Leaky pipes can be a huge problem. If you’ve ever dealt with pipes that leak, you know it’s no laughing matter. Leaks can cause major structural damage to a home in addition to damaging to things like carpet and drywall.
Unfortunately, many homeowners who live in homes built between the late 70’s and mid 90’s are dealing with leaky pipes. That’s because pipes installed during this time period were made from polybutylene, a type of plastic resin that was intended to replace copper piping.
What are polybutylene pipes?
These “pipes of the future” were less expensive than copper and were supposedly easier to install. Unfortunately, installing cheap materials resulted in pipes that cracked and failed, causing damage to people’s homes.
Since the installation of polybutylene pipes, there have been numerous reports of leaks and other problems. Some experts believe that additives in the water, like chlorine, are the culprits of pipe failure. However, even homeowners that use private water supplies have had problems with these pipes.
How do I know if my home has them?
When was your home built? If it was constructed between January 1, 1978 and July 31, 1995, there’s a good chance you have polybutylene pipes. The pipes are mostly blue but can also be grey or black. Exterior pipes are usually blue and interior pipes are usually grey. Look for a diameter of either ½” or 1” and pipe connectors made of copper or plastic.
If you haven’t had problems yet, they’ll probably crop up sometime in the near future. It can take years for poly pipes to start failing – most leaks happen 10 to 15 years after installation. And, if you are planning on selling your house, poly pipes can make it more difficult. Houses with poly pipes tend to stay on the market longer and sell at a lower price.
What can I do about it?
If you suspect your home has polybutylene pipes, call Moon Valley Plumbing – we can inspect your pipes and provide you with an estimate for replacing them with a sturdier material. On our website you’ll find a valuable coupon – this month we are offering $100 off the replacement of polybutylene pipes.
You may also want to look into the recent class action lawsuit against polybutylene pipe installation. To read about eligibility, visit http://polybutylenelawsuit.com/guidelines.htm .