Home Inspection - Polybutylene Piping
by Garet Dennis
Polybutylene piping (PB) is a flexible plastic material used for domestic water supply in some houses starting in the late 1970's. Pieces of the pipe were joined together with plastic or metal fittings and secured with a metal band crimped on the outside. Polybutylene was less expensive than copper pipe and easier to install. Unfortunately, the connections sometimes break, leak or blow apart under pressure. This led to a very large class action lawsuit, but unfortunately the settlement period has ended.
Replumb Specialties Inc. - Polybutylene Pipe Replacement Contractors in Colorado and throughout the West. Online quotes available.
Disclaimer: I have not worked with Replumb Specialties either directly or indirectly; this is not an endorsement. As with any contractor, you should ask plenty of questions before agreeing to begin work.
PB vs. PEX
Polybutylene pipe is typically gray or black. This material should not be confused with PEX (cross linked polyethylene) pipe. PEX is a different type of plastic pipe with a successful track record. PEX is normally white, or is color coded red for hot and blue for cold.