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Can You Use Brass for Drinking Water? (Explained)

If you’re building your dream house or making a renovation, you might have already learned how overwhelming that procedure can be!

You have to make sure every tiny thing is perfectly chosen. But amid so many options and varieties, it gets no easier to decide every move.

And the confusion doubles when it comes to the plumbing section work. Since this part includes the water lines, taps, and faucets, choosing one perfect material becomes the aim.

If you’ve already visited the market pretty sure you know most people prefer brass-made plumbing items. 

No doubt they last long but are brass-made fittings safe to use? Is using brass for drinking water pipes a good idea? To help you with your queries, here is our explanation.

Can you use brass for drinking water?

You can install and use brass-made fittings for drinking water lines. Brass that’s used in plumbing projects doesn’t contain lead at a concerning level. Brass in water pipe and faucet has less than 8% of lead and a maximum of 0.25% which don’t put consumers at a health risk.

While taking care of the design you make sure the things used in your project are not inviting any risk. The same goes for the fittings you chose to distribute water in your house. 

Brass is considered one of the most suitable metals when it comes to plumbing items. But since valves, pipes, faucets, and other brass-made fittings contain lead, it may raise a concern. 

Lead when consumed in a higher amount can affect human health badly so it’s natural to worry whether you can use brass fittings for drinking water. 

Here is what you need to know.

Brass fittings:

Brass fittings contain lead to make their work smooth. Lead when used in brass-made fittings make them durable, fire protective, and corrosion-resistant.

But according to Government Standard, these fittings use brass that contains a very low amount of lead, less than 8%. This much lead doesn’t contaminate the human body so can be used regularly.

Brass pipes:

To distribute water everywhere in your place including the drinking water taps, metal pipes are needed to install.

Brass is the perfect material to use for these water pipes. Brass-made pipes don’t wear off easily, can tolerate hot water distribution, and don’t corrode even after years. 

To smoother the pipe surface, brass-made pipe contains lead in a lower percentage for example 0.25%, that’s safe to consume. So if you drink water carried by a brass pipe, it will not affect your health. 

Is brass suitable for drinking water?

Brass is used a lot on plumbing projects and water line fittings. It’s durable, easy to use, flexible and protective against corrosion. But since this metal can contain lead often, many wonders if brass is suitable for drinking water.

You can trust brass for drinking waters if the concentration of lead in it is 0.25% or less. It then gets labeled as a lead-free brass setting that prevents water from getting contaminated.

Moreover, brass fittings prevent corrosion in pipes thus the water comes out pure. That means brass is suitable for drinking water. 

Is it safe to drink from a brass faucet?

It’s safe to drink water from a brass faucet because the amount of lead used in the brass faucet is not harmful. Faucets use brass as a material by following the Safe Drinking Water rule. So the amount of lead in this fitting is not harmful.

Brass faucets are widely used in residential and industrial projects as it offers many benefits. Brass lasts longer, can tolerate temperature, and brass-made fittings are corrosion resistant.

Brass is mainly a mixture of zinc and copper. Brass that’s used to make water pipes and faucets contains lead in some percentage. This is to make the waterways work smoothly and efficiently. 

But the brass that’s used in faucets contains lead less than 0.25%, following Government Standard which is considered safe as don’t contaminate the human body. So drinking from a brass faucet isn’t harmful or toxic.

Five reasons why you can use brass for drinking water

If you’re not convinced much to allow brass fittings for water lines, here we’ve explained three strong reasons telling why you can blindly rely on brass for drinking water:

Brass is durable:

Brass is long-lasting than any other metal. It doesn’t break or crack easily so can be used for heavy works such as for water pipe material. It’s durable so won’t make you change the pipelines every few years.

Bras are corrosion-resistant:

Another problem of using metals for water surfaces is they wear off after a time. The corrosion particles dissolve in the water making it unsafe and foul smell. 

But brass is highly corrosion resistant. It doesn’t corrode or wear off like other metals. It can be used for water pipe material under much corroded or lower pH water situations.

Brass can tolerate high temperatures:

Brass-made pipes are ideal for use in hot water distribution. They can tolerate temperatures higher than 930°C. so when it’s used to carry hot water it doesn’t bend, melt or crack. 

Brass is a malleable metal:

For handling delicate plumbing works, metal parts often need to be shaped. Other metals are tough to mold or shape but brass is a malleable metal so can be used for flexible fittings.

Brass contains antibiotic properties:

Water when in touch with brass pipe for at least 8 hours, filters the water from the different germ and water diseases. 

Is chrome plated brass Safe for drinking water?

No chrome plated brass fittings aren’t safe to drink water from. Because they contain too much amount of lead which is toxic to health.

Brass fittings are often covered with chrome plating. But that doesn’t make the brass safer

to use in drinking water pipes. Instead, the chrome plating process itself is dangerous as it requires lead.

So even if the metal is covered in chromium it is still not safe to use on water surfaces that are used for drinking. 

Besides, the chrome plating after some time, decays and wear offs from the brass surface and exposes it. Then gradually the lead dissolves in the water, contaminates it, and makes it toxic to drink. 

Chrome plating is used for more durably brass when used for plumbing projects. But this coating isn’t safe when it comes to drinking water. 

Is lead in brass dangerous?

Usually, the amount of lead in a brass metal is more than 8% which is considered an unsafe amount to take in the human body. 

Lead in brass is harmful as lead affects humans negatively. Since water is a great solvent, when used brass fittings, the lead in it dissolves in the water and make it polluted with lead particles.

Lead when gets absorbed in the body increases the risk of kidney disease, brain issues, skin problems, etc. Consuming too much lead from brass can affect other organs and put health at risk as well. 

How to tell if brass is lead-free?

Lead-free brass means the amount of lead used in that brass is tolerable and non-toxic to humans. Lead-free brass contains lead in a very low amount and covers the portion with silicon or bismuth. 

But how can you be sure that the brass you’ll be using is lead-free? Here are the tricks:

Use a Lead test kit:

Using a lead test kit you can identify if there is any lead present in the brass.

This type of kit includes a paint that has sulfur particles in it. When applied over any brass item, the paint will turn black if the brass contains lead. If the kit doesn’t change its color, the brass is free of lead.

Lead-free brass fittings are more expensive:

You will know if the brass you’re buying has lead in it or not by noticing its price.

Lead-free brass is costlier than the ones that have lead in it because the first one goes through a different process and thus costs more. Lead-free brass items are usually 25% to 50% higher in price.

Lead-free brass has tags:

Lead-free brass is made marinating the Governments’ standard, so it always comes with a label. If you observe you’ll get to know brass that’s lead-free by the label or tag it has on the product.

Most of the time manufacturers use NL (No Lead) or LF (Lead-Free) code for identification. So you can know if it has lead in it by the label.

Final Thoughts

Brass that’s used for drinking water fittings contains around 0.25% lead and never more than 8%. This percentage is certified as a safe amount for the human body. So you can safely use brass for drinking water as plumbing fittings don’t have them in a higher quantity.