Lead service lines are generally a dull gray color and are very soft.

You can identify them easily by carefully scratching with a key. If the pipe is made of lead, the area you’ve scratched will turn a bright silver color. Do not use a knife or other sharp instrument and take care not to puncture a hole in the pipe.

Lead service lines can be connected to the residential plumbing using solder and have a characteristic solder “bulb” at the end, a compression fitting, or other connector made of galvanized iron or brass/bronze.

Lead service lines often end just inside the front or side wall of the home, but may extend further into the building as shown, where the lead service line comes out of the basement floor to the water meter and then back into the floor, continuing further into the building.

If your home has a water meter, your water meter may be in your home or in a “meter pit” or “meter vault” as shown to the left.