Polybutylene plumbing was commonly used in homes built between 1978 and 1995. Once thought to be the “pipe of the future” due to its low production cost and easy installation, it was later discovered that polybutylene does not hold up well over time. Unfortunately, this subpar plumbing material was commonly used in homes built in southwest Florida in cities like Ft. Myers, Estero, Naples, Bonita Springs, and Cape Coral. Do you think your home may have polybutylene pipes? If so, you may want to keep reading to learn more.
Risks Of Polybutylene Plumbing
If your home has polybutylene plumbing, it could be a disaster waiting to happen.
If your home has polybutylene pipes, you are at risk of facing major damage as the result of plumbing failure. In time, chemical reactions can occur between the polybutylene pipes and the chlorine in your water. The chlorine can also react with acetal fittings used in polybutylene plumbing systems. Eventually, this reaction causes the plumbing to scale, flake and become brittle. As a result, microfractures develop, and the structural integrity of the system is compromised. In addition to minor leaks, this loss of structural integrity can also lead to broken pipes and total plumbing failure.
What To Do If You Have Polybutylene Pipes
If you have a home in SW Florida built between 1978 and 1995, look for underground water lines that are blue, gray or black. Inside your home, polybutylene pipes are usually gray or white and have a dull finish. If you aren’t sure what type of pipes are used in your home and on your property, it’s a good idea to have them inspected by a professional.
Homeowners with polybutylene plumbing should consider partial or whole home repiping to replace the polybutylene with more durable material, like copper. Having the polybutylene pipes replaced drastically reduces your risk of plumbing failure. Homes that have been upgraded from polybutylene also have a higher resale value and are much easier to sell.