Polybutylene is a plastic resin that was used in residential plumbing pipes from 1975 through 1995. Even though it was an inexpensive alternative to copper plumbing, and saved builders hundreds of dollars per home, the pipes caused millions of dollars in damage when they ruptured. Houses became harder to sell with this type of plumbing material, so some builders disguised the polybutylene.
How to Check for Poly-B in Your Home
Here are some ways you can identify Poly-B so that you can avert future problems:
- Color and Size: The most common colors are blue, gray, silver, or black, with their most common diameters being 1/2” to 1”.
- Stamping: Generally, they are stamped with “PB2110” and the manufacturer. Manufacturers include Qest and ASTM.
- Areas Commonly Noticed: You can find the pipes peeking out from walls leading to sinks, showers, tubs, and toilets and near water heaters. On the exterior of the home, look at the water meter and the main water shut-off valve.
- Additional Warning: If you see copper, aluminum, or brass crimp fittings, it is highly likely that they are attached to polybutylene pipes.
Avoid a watery catastrophe later. These pipes will rupture and cause extensive damage to your floors, walls, and foundation. You may even discover dangerous black mold. When disaster does strike, call a professional leak repair service to replace the plumbing and fix the damage.