Polybutylene piping

Nov 23, 2016 | News

This is a plumbing supply and distribution piping that was commonly installed in houses in the 90's.
Mike Baker

The piping has a bad reputation in the housing industry now because when they first started installing this material they used a plastic fitting any time they needed to make a connection. These fittings have had a high failure rate and are problematic. The plastic fittings were replaced by copper and brass fittings. They have proven to be a better fitting with no major failure issues. Now that we’re 25 years along, hindsight is showing us that the piping can fail in the middle of the pipe as well. Research so far is telling us that this is likely due to the material being stored in direct sunlight during the construction of a home. So this is considered installation error.

The insurance companies, about 5 years ago, were very weary about this material and would increase premiums as soon as they noted there was any poly-b in a house regardless of what fitting was used. Now it seems the insurance providers are realizing the plastic fittings were the real problem and most providers shouldn’t increase premiums if brass and copper fittings were used.