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How to find out if you have lead pipes

Feb 27, 2023 | 3 comments

You can check if you have lead water pipes in a few simple steps

Before you begin, you will need:

  • a coin
  • safety glasses
  • a facemask

First, find your main water pipe. This is usually under your kitchen sink, by your downstairs toilet, or in a cupboard under the stairs.

Check the colour of the pipe. If it’s a brownish colour, it may be copper. If it’s a dull grey, it’s likely to be lead.

If the pipe looks swollen at the joints, that’s another sign it’s lead. If the pipe is dull grey or swollen, make sure you put your safety glasses and facemask on before you do anything else.

Why should you be smarter with water usage?

As part of the Green project with Severn Trent you can apply for a pipe upgrade which will include having a smart meter fitted, which will identify if there are any problems, like a local leak. It will also show how your household uses water.

If you already have a water meter, it will be upgraded to a smart meter. If you don’t already have a meter you won’t have to change how you are billed for water but  you can save money by switching to a smart meter, here is how:


  • More control – see how much water your home uses – weekly, daily and hourly.
  • Save water, save money – using less water not only means that you can reduce your water bill, but also your gas and electricity bills as your appliances use lots of water.
  • In tune with you – get your own personalised monthly report based on how your household uses water, offering handy tips and tricks to save water.
  • Spot leaks quickly – smart meters can detect small leaks early so you can fix them before they become a big problem, potentially saving you time and money.
  • Help save our planet – using less water can have a positive impact on the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and your carbon footprint.