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What you need to know about Polybutylene Plumbing and how it can impact your home.


Polybutylene is a gray plastic water supply line pipe that was developed in the 1970’s. At the time, the perceived advantages of poly were the low cost over copper and the ease of installation. But in the 1980’s structures with poly started reporting leaks. And when poly pipes were replaced, it was noticed that the interior walls of the pipes and fittings were breaking down and flaking apart.

Poly systems may fail without warning, damaging properties and personal belongings, and disrupting lives. Factors that may contribute to poly’s failure include: chemicals in our water supply, such as chlorine, that slowly destroy the structural integrity of poly pipes and fittings; the age of the pipe — the older the pipe, the more likely a problem will occur; and faulty installation.

Check Your Pipes Any gray plastic pipe could be poly. Look at pipes near the water heater. See what kind of pipe runs across the ceiling in an unfinished basement. Check the pipe that comes out of walls to feed sinks and toilets. Many properties have a combination of copper and poly pipes.

Your Underground Water Main — Underground poly pipes can be blue, black, or gray. They are found entering properties through the basement wall or floor, concrete slab, or coming up through a crawlspace. They most often enter properties near the water heater. Your main shutoff valve is attached to the end of the outside water main.


“In some cases, homeowners are finding that homeowners insurance companies will either cancel their coverage when extensive damage is caused by  polybutylene or refuse coverage to homes piped with Polybutylene.”
—Arizona Water Resource, the University of Arizona


So you have Poly pipes. Now what?
Even if you know you have poly pipes, you still can’t tell what condition they’re in just by looking at or squeezing them because the problems occur on the inside of the pipes. Failures may occur in systems with plastic fittings, metal fittings, and manifold-type systems that look fine even to the trained eye.


Replacement of Poly pipes: The degree of difficulty in replacing the polybutylene piping depends on the size and configuration of your home. In some cases, it can be done in as little as one day and with very little mess.Replacement entails abandoning all poly pipes and installing a new system. We, at Affordable Plumbing, Heating & Air, Inc. have the expertise to do the job quickly, efficiently, and with minimal wall damage. Call us for a free estimate at 336.299.9700.

 
ellenrI was impressed at the prompt, professional, and courteous service that Mike of Affordable Plumbing demonstrated. He works with you to give the best service at the lowest possible cost. In these time of financial disparity for everyone, it is difficult to feel comfortable when securing any type of services. Affordable Plumbing guarantees that they have your best interest in mind.
Ellen R.

carl I highly recommend Affordable Plumbing, Heating & Air. My wife and I have used Mike several times and he has always been knowledgeable, does great work, gives smart advice, and is truly “Affordable”.
Carl I.

NC State Plumbing and Heating License #17199

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