The Pipe of the Future That Turned into a Nightmare

On a weekly basis, All Dry USA gets called out to a house due to water damage caused from the failure of polybutylene piping. However, there was a time in the United States where polybutylene piping was very popular. The reason why it was so popular was because it cost $1000-$1500 less than copper piping to install into a typical 2,000 square foot home and was very easy to install due to its flexibility. In fact, polybutylene piping was so popular, that it was dubbed as “the pipe of the future”. Polybutylene pipes were used as a substitute for traditional copper piping. Polybutylene piping was used in 1 out of 4 new or remodelled homes between 1978-1995. Manufacturers of polybutylene piping include Qest, Vangard, and Shell Chemical Company. However, many problems started to arise with polybutylene piping.

Poly pipes actually showed signs of deterioration after 10-15 years of usage. The reason why polybutylene piping started to fail was because chlorine that became present in our public water supply made the pipes weak and brittle over a long period of time. The scary thing is that there is no warning sign when polybutylene pipes do eventually fail. The value of your home could also go down if there is polybutylene piping found. Throughout the 1980’s, many lawsuits involving polybutylene piping started to arise and there was about $100 Million in claims for damages caused by polybutylene piping.

After 1995, polybutylene piping was no longer used in the United States. Over $1 Billion have been paid to homeowners that filed a class action lawsuit. It can cost between $1,500 and $15,000 to redo the plumbing for a house that has 1-3 bathrooms. The size of your house and the type of new pipes being installed are also a factor. PEX (plastic tubing that is flexible and made with polyethylene that is crossed-linked) or PVC-CPVC (plastic pipes that are rigid and made of chlorinated polyvinyl chloride) are two kinds of pipes you can use to replace polybutylene piping in your home. If your home was built between 1978-1995, you may want to call All Dry USA for an inspection. We can use imaging equipment that is non-invasive to your home, which will detect moisture from any related water damage. If you think you have polybutylene piping in your home that is causing water damage, you can call All Dry USA (888-998-2379) for a free inspection today!

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