How to identify polybutylene pipes. If you are interested in purchasing an old home, check for polybutylene pipes. If you don’t know how to locate the pipes, follow the simple procedure to identify the butylene pipes in the home.
How to identify polybutylene pipes
- Usually grey in color, but they can also be white, silver, black or blue.
- Stamped with the code “PB2110”.
- Flexible and may be curved.
- Not used for waste, drain or vent piping, only supply lines.
Identification Parameters for Poly Butylene Pipes
- Identification through Color
- Polybutylene pipes are usually blue, silvery gray and black in color.
1/2 inch to 1 inch diameters.
Blue pipes were used for cold water.
Silvery gray and black
These were used for both outdoor and indoor purposes.
Identification through Lettering on the Pipe
- Observe any pipe containing the letter “PB” with a number imprinted on it.
- This indicates polybutylene.
- The most common imprint for the poly butylene was “PB2110.”
Identification through Common Installation Sites
The main areas for polybutylene pipes were usually outdoors.
Outdoor pipes Location
Polybutylene pipes were located nearby the main water shut-off valve, at the water meter. They entered the houses through the basement, concrete slab or crawl space.
Indoor pipes location
- Basement ceilings
- Sinks, bathtubs and toilets
- Water heaters.
Expose some of the plumbing lines, if they are made of copper then it’s a clue that all the plumbing’s are of copper.
PB Pipes Replacement Cost
Cost depends upon the size of home and type of pipes to be replaced. A house with 1 to 2.5 bathrooms costs almost $1,500 upwards.
Disadvantages of Poly Butylene Pipes
- Quickly cracks
- Cause leakage
Working Duration of Polybutylene Pipes
The polybutylene pipes work only for less than 15 years. After this time it bursts.
Ways to Repair the PolyButylene Pipes
- Locate the site of leakage.
- Replace it with a non PB pipe.
- You can either use transition coupling for repairing the damaged part.
The Major Issue with Polybutylene
- The cause of this damage was the low grade nature of polybutylene pipes.
- Over time, it started degrading. It starts to create small fractures, resulting in sudden failure. This caused extensive damage to the town homes.
- The reason behind the failure was the excess amount of oxidants in public water supplies including fluorides and chlorides.
- These oxidants resulted in the deterioration of the polybutylene pipes from the inside out.
- End result was leakage and bursting of the pipes.
History of Polybutylene Pipes
Polybutylene pipes were widely used in Florida.
Year -Late 1970s to the mid-1990s.
In the late 1970s to the mid-1990s, millions of people in the United States fitted poly butylene. In 1980 several complaints started regarding the polybutylene pipes.
They were not better as copper pipes and had failed working
The people suffered thousands of dollars lost by failure of polybutylene pipes.
A class-action lawsuit was passed, comprising $1 billion for the affected peoples of the town
- Easily held together with a variety of epoxies, plastic and metal plumbing fittings.
- Less expensive than copper pipes
- Flexible and Curved
- Installed for supply lines
- Comprised of Brass Crimp Rings
- Copper Fittings
Insurance companies do not underwrite a policy to protect your home in case you are using polybutylene pipes.
Remember to inspect home plumbing before opting to purchase.
If you are interested in purchasing an old home, check for polybutylene pipes. If you don’t know how to locate the pipes, follow the simple procedure to identify the butylene pipes in the home. Identify the pipes through color, location, impression and shape.