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  1. #1
    gene schafer's Avatar
    gene schafer Guest

    Default polybutylene pipe

    This was a piping used as a substitute for traditional copper piping through the 80's and mid 90's. Though out the 1980's lawsuits were filled complaining of allegedly defective manufacturing and defective insulation. A class action settlement was initiated for a minimum of 950 million dollars. My understanding is you had to file by a certain date and that has expired. When I ran into this recently upon an inspection I reported this out to the potential buyer. Since there is no leaking at the time of inspection through out house he is going to take out a home warranty if the pipe would fail. Since filing for the class action filing is over, will insurance companies pay a claim if the pipes cause damage to the house because they were not replaced? I would like to include this in my report for consideration for the buyer. If any of you have run into this before perhaps you know how the insurance company would handle this? Food for thought

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  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: polybutylene pipe

    Quote Originally Posted by gene schafer View Post
    This was a piping used as a substitute for traditional copper piping through the 80's and mid 90's. Though out the 1980's lawsuits were filled complaining of allegedly defective manufacturing and defective insulation. A class action settlement was initiated for a minimum of 950 million dollars. My understanding is you had to file by a certain date and that has expired. When I ran into this recently upon an inspection I reported this out to the potential buyer. Since there is no leaking at the time of inspection through out house he is going to take out a home warranty if the pipe would fail. Since filing for the class action filing is over, will insurance companies pay a claim if the pipes cause damage to the house because they were not replaced? I would like to include this in my report for consideration for the buyer. If any of you have run into this before perhaps you know how the insurance company would handle this? Food for thought
    Nobody is going to pay for the PB pipe if it craps out! No warranty company will cover nor will any insurance company. It is a known defective product so if they buy the home with the PB they are rolling the dice.

    How do you know that none of the PB connections are not leaking, can you see every single one? I would never state that the PB is not leaking, you can not see all of the pipe to make such a statement.

    I would simply report that you found PB pipe in the home and that it has known problems with defective connections and the pipe splitting. I would then state that I did not see any problems with the PB pipe that was visible, but that I can't see all of the pipe. I would then add that they should consult a plumbing contractor if they have a concern and would like information on what it would take to replace the PB pipe in the home.

    For what it is worth, I had PB in my previous home and I never had a problem in 14 years I owned it. The pipe in my home had the copper ring crimps and not the plastic ones. The problem with the PB pipe was mostly with the crimp rings and in areas with high chlorine in the water supply.

    Last edited by Scott Patterson; 03-25-2011 at 01:20 PM.
    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  3. #3
    gene schafer's Avatar
    gene schafer Guest

    Default Re: polybutylene pipe

    Scott,
    A lot of good points. This is a ranch home with a open basement and I was able to see most of the piping. Yes the rings and connectors are the main problem when the leaks occur but also some of this kind of piping, according to what I read,talked about material in the coating as a make up in the pipe that would flake off and weaken it. The thing with this pipe is you never know when it will go bad or connections will fail. I am sure every insurance company treats this differently. These were the metal rings as my pictures show
    I appreciate your insight.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: polybutylene pipe

    GENE

    just go to Better Plumbing - polybutylene plumbing, poly repipe & plumbing supplies. and read all the topics, especially about home inspectors

    cvf


  5. #5
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    Default Re: polybutylene pipe

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    Nobody is going to pay for the PB pipe if it craps out! No warranty company will cover nor will any insurance company. It is a known defective product so if they buy the home with the PB they are rolling the dice.

    Insurance companies will pay for the resulting water damage, but the cost of the re-pipe falls on the insured.


  6. #6
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    New Mexico
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    Default Re: polybutylene pipe

    Quote Originally Posted by CHARLIE VAN FLEET View Post
    GENE

    just go to Better Plumbing - polybutylene plumbing, poly repipe & plumbing supplies. and read all the topics, especially about home inspectors

    cvf
    I also refer people to the web, which will direct them to that site. The thing that gives me an uneasy feeling is that the site is completely owned and maintained by a company that profits from replacing PB pipe. I know there aren't any un-biased sites that I have found, but that site just doesn't feel right to me. But, until I find a better information source, that's all we've got.

    Jim Robinson
    New Mexico, USA

  7. #7
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    Default Re: polybutylene pipe

    JIM

    i like the questions this site gives-realestate agents, both sellers and buyers and the remarks about home inspectors. quite to the point.

    cvf


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