Polybutylene is a form of plastic resin that was used extensively in the manufacture of water supply piping from 1978 until 1995.
Polybutylene piping was viewed as the “pipe of the future” by many and began being used as a substitute for traditional copper piping. It was deemed a worthy alternative because of the low cost of the materials and the ease of installation.
These pipes were heavily used during the construction boom in the “Sun Belt” during the 1980’s through the mid ’90’s. Which means many homes in and around the Orlando area were constructed with polybutylene plumbing systems. In fact, it is estimated that between 6-10 million homes have polybutylene pipes installed. These pipes were used as underground water mains and also as water distribution pipes for interiors.
The issue with the polybutylene piping is that it may react with the oxidants that occur in the public water supply, such as chlorine. These reactions cause scale and flaking and brittleness of the pipes. This causes micro-fractures in the pipes, which lessens the overall integrity of the plumbing system. The weakened pipes may fail without warning, causing major damage to your property. Many lawsuits were filed against the manufacturers during the 1980’s complaining of defects in the manufacturing and installation, which in turn caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damage.
Polybutylene pipes are usually blue, but may also be black or blue. If you are concerned that your residential plumbing includes polybutylene piping, please call Choice Plumbing Orlando. We may recommend a repiping of your home using one of our cost effective methods. Another option may be to make small repairs to sections of the pipe and convert areas to other pipe materials.