How long should I run water to flush water lines in my house?

Flushing times vary based on the length of your lead service line and the plumbing configuration in your home. Flushing one tap in the home in most cases does not clear lead from all household plumbing because the water flows from the lead service line only to open faucets.

  • If you do not have a lead service line, 30 to 45 seconds will clear any lead from household plumbing to the kitchen tap.
  • If you have old (corroded) galvanized iron pipe in your home, it may take up to five minutes to fully flush the tap. Once you have done this, fill a container with water and store it in the refrigerator for drinking and cooking throughout the day. In old, galvanized-iron plumbing, lead deposits can gather in corroded pipes, increasing the amount of time it takes to significantly reduce lead levels.
  • If you have a lead service line, it could take three to five minutes of running the water to significantly reduce lead levels and it is not possible to clear all the lead from the drinking water using flushing. The length of lead service lines varies considerably. If your home is set back far from the street, a longer flushing time may be needed to lower lead levels.

Show All Answers

1. When should I flush water lines in my house?
2. Why should I flush water lines?
3. How long should I run water to flush water lines in my house?
4. How can I conserve water when flushing water lines?
5. What other ways can I flush the lead service line?
6. When should I find alternatives to flushing / when is flushing not recommended?
7. I get my drinking water from my refrigerator; does its filter remove lead?
8. What should I do if my water service line has been worked on (e.g., cut, repaired or replaced)?
9. What should I do if my lead service line has been worked on (e.g., cut, repaired or replaced)?