Just about everyone can relate to having gotten used to doing something in their life a certain way that was preferred by the mainstream, only to find out at some point that a reason to stop doing it that way was discovered, sometimes due to the previously unknown dangerous nature of it! This is the case with roughly 6 to 10 million homes in the United States that were plumbed with Polybutylene piping. This piping material was inexpensive and simple to install, but due to a variety of safety concerns, they were discontinued for use. Knowledge like this is important for homeowners to have to help keep their homes safe, as illustrated by the following example of a homeowner from Nashville, TN. This individual called in after identifying that their family home was a prime suspect of having been plumbed with polybutylene piping and scheduled an evaluation with our team of plumbing professionals to find out for sure.
It is our goal to help keep things in perspective with relevant information, especially when it comes to the safety of your home in regards to your plumbing. We explained to the homeowner that what makes the piping dangerous is that, over time, oxidation and the exposure to chlorine found in your water supply causes the piping to expand and crack. Our team of plumbing professionals has replaced polybutylene piping in several homes to avoid the rupturing that can occur without warning. There was a class-action lawsuit surrounding the trouble the piping caused many homeowners back in the 1980s.
Once a foundation had been established about the condition of the plumbing in their home, our technicians got to work identifying if there was polybutylene piping in their home and began the replacement process. What can make identifying these pipes difficult is how similar they can look to more conventional plumbing materials, such as PVC piping. You too can look for the signs of polybutylene piping, as listed below:
- Usually have a diameter of 1/2″ to 1″
- Most often marked with the identifier “PB21100”
- These pipes are matte white or grey in color
Once it was identified the family from today’s case story did indeed own a home fitted with polybutylene piping, the replacement process began and the home’s plumbing was converted to use PVC piping. This included all necessary valves, risers, and more. If you suspect that your home is in the same shape, or you know for sure your home contains this outdated material, give Jack Ward & Sons Plumbing Co. a call today at (615) 227-2811 and request an evaluation of your home and the potential replacement job it needs.