Polybutylene Piping aka Grey Piping
This newsletter gives brief information about polybutylene plumbing, aka Grey Piping. It is recommended you always have a professional inspect your new home before purchase. This `is just one of many possible hidden defects creating unexpected cost when insurance companies review in the home’s insurance report (4-Point). We are providing this quick fact article regarding Polybutylene for those unknowing buyers and new Real Estate Professionals for reference when you suspect it may be in a home:
Polybutylene piping can be found in homes and condominiums in Florida that were built between 1978 and 1995. On some occasions, it has been found in homes after 1995, possibly from plumbing companies’ leftover stock, etc.
- YEAR RANGE: Manufactured from 1978 through 1995. It is unknown the final STOP date for installation in homes and buildings after 1995.
- Description: Polybutylene is typically grey and sometimes white in color with a dull finish. It is often difficult to locate because most plumbing piping is in the walls, under slabs or under attic insulation. In many homes or buildings where polybutylene exits the walls, such as under bathroom sinks and at water heaters, it is fitted with copper piping, which is used for connecting the plumbing fixtures etc. As a result, it can appear to be a copper piping home even though all the hidden piping is Polybutylene.
** For confirmation, a common stamp found on Grey Polybutylene piping is – PB2110 -. (See photo)**
Photo showing the “grey piping” and PB2110 stamp.
- PROBLEM 1: The piping reacts with oxidants in the water supply causing it to become brittle and fail. The water supply composition determines how long the piping will last. Failures occur without warning.
- PROBLEM 2: Many Insurance Companies will DENY coverage for properties containing Polybutylene piping.
- SOLUTION: Replace the Polybutylene with modern reliable piping, such as CPVC or PEX, for example.
- COST: The typical price range for replacing Polybutylene piping could be $3,000-$8,000. Since size of home and other variables can change the price a Plumbing Contractor should be consulted for a final estimate on any property.
Hope this helps! Please feel free to call or email any questions:
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