Are they still selling polybutylene?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by hans747, Jan 14, 2007.

  1. hans747

    hans747 New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Hello,

    I just bought a house (new construction) in NC, and I noticed that the pipes are red/blue running out of the HWH. Now, my last house was in florida and built in the 1950s, so I got the pleasure of repiping the entire place with CPVC afrer the galvanized pipes had deteriorated beyond repair. But last week was the first time that I ever saw red/blue pipes, so I started looking around the internet. Since this house was just built within the last few months, is there a chance it was plumbed with the ill-fated polybutylene stuff?

    Has that stuff been improved for reliability over the years, or replaced by a better alternative material? I hope that my house isn't filled with the same crap that spawned a million lawsuits 10 years ago.

    Advice please...
  2. solsacre

    solsacre Plumber

    Messages:
    70
    Location:
    Arkansas
    PB????

    Look for letters on the pipe. It's probobly PEX. Better then PB. Red and blue? Maybe Flowguard, it might say what brand it is... crimp on fittrings? What state are you in?

    More information is always better.


    good luck



    dances-with-pumps
  3. Randyj

    Randyj Master Plumber

    Messages:
    1,047
    Location:
    Alabama
    I just did an internet search to refresh my memory a little bit. Wirsbo/aquapex comes in red, white, and blue colors. There are a few different methods of making pex which results in varying degrees of uniformity of wall thickness and temperature sensitive characteristics. Oxygen barriers are important when installing in systems with ferrous metal parts. The blue pipe/tubing is probably for cold water and the red is probably for hot water. Pex-al-Pex has a middle layer of aluminum which helps it hold it's shape and acts as an oxygen barrier and gives it a few other advantages. Pex was originally developed in the 1930's but only in recent years has it become commonly used in the building industry.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2007
  4. solsacre

    solsacre Plumber

    Messages:
    70
    Location:
    Arkansas
    I worked with PEX for two years and loved the stuff.......



    I work at a shop now that ONLY uses copper....... I love the stuff...



    It's a matter of what works and what you like............


    do you really want the "powers to be" tell YOU what you HAVE to use, not what you want to use?


    dances-with-pumps
  5. hans747

    hans747 New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Thanks for the reply.

    I haven;t moved into the house yet. So I can't tell you immediately what's written on the pipes. I'll check it out next time I'm out there. Yes, they have crimp-on bands at each fitting, and the house is in North Carolina.
  6. solsacre

    solsacre Plumber

    Messages:
    70
    Location:
    Arkansas
    It's PEX most likly......


    Is there any state that alows PB indoors?



    It shoudn't be something to miss sleep over

    dances-with-pumps
  7. Randyj

    Randyj Master Plumber

    Messages:
    1,047
    Location:
    Alabama
    Sols... nope... don't want anyone telling me what to use, where I can smoke, where I have to do anything...or what to use... It just would be nice if I didn't have to keep a zillion different sets of tools just because there are a zillion different materials to have to work on... thank God I've never had to bend a lead pipe for a big drain!
  8. solsacre

    solsacre Plumber

    Messages:
    70
    Location:
    Arkansas
    amen.........................................
  9. Randyj

    Randyj Master Plumber

    Messages:
    1,047
    Location:
    Alabama
    Ten more years and I'll have medicare... I've earned a few rights these holier than thow politically correct rabble rousing issue creating theives have been trying to take away from me. They have no idea what freedom means to a sorry OLD ex-convict.
  10. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    Medicare is a privilege not a right.

    Rights are God given.

    Privileges are given by man and can be taken away.

    Our rights are spelled out in the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

    I don't think you'll find medicare there.
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2007
  11. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,281
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Pb

    Polybutylene used in houses was always gray, and production stopped shortly after the class action settlement. Yours is PEX, which is supposed to be a better product.
  12. hans747

    hans747 New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Thanks HJ and everyone else. For some reason, Flowguard keeps coming to mind for me. That might very well be what's in my house.

    I know it sucks that you guys have to deal with so many different materials (every one o them has its own PITA procedure, i bet), but as an owner, it means a lot to me that only good/durable products are used in the construction of my house. The fact that the PB stuff was commonly failing after only a few years should be considered unacceptable industrywide. From my perspective, it's good that it's not allowed to be used indoors anymore. Homes aren't subject to lemon laws.
  13. hans747

    hans747 New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Just wait until you start looking retirement in the face, and see what they're charging for personal health insurance at that point. Unless you're retired military, you'll be placing medicare under the column of "inalienable rights."
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