When inspecting homes there are many aspects the inspector will cover to ensure the home’s safety and quality. One of these many aspects is the home’s plumbing system. One major flaw discovered in many homes is the piping. During the mid-1970’s through the 1990’s, polybutylene pipes were used in an estimated 10 million homes. Polybutylene pipes are no longer used as they were found to swell and crack due to the chlorine used to purify tap water. Lifeline Inspection Services will share the problems that come with polybutylene pipes, how they are detected and what you need to do if they are found in your home.
How to Identify Polybutylene Pipes
When a home inspector does an inspection, at stated, one of the aspects of their inspection is the plumbing and piping used in the home. When polybutylene pipes are discovered, they are a sign of an underlining problem that requires a need to be addressed. In some homes, inspectors will find a combination of polybutylene and copper piping. Copper piping is the standard piping method as they don’t degrade from chlorine. However, even copper piping systems can have polybutylene pipes used in conjunction, thereby leaving weak points in the plumbing system. Polybutylene pipe are usually easily identified. Polybutylene pipes are white, gray or light bluish gray in color. They have a dull or matted finish and range from ½ inch to 1 inch in diameter. Polybutylene pipes are often stamped with a “PB2110”. Homes built during the mid- 1970’s and through the 1990’s may have polybutylene piping throughout the home or in conjunction with a copper piping system.
Cracking Polybutylene Pipes
One of the major concerns with polybutylene piping is that it oxidizes when exposed to chlorine which is present in most tap water. The polybutylene pipe eventually swells and then it will crack. A large number of residential flooding cases were due to polybutylene pipes breaking due to this flaw. The flooding cost millions of dollars’ worth of damages in homes in the state of Georgia alone. It is essential to prevent a future flood and major water damage in the home. You can do this by having your home inspected for polybutylene pipes.
Polybutylene Piping Replacement
When polybutylene piping is found in your home during a home inspection, your only option is to replace the piping. In the state of Texas, if polybutylene piping was found in the home, it was replaced for free. However, in the State of Georgia there is no such luck just yet. Replacing your home piping system is no easy task. For those who may be putting their home up for sale, this is an issue you will want to correct. By leaving polybutylene piping in your home its value will decrease and you may find you have a harder time selling the home due to this flaw. If you are buying a home and polybutylene pipes are found, know the risks and see if the price of the home can be dropped down if you want to undertake the cost of pipe replacement yourself.