We have answers.
In this Q&A article, we’ll cover the following common consumer questions:
Read on to learn the basics of polybutylene piping:
Polybutylene (PB) is a plastic used for piping in home plumbing systems that was manufactured between 1978 and mid-1995. The primary manufacturers of the pipe were Shell Chemical Company, Qest (pronounced “quest”), and Vanguard.
Initially, polybutylene pipes were popular because they were inexpensive, flexible, easy to install, and resistant to freezing.
However, many homeowners reported their polybutylene pipes were rupturing and causing property damage. And after a Class Action settlement of $1 billion in 1995 (Cox v. Shell Oil), these pipes were no longer acceptable by U.S. building codes and manufacturers stopped production of the pipes.
The easiest way to tell you have polybutylene pipes is to locate the “PB” lettering on the printed label (in the image below, look for “PB2110”).
Image source: www.tucsonhomebuyersguide.wordpress.com
Pipes are usually found in the following locations:
If you still need help locating pipes or if you’re not sure your pipes are polybutylene, contact a licensed plumber.
Because polybutylene pipes are prone to leaking and rupturing, we highly recommend that they be replaced. Polybutylene pipes take about 10-15 years to deteriorate, and sometimes you may not know you have a leak, especially if the pipes are behind sheetrock. These leaks are a serious risk because they can create mold, water damage or even flooding.
To replace polybutylene pipes, you’ll have to remove them and repipe your home’s plumbing system.
Repiping means removing the PB pipes and putting in longer-lasting, durable pipes and fittings made CPVC (rigid plastic pipes), which have a lifetime guarantee.
Your plumber will follow these 4 steps when repiping your house:
How long does repiping take?
Repiping generally requires takes 1 - 2 days, followed by 2 - 3 days of drywall repair and painting to return the home to its original appearance. The actual time to repipe a home depends on:
For example, Aztec Plumbing can repipe your home in a single day.
Yes. But while the plumbers are working on your home during the day, they’ll have to shut off your home’s water. When the plumbers leave for the day, they’ll be sure to keep at least one bathroom working overnight.
3 factors that will affect the cost of your whole-home repiping include:
Not sure if the cost is worth it?
It may be a lot of money up front, but in the long run it will actually save you money in repairs and also increase your home’s value. In fact, the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors says, “It is far cheaper to replace polybutylene pipes before they fail and release their contents onto floors, appliances and furniture.”
We’d love to help with any plumbing repairs or questions. And if you’re thinking about repiping your home, contact Aztec Plumbing today for a free estimate.
Aztec Plumbing been helping Fort Myers, Florida families with their plumbing needs for 25 years.
Categories: plumbing tips.