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polybutylene main water supply?

John Dirks Jr

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The house is 1994 construction. In the house I can see grey fittings where it transfers to the copper distribution lines. At the meter the line is black plastic. It's about 1 inch in diameter at the meter end.

Most of the PB yard lines I see are the blue color. I am aware that PB can be black too. The PE lines I see are usually larger in diameter.

So what do you think, am I looking at PB or PE?

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. . . So what do you think, am I looking at PB or PE?. . .

It's impossible to tell without finding a marking on the pipe. Be aware that some of the PB yard pipe had a different chemical makeup and was (and is) fine and wasn't part of the class action. You won't know without finding the actual marking on the pipe.

However, the first picture unquestionably shows an acetal plastic fitting of the type that was used with PB and was used to transition from PB to other materials. These fittings were some of the first things to leak in PB systems. If I'd inspected that house, I'd recommend, at the very least, replacing that fitting. While the plumber is in there to replace the fitting, see if he can figure out whether or not it's PB and whether or not it's the kind that tended to fail.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Hi John;

Found this in a 1994 town home in Lutherville-Timonium area (up near Mays Chapel), looks the same as what you had - the gray connector is PB, I told them I was pretty sure the black pipe was too based on what I could read. Told them to have a plumber inspect and confirm.

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