Polybutylene Plumbing

Polybutylene is a type of plastic resin water supply piping that was commonly used from 1978 to about 1995 in residential and manufactured homes. These plumbing systems were thought to be a revolutionary product that was inexpensive to manufacture and easy to install as a substitute to copper piping. Polybutylene piping is typically gray or black and stamped with “PB2110” when used inside homes for water distribution but was also produced in blue for exterior service lines and is typically ½” to 1” in diameter. Sections of piping are connected using plastic or copper fittings with copper compression bands to secure the fittings to the piping. This type of plumbing system has become known for being susceptible to failure that may result in significant water damage to a home. It is believed that oxidizers such as chlorine that are added to public water supplies, and possibly other factors, react with the polybutylene piping and acetal fittings causing internal deterioration, flaking and brittleness. This results in micro-fractures and a significantly reduced structural integrity which ultimately leads to failure and subsequent water damage. In Florida, the presence of this type of plumbing may limit the available options for homeowner’s insurance until it has been replaced by a licensed plumbing contractor. If you are uncertain or concerned about the condition of your home’s plumbing system, contact us today to schedule your home inspection.