Homes that were built between the late 70s and mid-90s may have a dirty little secret under the floorboards and in the walls.
Polybutylene pipes were a popular construction product for more than fifteen years. Despite being hidden behind walls these pipes quickly became the foundation for problems in many southwest Florida homes. They have cost homeowners thousands of dollars in plumbing services, headaches and have even affected approval for homeowners insurance.
Don’t become another unfortunate statistic. Discover what Polybutylene piping is, how to identify it, and how the team at Best Home Services can help!
What Are Polybutylene Pipes?
Polybutylene is a type of plastic resin that was commonly used in the manufacture of water piping from 1978 through 1995. Since it was so easy to make and not to mention cost-efficient, polybutylene was hailed as the “pipe of the future” and installed from anywhere between 6 to 10 million homes. The material was flexible and as a result, many associated it’s flexibility with durability.
Unfortunately, there were many issues with polybutylene that were not explored prior to all of these installations. As a result of these oversights, plumbing and piping across Florida began failing, causing millions of dollars in damage. The majority of the damage was experienced in the “Sun Belt”, which extends through southern Florida.
Polybutylene pipes, as it turned out, are unstable and unreliable, susceptible to cracks and holes that quickly turn into costly leaks. There were hundreds of reports of leaks in homes and some instances of ruptured pipes.
As you can imagine but have hopefully never experienced, a plumbing issue can quickly become a catastrophe. Water is a force that is difficult to stop once it’s unleashed. Polybutylene pipes were the perfect storm for plumbing disasters and home water damage.
Why Are Polybutylene Pipes Bad For Your Home?
As we mentioned above, polybutylene as a material is highly susceptible to fractures that eventually grow and cause a plumbing tragedy. Paired with poor installation, polybutylene piping can fail at the joints.
These discrepancies can cause one of two outcomes. If undetected, plumbing leaks are silent killers, seeping behind drywall and causing mold, as well as water damage. The second outcome is a burst pipe, an instant catastrophe that many homes find difficult to recover from.
While the intentions were good in 1978, polybutylene was clearly not the best choice for pipes. Best Home Services has encountered too many southwest Florida homes that are plagued with this unstable material. These homes are at high-risk and need immediate care to tackle the problem.
How To Identify Polybutylene Piping
Owning a home is one of the largest investments you will ever have. When you purchase a home, the last thing you expect is a faulty plumbing system that can uproot your finances and affect your insurance. Best Home Services believes that no family should suffer from a potential plumbing hazard. It is important to understand how polybutylene pipes are an unstable plumbing system that can affect your home’s worth and future. We are showing you how to identify polybutylene pipes.
Polybutylene pipes vary in color and location. Polybutylene plumbing systems can be found underground or on the exterior of the home, usually near the water heater. They can be blue, black, or gray but in southwest Florida, most polybutylene pipes are gray.
The majority of exterior polybutylene pipes are between ½” or 1” in diameter. If you are concerned that your home may have polybutylene pipes, be sure to check the water heater as well as the pipes going to and from your water meter.
Remember how we mentioned polybutylene pipes’ flexibility? It’s a defining characteristic. Polybutylene can appear curved or bendy, distinguishing them from the stiff pipes that your plumbing system ought to have.
Additionally, it’s important to note that polybutylene plumbing can be implemented in parts of your home. That’s right, even if your home has copper pipes, part of your home’s plumbing system may contain polybutylene material.
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.
What To Do If Your Home Has Polybutylene Piping
If your home has polybutylene for plumbing, your best option is to consider repiping as soon as possible. Higher levels of chlorine are found in southwest Florida’s water every year. Over time, chlorine reacts with polybutylene pipes and acetal fittings. This causes them to flake, scale and becomes brittle, eventually leading to small fractures that will decrease structural integrity.
Replacing polybutylene plumbing is the only way to ensure that the plumbing in your home will not fail unexpectedly. If you require repiping, let the experts at Best Home Services help. We offer reliable and affordable repipe services for homes with polybutylene plumbing. Not sure what type of plumbing your home has? One of our technicians will gladly come out and inspect your home’s plumbing to determine if repiping is needed.
