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Old 01-27-2014, 07:47 PM   #1
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Default A stainless steel fitting heads-up for Californians, Marylanders, and Vermonters

Apparently, it is not legal to sell Chinese stainless steel ball valves for use in potable water applications in California, Maryland, and Vermont because they are not NSF 61, Annex G/NSF 372 certified. It doesn't matter if the ball valve in question is stainless steel or brass. I discovered this restriction the hard way when I recently attempted to order a 1/2" Sharpe stainless steel ball valve on Zoro Tools and was asked to confirm that I would not use it in a potable water application (according to NSF, cooking is considered to be a potable water application). I decided to purchase an American-made Apollo 76F series 1/2" ball valve because I have a 3/8" 76F series ball valve on my latest kettle build. Apollo's 76F series are NSF 61, Annex G/NSF 372 certified (www.apollovalves.com/_products/76f/TS_76F-100-A.pdf). While not as cheap as generic stainless steel Chinese ball valves, the 76Fs are nice stainless steel ball valves for the money for those of us who live California, Maryland, and Vermont.

From NSF's website:

"NSF/ANSI 61

According to NSF, NSF/ANSI 61 'establishes limits for the amount of lead that may migrate into drinking water from the water contact materials within a drinking water contact product'. Annex F is a subsection of NSF/ANSI 61 that defines the allowable contaminant level of lead. Currently, Annex F requires a contaminant level of lead less than or equal to 15 ppb. On July 1, 2012, that level will be reduced to 5 ppb.

Products that are certified to NSF/ANSI 61 have not been evaluated for weighted average lead content and do not meet the Safe Drinking Water Act requirements for 2014 or the 0.25% weighted average lead requirements for California, Vermont, and Maryland.

NSF/ANSI 61, ANNEX G

On January 1, 2010, California Assembly Bill 1953 (AB1953) went into effect. AB1953 requires that all pipe, plumbing fittings and fixtures conveying water for human consumption be “lead free”. AB1953 defines “lead free” as a weighted average lead content of the wetted surface area of not more than 0.25%. The States of Vermont and Maryland have passed similar laws. Certification is mandatory in these markets and may be obtained from NSF or another ANSI accredited certification agency.

In response to these laws, NSF developed NSF/ANSI, Annex G as an optional evaluation method within NSF/ANSI 61 to limit the amount of lead that may be contained in products contacting drinking water. Beginning in 2014, Annex G will be mandatory under NSF/ANSI 61 in order to be compliant with the Safe Drinking Water Act.

NSF/ANSI 372

The lead content evaluation developed under Annex G was later developed as NSF/ANSI 372. NSF/ANSI 372 is the stand-alone lead content certification that meets the Safe Drinking Water Act requirements for 2014 as well as the lead content laws in California, Vermont, and Maryland."

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Old 02-01-2014, 04:39 PM   #2
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That just means that they didn't pay for the NSF testing. It doesn't mean that it they contain lead.

So yes if you are going to have your brew rig inspected by your local inspector you can't use those valves. But if like most of us normal folks even those in California, Maryland and Vermont they are plenty safe.

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Old 02-06-2014, 01:35 AM   #3
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Stainless steel valves generally do not contain lead. However, that's not the point. The point is that CA, MD, and VT require all ball valves that will be used in potable water applications to be certified, regardless of material. Will the NSF 372 certification requirement stop amateur brewers from using non-certified ball valves? No, but it will make purchasing non-certified ball valves from industrial suppliers progressively more difficult for residents of CA, MD, and VT.

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Old 02-06-2014, 02:22 AM   #4
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So when they ask if it's for potable applications, just say no.

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Old 02-06-2014, 07:39 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M View Post
So when they ask if it's for potable applications, just say no.
^ this.

I'm not seeing the problem here.
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Old 02-06-2014, 08:25 PM   #6
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Actually it occurred to me, why would you buy a valve from an industrial supply that marks up by 400% anyway?

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Old 02-06-2014, 08:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M View Post
Actually it occurred to me, why would you buy a valve from an industrial supply that marks up by 400% anyway?
Because if you don't you will get cancer... but only if you live in California, Vermont, or Maryland. Anywhere else your fine

A CF8 / CF8M casting should not have lead in it
Quote:
CF8 Chemical Requirements in those two standard is same as bellow:
ASTMA351 Standard Specification for Castings, Austenitic, for Pressure-Containing Parts:
ASTM743A Standard Specification for Castings, Iron-Chromium, Iron-Chromium-Nickel,
Corrosion Resistant, for General Application: www.castingquality.com
Carbon: 0.08 max
Manganese: 1.50 max
Silicon: 2.0 max
Sulfur: 0.040 max
Phosphorus: 0.040 max
Chromium: 18.0-21.0
Nickel: 8.0-11.0
Molybdenum: max 0.50 in ASTM A351, no requirement in A743
Tensile Strength: min 70ksi(485Mpa)
Yield Strength: min 30ksi (205Mpa)
Elongation in 2in. or 50mm: min 35.0%
EAZ - what is your point with the post. That Chiness valves are no good, or just be prepared to answer "no" to the question on potable use if you ever get asked it, or to warn vendors about potential legal issues selling SS ball valves?
For what it is worth you say that ANSI is in on this - I would expect that there is a list of accepted materail standards that if used automatically comply with the NSF requirements, For the most part these agencies do not actually want the amount of paperwork that making every valve supplier and manufacturer submit proof that their valves contain under 0.25% lead would cause.
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Old 02-07-2014, 11:56 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M View Post
Actually it occurred to me, why would you buy a valve from an industrial supply that marks up by 400% anyway?
There are some industrial supply companies that are the same price or cheaper without the shipping you just have to find them. I have one that is a couple minutes from my work. I still use your company for more brewery specific items but for stuff like stainless couplers, valves, nipples I usually go local.

It is also a major bonus when you forget to order some fitting you really need.

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