Why You Should Have Your Pipes Checked in your home:
In the 1980’s litigations over leaking plumbing due to polybutylene pipes began in California and Texas. The eventual Class Action settlement of $1 billion (Cox v. Shell Oil) in 1995 was enough to ensure that polybutylene water pipes were no longer acceptable by U.S. building codes. From the years between the late 1970’s till the mid-1990’s polybutylene was being used widely through houses. It is estimated that at least 6 million homes were built using this material. The material was being used throughout the sunbelt, meaning Arizona is one of the states being hugely affected by this. Now what is the problem with this? Well Polybutylene has an unusually high failure rate since it is broken down easily by chlorine and mineral levels within the water. When polybutylene comes in contact with oxidants in tap water it becomes brittle and fragile. This causes the pipes to break from the inside, cracking and eventually leading to leaks, causing massive damage. Further reasons for poor quality piping:
- Water quality
- Pipe fittings degenerating
- Chlorine and mineral levels
- Age of piping and fittings
- Poor installation by the previous plumbers
The piping will eventually start leaking, usually within 10-15 years after installation. When a pipe begins leaking without the homeowner’s knowledge the damage can become very extensive. For this reason, it is very important to know the dangers of polybutylene piping and eventually re-piping your house.
Where you’ll find polybutylene piping in the home:
Polybutylene piping is used to supply water from the main city water line into a home. Polybutylene piping is typically found in the following locations:
- Entering the water heater
- Feeding sinks, toilets, and bathtubs
- Attached to the home’s main water shutoff valve
- Attached to the home’s water meter
Cost of Damage:
If polybutylene is left inside of a house and is allowed to cause damage, the cost will be huge. Insurance coverage sometimes will cancel or even refuse give policies to homes with polybutylene piping. Making it very difficult to market the homes or even to fix a leak or flood caused by plumbing. The damage that a ruptured pipe line can incur is between $40,000-$120,000 depending on how bad of a rupture it is. However, re-piping a house is much cheaper than this, for a 1500 square feet home with 2 bedrooms, the average cost would be around $5,000-$7,000.
CopperStone Plumbing, LLC. will be happy to help you determine if your home has polybutylene piping, and beyond that we will help you re-pipe your home. Save yourself from having a flood destroy the equity of your home.
CopperStone Plumbing, LLC. ROC# 313712