Best Home Services provides professional and custom repiping for the entire home. This is a major service that requires licensed, professional and trusted hands. It’s not the time to shop for the cheapest price. Mistakes that are made in home repiping are difficult and costly to repair. Best Home Services is a licensed and insured plumbing company with repiping experience. We ensure that every precaution is taken to do the job correctly.
Homeowners with polybutylene plumbing should consider partial or whole home repiping to replace the polybutylene with more durable material, such as Second Generation PEX Piping. Having the polybutylene pipes replaced drastically reduces your risk of plumbing failure.
If your home has polybutylene piping, it has most likely been identified and listed. That means you will run into issues with homeowners insurance and selling your home. Investing in a home repiping is not only beneficial for proper plumbing maintenance, but it will also affect the future sale of your home and allow you to purchase homeowners coverage.
Homes that have been upgraded from polybutylene piping will have an increased resale value and will be much easier to sell in the future. If you think that you may pack up and move in a couple years, it is imperative that polybutylene pipes in your home are replaced with a more stable and secure alternative.
What To Expect From Home Repiping
Home repiping is an extensive job that should only be completed by a licensed professional. In the case of polybutylene pipes, replacement with home repiping is the only way to ensure that your home is safe and sound.
Best Home Services understands that not everyone is a plumbing expert. That’s why we take care of the technical stuff for you. Our technicians will meet with you every step of the way so you know exactly what to expect.
First thing’s first, a home repiping will begin with an inspection and estimates. A member of our team will visit your home to assess your plumbing situation. Is it extensive? Is your home a single level or multiple stories? Is polybutylene present in the whole plumbing system or just a portion?
During our inspection, we will answer all of these questions, assess the situation and provide an estimate. Following the inspection and estimate, we will outline our project plan and begin the home repiping process.
Preparation is a crucial part of the process. Depending on the severity of the issue and your plumbing system, your home might be without water for a while. Home repiping is intricate and Best Home Services ensures that your home’s structure remains safe. To be frank, it can be a messy business, that’s why we want to prevent leaks or accidents, protect your furniture and floor, and plan for the unexpected.
Installation is done in sections. Our technicians work hard to ensure that your home receives the care it deserves throughout the process. The timeline of the project shifts from home to home since each plumbing system is different. Our team won’t keep you in the dark. Your family will receive updates on the progress and estimated completion time.
Once the home repiping is completed, our team will thoroughly inspect and test your system. After all, your home just had this major change! We will not stop until your pipes are functioning to their top performance. We ensure that there are no fractures, joint issues, and zero leaks.
“What about my home?”
If a home repiping will disrupt drywall or affect structures in your home, a member of our team will discuss options and replacement with you and your family. Best Home Services is dedicated to the job from beginning to end, that includes every aspect of your home that’s affected.
Rest assured that our team will be there for you until you are 100% satisfied.
Plumbing Services From Best Home Services
If you think that your home may have polybutylene pipes or that you need to check your plumbing system for fractures and leaks, give us a call as soon as possible. Avoid a potential plumbing disaster and discuss your options with a trained professional.
You may not find Polybutylene Pipes, but if your home’s plumbing system is over 25 years old, you are in jeopardy of leaks. Copper, a popular choice for plumbing systems once upon a time, is porous and the PH and hard minerals in our water collects inside the pores of the pipe, causing eventual clogs and pinhole leaks. Choose the latest plumbing solution, the Second Generation Pex Piping. The Second Generation Pex Piping is manufactured to last over 25 years and comes with a 25-year warranty. It is also proven to be Chlorine resistant.
Best Home Services is the premier plumbing choice in southwest Florida and now, Sarasota! When the pipes burst or the toilet clogs, things begin to look a little bleak. Before you throw your hands in the air in frustration, call Best Home Services! We have been the #1 choice for Plumbing Services since 2013. With a strong reputation and years of experience, southwest Florida guests and residents are quick to call our office.
We also offer:
- Emergency Plumbing Calls
- Drain Clearing
- Water Filtration
- Water Heating
- Tankless Water Heating
- Home Repiping
- Sewer Video Inspection
- Monthly or Yearly Plumbing Maintenance
Best Home Services tackles common plumbing issues and concerns across Lee, Collier and Sarasota Counties. Don’t throw your money down the drain; call a professional. Whether your home needs to be repiped, your drains need cleaning, or a plumbing emergency presents itself, we’re here to help!