Replace Polybutylene Plastic Pipe & Plumbing
Plumber Arizona, Phoenix, Queen Creek, Apache Junction, Gilbert, Avondale, Tempe, Glendale, Scottsdale, Mesa, Chandler, AZ
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In 1978, a groundbreaking new discovery was made in the plumbing industry. A form of plastic resin known as polybutylene was used to manufacture water supply pipes. Because of the ease of installation and low cost of manufacturing that it afforded, polybutylene became known as the "pipe of the future". It was installed in as many as 6 to 10 million homes across the United States.
By 1995, use of the pipe had been almost completely discontinued. It was a massive failure.
What's the matter with polybutylene?
So what, after all, is wrong with polybutylene, this "pipe of the future"? The culprit is the water that the pipes were designed to carry. All public water supplies contain oxidants such as chlorine and fluoride, which are used to purify the water. This is the water that comes in through the tap and is usually potable (drinkable). However, these oxidants apparently react with the polybutylene pipe and fittings. This causes them to scale and become brittle- processes that weaken the structure and cause micro-fractures. A loud bang is heard, followed by a soggy spot in the floor, ceiling, or walls and by that point, extensive damage will have already been done.
Do you have polybutylene in your home?
Although widely discontinued in the mid 90's, some builders continued to use polybutylene. If your home was built anytime between the mid 70's to 2000, it would be a good idea to check. Polybutylene is usually blue (although you may have grey or black as well) and was manufactured in 1/2" and 1" sizes. Outside of the home, they are usually found entering the home through a wall that leads to the basement or running through the water meter. These pipes were sometimes fitted with copper fittings so make sure that you check the pipe itself to make sure. Inside the home, polybutylene is found near the water heater and coming out of the wall to feed sinks and toilets.
Can it be fixed?
With polybutylene, it really isn't a question of whether or not it will fail. Polybutylene has been proven to fail no matter what; it is only a question of when. Fortunately, there is a solution: a polybutylene repipe from Rainforest Plumbing & Air technicians. With a repipe, we replace the existing defective pipe with copper, PVC, or Aquapex pipe. This can usually be done in a matter of a few days depending on the size and complexity of your home's potable supply, with minimum shutoff time.
Give us a call today at (480) 615-7766
to schedule your free estimate. We'll come to your house, take a look and let you know the specifics of the job right then and there- for free!