Polybutylene Pipe Polybutylene Pipe

Polybutylene pipe is a type of flexible plastic pipe used in plumbing to carry potable water (suitable for drinking). The use of polybutylene pipe for potable water has become controversial.   Polybutylene pipe was widely used in residential and commercial plumbing construction from the 1970s through the 1990s. 

How do I Know if my House has Polybutylene Pipe?

Check around your hot water heater and under your kitchen and bathroom sinks for the following:

  • Polybutylene pipe is grey, black or blue. Interior polybutylene pipe is always grey.
  • 3/8, 1/2, 3/4 and 1 inch are the most common sizes sold.
  • Polybutylene pipe connections may be brass, copper or plastic
  • Connections were made with a crimp ring made of plastic or metal

Polybutylene pipe deteriorates from the inside out. It becomes brittle and causes flaking or scaling inside the pipe, thereby causing the pipe to fracture and leak which in turn may cause damage throughout the building.

Reasons to Replace Polybutylene pipe:

  • Possible structural damage to the home or other building.
  • Appraisers devalue the market value of the home.
  • Relatively inexpensive to replace the pipe.

Contact a plumber to obtain an estimate of the cost of replacing Polybutylene pipe. You may find it well worth the effort and financial cost to replace the pipe. You’ll be more comfortable knowing your home is safe from harmful water damage and have the added benefit of greater property value.

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