ASCO recently announced a new line of lead-free brass valves to complement their existing stainless steel, composite and brass solenoid valve lines. The new valves meet the recently passed strict federal standards for lead-free valves but still have the same working components as ASCO’s trusted traditional brass line. The valves are NSF-approved, and come in a broad range of pipe sizes, pressure and temperature ratings, and flow coefficients. They are also the only ones to offer an optional 0 psi min in the range they supply.
Why are lead free valves important?
Lead is toxic and dangerous to human health. U.S. federal lead-content standards have tightened for components in potable water systems. New regulations passed in2014 call for any piece of equipment or component that is connected to the public water supply to be lead-free.
The Office of Water of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) summarized the law in a December 2013 report. To ensure complete compliance, see this full document on the Web at http://water.epa.gov/drink/info/lead/upload/epa815s13003.pdf
In summary, it lowered the definition of “lead-free” from 8% lead content to 0.25% lead content. ASCO’s traditional brass valves have a 2% lead content. So, ASCO was technically “lead-free” prior to 2014. However, you didn’t hear much about lead-free compliance prior to this legislation, because it was difficult to NOT be lead-free compliant with typical plumbing components.
Now, with the recent regulation change and what’s been in the news, being lead-free has become a big focus. ASCO’s first solution, which was successful, was with the 212 series. But, in some applications, the composite material was not the preferred material, resulting in requests and demand for brass valves that complied with the new lead-free regulations.
For OEMs, applying lead-free brass valves can offer the following advantages:
- Ease of passing inspection when the equipment is installed—inspectors are looking for lead-free components
- It can eliminate the need for a “wetted surface area calculation” if the solenoid valves are the remaining component above the 0.25% threshold
- If an OEM is near the 0.25% threshold, incorporating lead-free valves could move the equipment below the threshold
- In general, incorporating lead-free solenoid valves will add strength to your position in the market
Repair examples requiring lead free:
- Plumbed in coffee maker
- Plumbed shutoff valve
- Dishwashers (gray area)
Not requiring lead free:
- Industrial water control
- Coffee maker with storage tank
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