Michael Runk Blog

The Danger of Polybutylene Plumbing

March 9, 2017

Polybutylene was a commonly used variety of plumbing pipe used from the late 70’s to the mid-90’s in homes throughout the United States. What made it so unique was that it was cheap to make and easy to install. The downfall was that polybutylene pipes aren’t as durable or long-lasting as previously thought and could rupture at any time without warning.

What are Polybutylene Water Lines?

Polybutylene is a form of plastic which was used throughout many homes during the late 70’s to mid-90’s. These pipes are small in diameter and flexible, making them very easy to install. Another unique benefit of this type of plumbing was it allowed more direct lines to run to the home’s fixtures which meant your shower would get hotter faster. Sadly, these pipes are now proving to be more of a hassle than beneficial for home-owners.

How to tell if you have Polybutylene Pipes.

Polybutylene pipes are either white or a dull grey color. They are very small in diameter and typically connect to a main manifold near your hot water heather where they all branch out of. This allows for the home-owner to turn off one arm of the home’s plumbing system, in the event of a leak, without shutting off water to the whole home. If you’re not sure if your home has polybutylene plumbing, but suspect it does, contact a local Eldersburg plumbing service and have them evaluate your home.

Why are Polybutylene Water Lines Bad?

Polybutylene plumbing isn’t very resistant to some of the more common water contaminants such as chlorine which is found in public water systems. When exposed to these contaminants, your polybutylene water lines will start to scale and become brittle. Over time, the polybutlene pipes or fixtures won’t be able to withstand the pressure and will burst without warning. If this happens while you’re away at work, it could lead to some serious damage to your home.

What Should I Do if I Have Polybutylene Plumbing?

If your home contains polybutylene plumbing lines, you will need to replace all of them right away. Contact your local Sykesville plumber for help if plumbing isn’t in your skill-set. It’s not a cheap fix, but replacing these polybutylene pipes will reduce the chance of a major plumbing leak that could cost tens of thousands of dollars in repairs.

If you fear your home has polybutlene water lines, get in touch with your local Maryland plumbing company immediately. Michael Runk Plumbing and Heating is an Eldersburg, MD plumber with the experience and skill to help you replace your polybutylene pipes at a fair price. For more information, give us a call at 410-781-6791 or fill out the form on our website today.

 


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