Polybutylene Pipe Replacement & Repair
Polybutylene pipe is probably not a product you are going to hear about from your plumber, but back in the ’80s and early ’90s, it was used extensively as an alternative to copper pipes which were much more expensive. This type of gray plumbing material quickly gained a reputation for rupturing and not responding well to water pressure over time which prompted the transition to other materials like PVC and PEX. Unfortunately, there are still many homes and trailers that have Polybutylene pipes installed.
What is Polybutylene Plumbing?
Polybutylene is a plastic resin that was created using a series of chemicals in the 1970s. Originally the inexpensive resin material was touted as the material that would eventually replace copper pipes in every home. But as the years went on and plumbers responded to more and more house calls in which faulty Polybutylene plumbing was the culprit, opinions quickly changed from optimism to disdain.
Polybutylene Pipe Repair
Since Polybutylene pipes are no longer used in new construction, finding the parts to repair an issue can be difficult. Depending on the size of the damaged area your plumber may suggest transitioning the whole system from the existing Polybutylene pipes to a newer material such as PEX. This solution can be costly, so there are other options including repairing one piece of the plumbing system at a time using specially designed parts.
Pinhole leaks can be repaired by using what are called push-fit fittings. These fittings are incredibly strong and are designed to go over the top of an existing pipe. For an outdated material like Polybutylene push-fit fittings are the only option to repair pinhole leaks.
For larger repairs that go beyond pinhole leaks, whole sections of pipe will need to be replaced. This is a great option if you don’t have the funds to get the plumbing system replaced all at once. With the use of push-on couplings, your plumber will essentially combine the existing Polybutylene pipe with newer material such as copper or PEX. Though not a permanent solution, this will buy the homeowner time and get the plumbing system back into working order.
Polybutylene Pipe Replacement
If you have decided to replace the entire plumbing system at once, it will ultimately be a better choice in the long term. The reason being that all Polybutylene plumbing has been shown to fail over time, and it is better to be proactive and transition to something else before you are dealing with a ruptured pipe or even flooding.
Pipe replacement will always begin with one of our talented plumbers coming out to your home to inspect the existing plumbing and provide you with a bid. Depending on the material you choose and how large your home is costs can range anywhere from $1,500 - $15,000. After providing the bid our team will develop a plan to replace every piece of Polybutylene pipe with newer and more reliable materials that will lengthen the life of your plumbing system exponentially.
If you are concerned that you have Polybutylene piping in your home and are unsure of how to find out give our knowledgeable team a call today. We will walk you step by step through the entire process.