Polybutylene piping is
a low cost piping formed of soft
plastic material known as co-polymer. Commonly
it is gray, white or sometimes black or blue in color.
Poly piping is usually used as a substitute for copper
in both exterior and interior projects because of the
easy installation. Between 1978 and 1995 it had been
used in the construction of millions of homes through-
out the United States, however, it has been discovered
that as poly pipes age and reacts with water soluble
oxidants it begins to degrade and can leak. This
causes severe damage to the surrounding building's structure.
Although some poly piping problems are caused from improper installation, most complaints are with the structure of the piping itself. Polybutylene pipes are known to deteriorate due to contact with oxidants normally found in public drinking water supplies. The damages begins inside the pipe, making the determination of whether or not existing polybutylene pipes are in truly good condition very difficult. Most home inspectors cannot give an accurate assessment on the condition of poly piping unless there is a visible problem with the exterior of the pipe or its installation. By the time a polybutylene pipe has visible damage, the pipe has deteriorated from within and it is only a matter of time before extremely severe damage occurs to the surrounding building structure.
Polybutylene pipe leaks are unpredictable and can range in severity. There are no symptoms to warn of damage and the average poly pipe starts to leak after nine years. Some factors that affect poly piping can include:
Damages from polybutylene pipe leaks can be extensive, in some cases more than the original cost of the home. Insurance companies have been known the cancel or refuse policies for homes with known poly piping problems making it difficult to sell a home that has an unreliable plumbing system. It is important that you become proactive in your efforts to prevent failures and the damage one failure can cause to your home.
EAST VALLEY: (480)288.1246
WEST VALLEY: (623)444.0566