Polybutylene piping is a form of plastic resin that was used heavily during new construction from 1978 to 1995. If your Southwest Florida home was built during this time, it stands to reason that it probably uses this material throughout your interior piping system.
Polybutylene has drawn heavy scrutiny for its extremely high failure rate and was even involved in a massive $950 million lawsuit in 1995.
Industry experts believe that as many as 10 million homes have this material installed, particularly in Florida which includes homes built during the South Florida construction boom after Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and Gordon in 1994.
According to a study done by the University of Arizona, homeowners are often finding that their insurance companies will either cancel their coverage when extensive damage is caused by polybutylene piping, or simply refuse coverage to homes that already have it installed.
The exact cause(s) of the material failure has been contested, with some claiming contractors exposed pipes to direct sunlight before installation, while others blame failure on the over-chlorination of water by municipalities and water companies.
Regardless, it is a significant issue that should not be overlooked and your house may be an accident waiting to happen if you have not had your home properly inspected.
In most cases, it takes many years for polybutylene pipes to fail. While leaks have occurred only a few years after installation, most problems will begin anywhere from 10-15 years or beyond after initial installation.
Oftentimes, it is difficult for the average homeowner to determine whether or not their home includes polybutylene pipes.
If you would like to schedule a home inspection with one of our licensed plumbing technicians, please call us at (239) 481-1511 and we will be happy to help you assess your home’s piping system. We can also run underground leak detection tests to determine if problems have already begun without your knowledge.
If it is determined that your home does have polybutylene, we can offer a proposal to repipe your home with new pipes, giving you security and peace-of-mind for years to come at a fair price.