Zurn Shares Experience of Making Lead-free Products

Two Zurn Industries LLC executives, each instrumental in the firm’s aggressive conversion to lead-free, shared their insights and experiences during a presentation at MCAA 2013 in San Antonio recently.

Frank Schaetzke, vice president of National Accounts, and Sean Martin, senior director of Sales, provided an audience of mechanical contractors successful strategies to comply with the Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act (42 USC 300G). The new federal law takes effect Jan. 4, 2014.

In a presentation titled “Lead-Free: It’s Coming, Are You Prepared?”, Schaetzke and Martin presented ideas that contractors can use to minimize their exposure, inventory depletion and bid risk.

The new national law modifies the existing Safe Drinking Water Act to a standard enacted by California and Vermont in 2010. It will require that any valve, fitting or fixture coming in contact with potable water (used for drinking or cooking) must be lead-free. Specifically, it will mandate these plumbing products have a weighted average of less than 0.25 percent lead content (the NSF/ANSI Standard 61-G requirement).

“Our industry can learn from the experiences of California and Vermont,” says Martin. “In those states, manufacturers, suppliers and contractors had to convert their entire roster of metal fittings, solder and pipe, which caused problems with inventory, material acquisition and bidding. By preparing early, Zurn has provided a successful example to avoid that scenario.”

“We tried to guide the MCAA members through the blocking and tackling fundamentals of this change,” says Schaetzke. “We explained how their firms could adjust their procedures for bidding, purchasing and installation to remove the lead from inventory.”

The Zurn lead-free initiative sets the standard for the industry, making the company the first to completely convert its broad product offering. Find detailed information about Zurn lead-free products and lead-free conversion.

MCAA (the Mechanical Contractors Association of America) serves approximately 2,500 firms involved in heating, air conditioning, refrigeration, plumbing, piping and mechanical services. MCAA includes the Plumbing Contractors of America, the Mechanical Service Contractors of America and other organizations. The theme of MCAA 2013 was “Unconventional Thinking.”

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