Does Boiling Water Remove Lead? Everything You Need to Know

Lead is a highly toxic substance that can cause serious health problems when ingested. While it was once commonly used in pipes, paint, and other products, its harmful effects have led to regulations limiting its use.

However, lead can still be present in older homes, and contaminated water is a common source of lead exposure. Boiling water is often suggested as a simple and inexpensive way to remove lead from water. But does boiling water really remove lead?

In this article, we’ll explore the effectiveness of boiling water in removing lead and what other methods are available to protect yourself from this harmful substance.

Does Boiling Water Remove Lead?

Boiling water can remove some impurities from water, but it is not effective in removing lead. Lead has a high boiling point of 1,750°F (950°C), which means that it remains in the water even after boiling.

In fact, boiling water can actually concentrate lead levels if the water is boiled for too long or if there is a high level of lead already present in the water.

Other methods are necessary to remove lead from water, such as whole-house water filters or reverse osmosis systems.

These methods are much more effective at removing lead and are recommended for those who have lead in their water.

How Does Lead Get into Water?

Lead can enter the water supply through a variety of sources, including lead pipes and plumbing fixtures, lead solder used in copper piping, and lead-based paint.

In homes built before 1986, it’s common for lead to be present in the plumbing system, which can leach into the water supply.

Lead can also be present in public water systems due to aging infrastructure or contamination from other sources.

Regular testing of public water systems is required by law, but homeowners may want to have their water tested as well if they suspect lead contamination.

How to Protect Yourself from Lead in Water?

If you’re concerned about lead in your water, there are several steps you can take to protect yourself:

Have your water tested

A water test can determine if the lead is present in your water and at what levels. Testing is recommended for homes built before 1986 and for those with private wells.

Install a water filtration system

A quality water filtration system can remove lead and other impurities from your water. Look for systems that are certified by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) to ensure their effectiveness.

Use only cold water for cooking and drinking

Hot water can leach lead from pipes more easily than cold water, so use only cold water for cooking and drinking.

Run the tap before using the water

Letting the water run for a few minutes can help flush out any lead that may have accumulated in the pipes.

Replace lead pipes and fixtures

If you have lead pipes or plumbing fixtures, consider replacing them with lead-free alternatives.

Check this article to learn more about how to remove lead from water effectively.


Yes, boiling water can actually concentrate lead levels if the water is boiled for too long or if there is a high level of lead already present in the water.

It’s recommended to let the water run for at least two minutes before using it for drinking or cooking.

Lead can be especially dangerous for children, pregnant women, and those with compromised immune systems.


Overall, boiling water is not an effective method for removing lead from water. Instead, filtration systems or reverse osmosis are necessary to remove lead from water.

It’s important to be aware of the potential sources of lead in your water supply and to take steps to protect yourself and your family from exposure.

This includes having your water tested, installing a quality filtration system, using only cold water for cooking and drinking, and replacing any lead pipes or fixtures in your home.

By following these measures, you can help ensure that your water is safe and free from harmful levels of lead.

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