sweeping change in the national plumbing code, and that more states will adopt this standard in the near future. NSF, ANSI and other standards organizations are already considering similar revisions to the national plumbing code.
Does this law apply only to residential buildings?
No. California AB 1953 does not distinguish between residential and commercial applications. The law is specific to any application in which the water that is conveyed or dispensed is intended for human consumption, specifically drinking or cooking.
Which Milwaukee Valve products are impacted by California AB 1953?
Prior to the development of our UltraPure no-lead products, all bronze and brass products available in the Milwaukee Valve catalog were not compliant with AB 1953.
Which Milwaukee Valve products are NOT impacted by California AB 1953?
All Iron, Carbon Steel and Stainless Steel products manufactured by Milwaukee Valve are not affected in any manner.
What is Milwaukee Valve doing to comply with California AB 1953?
Milwaukee Valve has announced its UltraPure line of Gate, Globe, Check and Ball Valves for potable water applications. The existing product line will continue to be produced to service the balance of the country, as well as all other applications in California.
All UltraPure products will be marked with the UltraPure trade name, and will feature white handwheels and handle grips. All compliant product components will be marked to identify the material used in production.
When will UltraPure products be available?
UltraPure products will be available by January 1, 2010. Orders are being accepted now.
How will Milwaukee Valve communicate compliance?
Product information has been mailed to California distributors and pricing and product information is available on this website and at www.milwaukeevalve.com. Additional information will be distributed in November and December.
Milwaukee Valve will host webinars to inform contractors, specifying engineers and distribution on the requirements.
Will compliance with the new law cause inventory duplication?
Additional SKUs will be required to be compliant with the law, but this is not inventory duplication. Simply, AB 1953 requires a change in the material used to handle an application (potable water) in the State of California. To the extent that current inventory is sold for potable water, you may need to reduce inventory quantities on non-compliant valves.
Is there a price difference between compliant and non-compliant product?
Published pricing for UltraPure is anywhere from 35-45% higher than the current equivalent product. The material needed for production is considerably more expensive. Other factors that influence pricing include increased machining costs, higher scrap rates, lower volume and required third-party certification. Because of this substantial price increase, contractors and distributors will want to separate potable water products from others.
What is Milwaukee Valve's return policy for products containing the higher lead content?
No return policy has been established, as the current product offering will still be needed to service other applications. Milwaukee Valve will continue to evaluate the need for a policy and finalize a position later in the year.
In the meantime, we highly recommend that distributors place orders for the new products that will be available in late 2009. We also urge distributors to reduce current inventory of standard products until the use of products in potable water applications can be predicted.