Federal Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act Prompts New Educational Piping Video

April 22, 2014


In Response to New Legislation, the Copper Development Association Offers a New Resource for Those Working With Lead-Free Copper Alloys.

NEW YORK, NY— The Copper Development Association (CDA), a trade association representing the U.S. copper tube and fittings industry, today announces the launch of the latest video in its "Do It Proper With Copper" Series: Soldering of No-Lead Copper Alloy Fittings, Valves and Components. The educational video serves as a valuable resource for plumbers, contractors and technicians installing or working with new copper alloys.

In a previous how-to video from the series titled Fluxing & Soldering Techniques, CDA staff demonstrated the proper technique for making high-quality soldered joints between copper tube and copper fittings, as well as copper alloy fittings, like brass and bronze. However, with the new Federal Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act, which went into effect on January 4, 2014 and limits the amount of lead that can be contained in plumbing components that come into contact with drinking water, CDA has developed a new DIY video demonstrating how to properly solder copper tube and fittings to the newer, no-lead, brass and bronze copper alloys.

“Many component manufacturers are now using new, no-lead copper alloys that use bismuth, silicon or other elements in place of lead to make their components,” said CDA Vice President, Andrew Kireta, Jr. “Even though these components may look the same as the older metals they are replacing, they can be a bit more difficult to solder. That’s why it’s important that we revisit these soldering techniques.”

With the help of Kireta and CDA project manager, Dale Powell, the association produced a 7-minute, video, adding to its ever-growing plumbing and architectural series. Soldering of No-Lead Copper Alloy Fittings, Valves and Components not only demonstrates the proper soldering techniques for new alloys, but offers an explanation as to why they must be treated differently from the old ones.

“The answer lies in the metallurgy, or physical properties of the alloy,” Powell states in the video. “Some of the new alloys, especially those containing silicon, have much lower thermal conductivity than their earlier counterparts, or than the copper parts that they are being joined with.”

CDA has been the expert on soldering copper and copper alloys for more than 50 years. CDA was not only instrumental in developing the soldering procedures that are now standard in the copper and plumbing industry, but has since taught these procedures to hundreds of thousands of installers across the country and throughout the world. CDA also was responsible for conducting the research that ultimately established the strength and pressure ratings for soldered copper joints, and has been involved in thousands of cases of forensic analysis of both good and bad soldered joints.

To view Soldering of No-Lead Copper Alloy Fittings, Valves and Components, or any other videos in the ‘Do it Proper With Copper’ video series, visit the CDA website or simply go to CDA's YouTube Channel.