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1). What is polybutylene pipe?

The plastic polybutylene (PB), which is used to pipe in domestic plumbing systems, was produced between 1978 and mid-1995. Shell Chemical Company, Qest, Vanguard, and Qest were the primary producers of the pipe.

Polybutylene pipes were initially popular due to their affordability, flexibility, ease of installation, and resistance to freezing.

Many homeowners complained that their polybutylene pipes were rupturing, causing property damage. These pipes were also banned by the U.S. building codes, and they were stopped from being manufactured after a Class Action Settlement of $1 billion was reached in 1995 (Cox V. Shell Oil).

2). How can I tell if I have polybutylene pipe?

You can easily tell if you have polybutylene pipe by looking for the “PB” letters on the printed label. (In the image below, look out for “PB2110”.

These are the most common locations where pipes can be found:

  • To connect to toilets and sinks, you must climb out of walls
  • Near the water heater
  • Through a basement wall, you can enter the home
  • At the main water shut off valve or water meter.

If you need assistance in locating pipes, or if you aren’t sure if your pipes are made of polybutylene contact a licensed plumber .

3). Ok, I have polybutylene pipe. What should I do?

We recommend that polybutylene pipes be replaced as they are susceptible to bursting and leaking. Polybutylene pipes can take around 10-15 years to begin to deteriorate. Sometimes, you might not even know that you have a leak if they are hidden behind sheetrock. Leaks can cause mold, water damage, or flooding and pose a serious threat.

You will need to remove the polybutylene pipes and repipe your home’s water system in order to replace them.

4). What is repiping?

Repiping is the process of removing PB pipes and installing longer-lasting, more durable pipes and fittings made PEX piping. These pipes are guaranteed for life.

These are the steps your plumber will take to repipe your house.

  1. Turn off the water supply to your home, and then look at the pipe layout in your home.
  2. To access the pipes, cut holes in the ceiling or walls. They’ll be able to find the easiest and least intrusive places to cut.
  3. Take out the old PB pipes, and replace them with newer quality pipes.
  4. Repair all holes made during your home repiping process. They match any existing texture, and can be left ready for painting.

5). How long does it take to repipe?

Repiping usually takes between 1 and 2 days. Then, there is drywall repair and painting that will take 2 to 3 days to restore the home’s original appearance. It depends on the following factors:

  • The existing piping system in the home.
  • The abilities of the plumber.

6). Is it possible to stay in my house during the repiping process?

Yes. Yes. However, while they are working on your house during the day, the plumbers will need to turn off the water supply. After the plumbers have finished their work, they will make sure that at least one bathroom is open overnight.

This post was written by Joey Denick. Joey is the Owner and Operator of Clog Kings. At Clog Kings, LLC, we pride ourselves on our dedication and efficiency. We know you don’t have time to waste. That’s why we work fast to get your home or commercial building back up and running in no time. If you are looking for Hillsborough county plumbing then look no further because we got you covered!