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Discuss Metal particles in water in the Plumbing Forum area at PlumbersForums.net

fix01

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A HomeServe plumber recently fitted a new kitchen tap but to remove the old one he used an angle grinder which created a lot of brass particles, many of which got into the pipework, so that there are now brass particles in the water when I turn the tap on. HomeServe said this should have cleared fairly quickly by just running the tap for a while but although it's a lot better than it was, three weeks on there are still a few particles which can be seen floating on the water surface of my bowl. I also do not believe the water is fit to drink despite HomServe saying they think it is.

I just wondered if the good folk here had any suggestions how to clear the water of these annoying particles, and also a way to test that these particles are metal, which HomeServe are disputing.
 

rpm

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You could send a water sample to be tested then you would have the report in Black & White. I too would of thought running the tap for a period of time would of flushed anything out so something doesn`t sound right here.
 

bogrodder

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Depends how much got in and how good your water pressure is

Just saying like.
 

Pickwickpick

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Definitely seems odd that you're still getting particles coming through after 3 weeks, have you tried just leaving that tap running at full flow for a couple of hours?

I also wander whether it could be that they're being trapped by the aerator and only being released in small amounts of a long period of time. If it has one of these (pic below) I'd take it off, let the tap run at full rate for half an our or so and give the aerator a good rinse.



On plus side the water will still be safe to drink as the brass in the tap will not have lead in it.
 

rpm

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Whilst Brass in mainly Copper and Zinc there are other elements including Lead at various levels.
 

Pickwickpick

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Whilst Brass in mainly Copper and Zinc there are other elements including Lead at various levels.
My bad, just done a bit of reading up on this, thought they'd removed lead from it in these settings but you're right there will be a small percentage of lead.

I still wouldn't be worrying about drinking the water if it was happening at mine, there's a limited amount of particles in the water (i.e. only the amount from the grinding, they're not being replenished, just slowly released from the initial grinding), they will weigh next to nothing, so the amount of lead consumed would be well within safe exposure limits.
 

rpm

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I think the post is more to do with what Homeserve did, how it was left and are now saying.
 

Pickwickpick

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I think the post is more to do with what Homeserve did, how it was left and are now saying.
Yep, its definitely crap customer service from homserve, they should have insured all particles were flushed through before the left the customer's property.
 
OP
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fix01

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Thanks a lot for the replies. Obviously the important thing is to get these little metal shards removed and to a large extent I suppose that depends on how I should proceed with HomeServe. I do think HomeServe have been pretty bad throughout.

Firstly, there was no mention from the plumber that there might be metal particles in the water and it was only when I spotted them after he had left that I became aware of them. I also think it is very poor advice from the area manager to say he thinks the water is safe to drink even though he admitted when he looked at them that he couldn't be certain what the particles were. I'm not so concerned about these small metal shards being toxic, but if I ingest them if they might remain inside my body and cause problems, or even be carcinogenic.

Regarding whether the tap has an aerator, I'm not sure, but when the plumber returned he removed what he called the filter from the end of the tap which contained a large shard of metal, and rinsed it through. the tap is a Bristan Manhattan (non easyfit version):
Bristan Manhattan Mono Mixer Chrome
 

rpm

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Thanks a lot for the replies.

Regarding whether the tap has an aerator, I'm not sure, but when the plumber returned he removed what he called the filter from the end of the tap which contained a large shard of metal, and rinsed it through. the tap is a Bristan Manhattan (non easyfit version):
Bristan Manhattan Mono Mixer Chrome
Remove the filter from the tap which either unscrews or is pushed in and have a look then run the tap for 10-15 minutes and then replace the filter.
 

Pickwickpick

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Thanks a lot for the replies. Obviously the important thing is to get these little metal shards removed and to a large extent I suppose that depends on how I should proceed with HomeServe. I do think HomeServe have been pretty bad throughout.

Firstly, there was no mention from the plumber that there might be metal particles in the water and it was only when I spotted them after he had left that I became aware of them. I also think it is very poor advice from the area manager to say he thinks the water is safe to drink even though he admitted when he looked at them that he couldn't be certain what the particles were. I'm not so concerned about these small metal shards being toxic, but if I ingest them if they might remain inside my body and cause problems, or even be carcinogenic.

Regarding whether the tap has an aerator, I'm not sure, but when the plumber returned he removed what he called the filter from the end of the tap which contained a large shard of metal, and rinsed it through. the tap is a Bristan Manhattan (non easyfit version):
Bristan Manhattan Mono Mixer Chrome
You've definitely had some shockingly bad customer service from them! He should have left the tap running for a decent amount of time with the filter/aerator off and checked there were no more particles before putting it back together.

As rpm say, take it back off, leave the tap running for decent amount of time and I would also give the filter a good rinse. If you do so in a bowl you should be able to keep checking you've got everything out. I think particles have got trapped in the mesh and are being released bit by bit and its going to be impossible to see them by eye if they are.
 

YorkshireDave

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so the amount of lead consumed would be well within safe exposure limits.
Sorry PWP. A point of order sir. There is NO, repeat NO, safe exposure limits for lead. NOT ONE. Lead can be ingested, inhaled and absorbed. ZERO lead is the ONLY safe level.

For everyone's consideration, the lead content in the UK's tap metals is NOT measured but it is in the plastics. Bloody box tickers!

That is why our cartridges are made with brass that complies with the most stringent European Standards - yes those very same standards that threaten our way of life . :p:p:p:D:D:D:rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:
 

gmartine

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Despite the poor customer service I find it difficult to believe the brass particles won't clear eventually. Run the tap at full flow for 20 minutes preferable into something that'll trap any particles like a tea towel placed in a sieve. Repeat as necessary.
 

Tea-Break

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Can’t be any different to reseating an old tap?
A quick flush through and all gone....
Just can’t see how there’s still brass particles left?
Think I would insist on a new tap...:(
 

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