Harris Bridgit solder image
By Bob Henson

When Lead Went Dead

The use of lead to convey drinking water dates to the Roman Empire (the word plumber comes from the Latin name for lead- "plumbum", hence its chemical symbol – Pb). Not surprisingly, the use of lead bearing solders to join copper water lines was the accepted approach for decades. By far the most common lead-bearing plumbing solder was 50/50 (nominally 50% tin and 50% lead).