Lead in plumbing products
This page provides further information about the outcome of the Building code update 2022 consultation on lead in plumbing products. It confirms the outcome of that consultation and when the Acceptable Solution G12/AS1 will be amended in 2023.
Consultation in 2022
As part of the 2022 Building Code update consultation, MBIE proposed to limit the allowable lead content in plumbing products which contain copper alloys and are intended for use in contact with potable water.
The proposed change was outlined in Proposal 1 of the Building Code update 2022 Plumbing and drainage consultation which was publicly consulted on between 2 May and 1 July 2022.
Read more about the consultation and watch webinars about the proposals
Outcome of consultation in 2022
There were 40 submissions on the proposal for lead in plumbing products. Over 90 per cent of these submissions supported the proposal to further reduce the allowable lead content for some plumbing products by 2025.
Read the outcome of the consultation on lead in plumbing products
These submissions supported the potential health benefits of the proposed change and highlighted the need for education on the changes before they are introduced.
When asked about the proposed transition end date of 1 September 2025, 86% were in favour of this timeframe. The submissions highlighted that the longer transition period was necessary to raise awareness of the proposed changes and to give time to manufacturers to comply with the proposed requirements.
Considering the feedback from the consultation, MBIE have decided to proceed with the proposed changes to Acceptable Solution G12/AS1, limiting the maximum quantity of lead in plumbing products.
The revised Acceptable Solution will be published in alignment with the rest of the plumbing and drainage updates in November 2023.
The transition period for this change will end on 1 September 2025.
MBIE are continuing to work with our counterparts in Taumata Arowai and Australia on the implementation of this change.
Affected plumbing products
The change to the acceptable solution G12/AS1 will have a transition period lasting until 1 September 2025. At the end of the transition period, the previous requirements will no longer be able to be used. On 1 September 2025, any product that contains copper alloy and is intended for use in contact with potable water for human consumption used for compliance with G12/AS1 will have to have a weighted average lead content of no more than 0.25% verified in the form of a test report provided by a test facility with IANZ or equivalent accreditation in accordance with NSF/ANSI/CAN 372.
Examples of products that this will apply to include:
- Copper alloy fittings
- Stainless-steel braided hoses
- Valves (such as valves for isolation, backflow prevention, alteration of pressure and temperature)
- Taps and mixers
- Water meters
- Pumps (for use with cold and heated water services)
- Water heaters
- Residential water filtration equipment
- Water dispensers (such as boiling and cooling units, drinking fountains and bottle fillers)
- Fire sprinkler systems connected to the cold water service that are not isolated from fixtures and fittings intended to supply water for human consumption
Examples of products that this will not apply to include:
- Showers for bathing
- Emergency showers, eye wash and/or face wash equipment
- Pumps used for irrigation, fire-fighting or other non-drinking water purposes
- Fire-fighting water services and equipment
- Appliances, including washing machines and dishwashers
- Commercial boilers associated with heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems
- Sanitary fixtures (such as toilets, cistern inlet valves, bidets, urinals)
- Non-drinking water systems (such as recycled water systems)
- Products used exclusively for non-drinking uses such as manufacturing, industrial processing, irrigation or any other uses where the water is not anticipated to be used for human consumption.