What Are The Dangers of Polybutylene Piping?

The trouble with polybutylene, apart from the fact that it’s in millions of older American homes, is that some of the additives in the public water supply can damage your poly pipes from the inside out. And you won’t know you have a problem until water starts leaking.

If the leak is inside your drywall, you’ve got a major problem on your hands because it may not be immediately apparent. As the water seeps out of the fractured pipe into the house, the damage bill can go through the roof.

If the leakage starts under the floor of an upstairs level, well, the whole of your lower level may become waterlogged. Or even flooded over time if, for example, the leak develops while you’re away on holidays.

Often it’s the plastic fittings that go first, or the point where the piping joins the fittings or at sharp bends in the piping. Those bends create mechanical stress on the pipe and it’s believed that adds to the rate of deterioration.

What happens is this: municipal water contains antioxidants (including chlorine and chloramine compounds) that wear away at the inner surface of the pipes. It happens every time the water is turned on.

“What’s gray and black and blue all over?”

Sounds like the opening line for a joke, doesn’t it?

But no, this is no joking matter. Those are the colors of the poly piping that was installed in millions of homes and commercial buildings back when it was legal to do so. Gray was used inside. Blue was the main color used outside.

You can take a look at your pipes, and on the surface they look okay. There is no visible sign of an impending leak.

But what is happening out of sight, inside the polybutylene piping, is that the oxidants in tap water are making the poly fragile. Flaking or scaling may be taking place. After the inner surface of the pipe is first fractured, the rate of degeneration increases.

Worried? There’s an easy way to get peace of mind

Now, poly pipe was not used in every home built between the late 1970s and middle of the 90s, but unless you know for a fact that your home has no poly piping, it would be in your best interest to get it checked by experts. AMA Repiping will come and examine your home or business at no cost and with no obligation.

Give us a call and secure your peace of mind.

The low-stress way to replace polybutylene pipes

If our experts determine that you have polybutylene pipes in your home, they can give you a fixed price (and a fixed time frame) for the remediation work.

And don’t worry. It’s not as disruptive as you’re probably thinking it will be. Read the testimonials on our site and you’ll see how relieved (in fact, delighted) our clients have been with our workmanship.

Our polybutylene repipe services are second to none. It’s the only thing we do – and we’re really good at it.


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