Polybutylene piping became popular when developed by a large oil company into a material used for transporting potable water, as well as other liquids. This product was inexpensive to produce. It could be made in large quantity and it was readily available. In fact, it is still being used today for many applications in the residential, commercial, and industrial world. It found its fault, however, in its use as residential water piping.
Gray and blue are the two main types of polybutylene. Gray polybutylene was used inside homes to build the potable water systems transporting water to , tubs, faucets, toilets, as well as the rest of the house. It ran through walls, attics, floors, and under concrete slabs. Blue polybutylene was used as main water service lines. It carried water from the water meter to the house, running underground. Both products seemed to be the hot new development in the industry, but several years later, the polybutylene waterlines began splitting, breaking, and pitting. This happened often with pressure or temperature changes, but happened sometimes for no reason at all, so it seemed.
Countless theories exist as to why the product failed with endless amounts of recalls and insurance claims. The most common theory is that during the formulation process for the piping, a chemical was left out of the plastic mixture, therefore, weakening it against extended exposure to chlorine. Although it may be hard to taste, there is a quite significant amount of harmless chlorine in drinking water. This procedure is done to keep the water free from harmful contaminants or chemicals. It also removes most of the impurities, and is present in all drinking water.
After many years, however, polybutylene began to lose its tolerance for the chemical and began degrading, which eventually led to breaking. Outside, it broke underground (blue), and broke inside in the walls, under cabinets, under the slab (gray), usually at the connections or joints. The developing company was forced to pay for hundreds of thousands of homes to be completely re-piped, losing billions in a class-action lawsuit. We, as one of Atlanta’s premier plumbers specializing in the re-piping of homes, have performed thousands of these repairs ourselves.
Although the lawsuit is officially over, many homes still contain the poly piping, and are just now beginning to experience problems. If you are aware of this product in your home, do no’t wait for a disaster. Call us now and set up an appointment for a free estimate for the replacement of this faulty product. The product WILL fail. It is only a matter of time! Our experience Atlanta plumbers can take care of this plumbing repair in a jiffy.