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Blue pipe

Mark P

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This is polybutlyene known as "big blue". It is used in my area quite a lot. Old poly was 150 psi from street service entrance that failed on a large scale and is not used anymore. The pressure rating has been raised to 180 psi and I have seen 220 psi, both are acceptable.

If you can see enough of the pipe there is a pressure rating on it. 150 psi NO good: 180 plus psi OK. Poly plumbing lines both from street and branch lines in home are a blue heron in my area. Some sellers have to discount price of home to sell with poly system. Same thing for Louisiana Pacific hard board siding.

Paul B.

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  • 6 months later...
Originally posted by paul burrell


If it is new construction it is most likely OK I have not seen the old discontinued pipe in quite awhile. I would not be concerned about it.

Paul B.

Quote:Originally posted by AHIS

Thanks for the info - could not read any markings - everything else in the home was copper - this is new construction in an old neighborhood

Les & Paul are correct - That is Poly Butylene (History of multiple failures) it was used in water service (main line to the house) into the late eighties/early nineties - I've seen entire Mcmansion developments with failures left and right with this stuff. Don't miss something like this cause a water main replacement is about 3G's...

See here http://www.spencerclass.com/index2.htm

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Originally posted by Darren

Now correct me if I'm wrong; it the fittings that fail.

How would the service line (like the one pictured) fail. The connection to the meter is not the type that fails is it?




No, not the fittings. I've seen that pipe after it's been dug up from the yard, it just splits down the middle. Unlike the cross linked Polyethlyne, it's just basically weak plastic, guess it just can't take the pressure. Weak plastics don't need much excuse to split. Take a piece of 1/4" acrylic (plexiglass) and clean it with an amonia based window cleaner or cut a square out of a corner of it, leaving a sharp inside corner, and you'll see what I mean. Maybe it just takes a little crunch from rough backfilling to weaken its structure then just starts spliting and creeping from there. Most of the problems with distribution piping inside the house have been from the fittings but not always, sometime the pipe just cracks.

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