Polybutylene pipes are inexpensive, flexible pipes that were installed in more than six million homes from 1978 to 1995. Although this was the pipe of choice at that time, it was of substandard quality causing the pipes to wear out faster than higher quality materials like copper or PVC. Polybutylene pipes are also more prone to erosion from chemicals in the water systems than other pipe materials.
Chemicals such as chlorine can corrode the pipes, weakening them to the point that leaks crop up and cause the pipes to rupture. Not only will the pipes need to be replaced, but the water damage caused by leaks and broken pipes can be extensive. Damaged floors, walls, and even ceilings would need to be repaired or replaced, resulting in costly repair bills. Another factor that causes these types of plumbing systems to fail is poor installation.
Polybutylene piping has been used for indoor plumbing and for outdoor water mains. The pipes were sometimes coupled with metal fittings making it more difficult to determine if your home has polybutylene pipes. A professional plumber knows there is more involved than just looking as the parts of the pipe that are easily visible.
Realtors in Orlando face a unique dilemma when dealing with polybutylene pipes. First of all, realtors must know whether a property has polybutylene pipes. If the owner/seller does not know whether a home has polybutylene pipes, it is important to have a home inspected. If the home does have these types of pipes, there are a couple of options to solving the problem.
Either the seller can have the pipes replaced by a professional plumber or the selling price can be reduced and a disclaimer written out that shows the buyer was aware of the type of plumbing system that is in the home. In this way, seller, buyer, and realtor are protected against any claims in the event the pipe system fails.
When a home has polybutylene pipes, it is best to have the pipes replaced by a qualified repipe specialist, like the experts at Reliance Plumbing. The cost is minimal compared to the peace of mind you will gain knowing that your plumbing will last a long time. Replacing the pipes only takes about a week, but dealing with the consequences of the pipes can cause long lasting damage.
If you think your home might have polybutylene pipes, request an appointment with Reliance for a home-assessment. Reliance has been providing reliable plumbing and pipe-replacement services to Seminole, Orange, Osceola and Volusia counties since 1973.