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Poly-B piping


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Yeah, PB has had some problems in some parts of the country. However, there are other parts of the country where it is and has done fine. It probably has something to do with water quality and what's used to treat the water supply. I'm in Washington State and I've seen quite a bit of it and have never found any of it damaged or failing due to exposure to chlorine or anything else in the water.



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Originally posted by excalibur

Hi i would like to know if water piping type Poly-B ... polybutylene has been a failure to you part of town ?

I know that this type of piping have been a large class action in the U.S

So what do you guys recommand to your clients when this type of piping is installed?


I've only seen it in one site-built home. It was fine during the inspection and there was no evidence that it had leaked before.

However, I've seen it in hundreds of manufactured homes. The PB plumbing system had leaked in lots of them. The highest percentage of failure seems to be in the homes with the acetal fittings rather than the copper fittings. Those systems are distinctly the "worst of the worst" when it comes to PB systems.

When I see a PB system that's leaked, I tell my customers to have the house re-piped.

When I see a PB system that doesn't show signs of having leaked, I explain the problem and tell them something like, "Understand that there's an above-average risk that the PB plumbing pipes in this house could fail suddenly and cause flooding."

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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I had PB piping (tube?) in my house. (house was a tract home, built in 1990) A plumber friend of mine said to get that "time-bomb" out of my house while there is still money in the class action suit. I did, and now we sleep better at night.[;)]

I must admit, the copper pipes are much louder than the PB.

Recently I had a couple of water valves fail in my house. I checked the water pressure and the city jacked it up over 100 psi. Again, I'm happy that the PB wasn't in the walls to fail. And yes, I did have a regulator installed.

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Originally posted by excalibur

Good pics Jim, seems like amateur installation is one of the highest problem detected. Well i can see this problem coming soon to our part of town. Here every new building construction has the poly-b installation or the PEX"

Just to be clear, the failure in the pics wasn't amateur installation. The acetal fittings had actually cracked.

Are they still installing PB in new construction in Canada? I'm pretty sure that it's a dinosaur down here.

As for PEX, I think it's fabulous. I predict it'll be a keeper.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Yes in here PEX is the cadillac . Although i heard that the quality fittings for the poly-B had been change for best quality type. I said amateur because the number one cause in here is the improvists that are trying to install that type of material into new homes and have no idea about code, legal installations, and how to proceed and not the chlorine like many think. Defects are often found dew to a bad installations. Because Montreal have many old buildings construction i'm for the quality modifications during renovations for the Canadian residential parc .

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