Does The Home You Purchased Have Polybutylene Pipes? Why You Need Them Replaced

Posted on: 5 February 2015

From the years 1978 to 1995, polybutylene was one of the main piping materials installed in the United States. It was a popular choice because it was easy to install, flexible, affordable, and resistant to freezing temperatures. In fact, somewhere between six and ten million houses had this type of pipe material installed during this time. All of the benefits of the material aside, it was not long before production of the material stopped because of how easily the pipes were rupturing and damaging property. If you have a home with a polybutylene plumbing system, you can either pay to have the pipes replaced with galvanized, copper, plastic, or PVC pipes or wait until they damage your home and deal with even more expensive repairs.

How Do You Know If You Have Polybutylene Pipes?

The easiest way to tell if you have polybutylene pipes is to look at their exterior. The water main of a polybutylene plumbing system is almost always blue. The pipes connected to the water meter on your home will also be made out of a plastic resin material instead of being copper. Inside of your home, it is not uncommon for plumbers to use copper sub outs where your plumbing system exits the wall. For this reason, you should never assume you do not have polybutylene pipes just because you see copper.

If your home was built or the plumbing was redone between the years of 1978 and 1994, there is a good chance you have polybutylene pipes. If you think there is a chance you do have these pipes, consider having a professional plumber come out to confirm whether or not you do. Then, you can discuss having them replaced.

Why Should You Get The Pipes Replaced

The biggest problem with this type of piping is the fact that the material wears away to nothing because of the oxidants found in public drinking water. As the material wears away, it can leak or rupture. Some of the other problems associated with this type of piping material include:

  • The quality of your drinking water
  • How old the plumbing system is
  • How deteriorated the pipes are

Unfortunately, replacing your entire plumbing system is not a cheap or quick plumbing project. However, it is significantly cheaper than having to replace your entire plumbing system as well as fixing property damage and water damage that will be caused if the pipes were to rupture. 

For more information, contact Neffsville Plumbing & Heating Services or a similar company.