Polybutylene Plumbing: Do I Have It and What Should I Do?
Plumbing pipes are the unsung heroes of our homes and businesses. We rarely see them and don’t pay much attention to them, but we enjoy our hot showers, flushing toilets, and well-watered lawns every day. And we certainly put up a fuss the minute those reliable pipes stop working so dependably! So why is it that we know so little about our plumbing pipes, the work horses of our homes?
Here’s one fun fact you may want to get acquainted with when considering your pipes: what material are they made of? Copper? Pex? Or maybe polybutylene?
Polybutylene piping was introduced in the late 1970s and was used extensively in new construction up until the mid-1990s, especially in the Pacific Northwest. With its low cost and ease of installation, polybutylene was considered the “pipe of the future.” But what builders didn’t realize until too late is that these pipes would have abnormally high rates of failure. Oxidants naturally found in public water would wear away at the material, eventually producing micro-fractures in the pipes and in the fittings, causing leaks throughout the system. This also eventually produced unhappy home and business owners.
How can you tell if you have polybutylene pipes and what can you do? First of all, if your home or business was built between 1978 and 1995, chances are you may have polybutylene pipes. You may also be able to tell at a glance – polybutylene pipes are blue, gray, or black – but your most reliable option would be to call a plumbing expert to come take a look and assess the performance of your pipes. Our professionals at Eagar Plumbing would be happy to come out, look at your pipes, and help you make a plan that is right for you.
As they say, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”…and Eagar Plumbing can help you with that prevention. We can give you an accurate estimate so you don’t find yourself blindsided with a plumbing crisis. And we’ll get you back in that hot shower in no time at all!