Polybutylene plastic pipes were developed in the 1970s to help construction companies reduce their costs and to make installation of plumbing easier. Originally intended as permanent replacements for traditional copper pipes, these dull gray or white plastic pipes were used in up to 10 million homes and buildings through the mid-1990s. Unfortunately, these so-called pipes of the future merely caused more problems and cost more in the long term than the copper pipes they were meant to replace.
The life span of polybutylene pipes is only a fraction of what was originally believed. As early as the 1980s, some homes and structures fitted with the plastic pipes began experiencing catastrophic flooding. As more and more damage occurred, plumbers noticed that the insides of many polybutylene plastic pipes were showing signs of deterioration and flaking. Not only was this causing brittleness and a high rate of leaks, but many officials suspected that harmful chemicals from the plastic were leaching into the drinking water supplies of affected homes.
Many homes today still have functioning polybutylene plastic pipes. While they may look normal on the outside, it is highly likely that the insides of these pipes are severely degraded. It is only a matter of time until they burst and send water gushing throughout your house.
To check your house for polybutylene plastic pipes, look near your water heater, along the ceiling of your basement and around your toilets and sinks. Any gray or white pipes you find there are likely to be polybutylene. Your underground water main may also be constructed of this material. Look for gray, black or blue pipes that emerge from your basement floor, wall or crawl space.
If you discover polybutylene plastic pipes in your home, you should act now repipe your home. Many insurance companies may increase your premium or deny you coverage after flood damage caused by these inferior pipes.
Although solving the problem usually means having every suspect plastic pipe replaced, a reputable company specializing in this type of work can usually accomplish the job in as few as two or three days. The cost is only about as much as getting new shingles on the roof or replacing your home’s carpets.
If your plumbing system in your Vancouver home was built with polybutylene pipes, not only are you putting your health at risk, but your entire property as well. Do not wait until it is to late! Contact Lambert Plumbing & Heating, Ltd today at 604-734-0890!