Need expert help, polybutylene water service?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by kookla50, Oct 7, 2013.

  1. kookla50

    kookla50 New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Arizona
    Have house in Tucson built 2005. Have had three exensive main water line leaks over past two years. Pipe is blue on outside and black on inside. Various plumbers have told me it was Big Blue but I cannot find pictures of that to confirm it. If it is Big Blue I may have some recourse to sue as still within statute of limitations regarding defective building. Please help with IDing pipe and any ideas or comments welcome.
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,642
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    IF it is polybutylene, and I didn't think they were still using it in 2005, the class action suit only covered installations prior to 1995, and then only for 10 years after installation. There are markings on the outside of the pipe which would give all the data you need, but probably would be unsuccessful with litigation.
  3. kookla50

    kookla50 New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Arizona
    HJ Statute of limitations on defective construction is 8 years in AZ, so I can sue that way, especially if it is Big Blue PB. I just need to know what the darn things is. There are no markings on the pipe piece I have. It is blue exterior and interior is black. Will attach pictures.

    Big Blue 1.jpg
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 8, 2013
  4. dj2

    dj2 Member

    Messages:
    411
    Location:
    California
    Hate to tell you, you're on your own on this one.

    If it were me, I'd replace the main with type L copper, sooner rather than later. How far is it from the house to the meter?
  5. kookla50

    kookla50 New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Arizona
    Have replaced 100 feet of line from house to meter. Just need to ID this pipe. What is it....blue with black inside. Have been told it is Big Blue or Blue Max but can find no pictures of said Big Blue pipe. Thanks
  6. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,150
    Location:
    Houston, TX

    Your best bet would be, for you to get the Permit Records from your local Court House, when it was installed.

    Or get the inspectors records.

    If there is no Information on the outside of the pipe then you are sol, and the city may have installed it anyway, You can not sue the Gov, and win.


    Good Luck.
  7. kookla50

    kookla50 New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Arizona
    Don L
    Thanks for post. Have tried to get records. They only keep three years so SOL there. City did not install the line. It is in county on private road, so it was done by local plumber. I believe he used banned pipe just to get rid of it and thought he might get away with it. Need to find pictures of Big Blue pipe and/or Blue Max pipe that IDs it. Cannot find any on the web.
  8. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,150
    Location:
    Houston, TX

    OK.

    Private road ?

    Normally the county has right to a easement, if a utility is running on it/under it. At least that is how it is here.

    Is this pipe on your well ?


    Once a record is recorded at the county, it is available forever. I can still get my birth records. But I need to pay the fee.

    The black on the inside may be your water quality.


    Good Luck.
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2013
  9. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,005
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    That is a long time :)
  10. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,150
    Location:
    Houston, TX

    Buddy You Know It.:eek:

    I had to pay a bit to get the blue prints for my 70s house. But the county had them for a fee.

    Terry did You just call me a Old Fart ?

    Is that allowed on this forum ?

    Cool Fart is more like it.

    LOL.


    You be the Man. Thanks for the great forum.
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2013
  11. ImOld

    ImOld New Member

    Messages:
    73
    Location:
    In the rumble seat
    May I suggest consultation with a licensed plumber and an attorney.

    A quick search on the magic interwebs brings many, many polybutylene results.

    There is an exterior blue with interior black pipe.

    This picture pipe designation nails it.

    Dig until you find it:D

    Attached Files:

  12. kookla50

    kookla50 New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Arizona
    Where did you find picture of blue exterior pipe with black interior? That is what I need. I have the pictures you sent and it looks like my pipe, but my pipe does not have markings on it. Appreciate your help.
  13. kookla50

    kookla50 New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Arizona
    Funny!!! Since you are expert plumber, what say you? Have several plumbers telling me it is Big Blue or Blue Max, but I can not find pictures of pipe like the piece I have. Blue exterior, black interior. Thanks
    Linda
  14. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,642
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    If you were to receive a picture, all it would show is what you already have, namely, a section of blue plastic pipe. You need the markings, and they are there, you just need to dig up a longer section of pipe because they are NOT continuous along the whole pipe, and could be on the bottom. The manufacturers NEVER admitted the pipe was "defective" and it was still used many years after the class action suit was settled in 1995, so you will probably be wasting your time AND money with a lawsuit. The black interior is probably just "age" and exposure to water. Blueprints tell you how the house was built, but have NOTHING to do with how the plumbing, electrical, etc. were done. That depends on how the installer felt like doing it that day.
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2013
  15. kookla50

    kookla50 New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Arizona
    HJ
    I am thinking I will have to spend more money to get pipe dug up until I find piece with markings. The black is definitely part of the pipe, not result of water. If it is polybutylene, it was banned in 1998 for residential use in USA. I think that would give me the leverage to get settlement and avoid suit. If it isn't, then recourse is the fact that 2 foot boulders were on top of the pipe in backfill. Can sue under defective construction and installation.
    Thanks
  16. craigpump

    craigpump Member

    Messages:
    943
    Location:
    ct
    How long is a builder to buyer new home warranty in Arizona? Here in Ct it is one year.

    If you sue the builder, (if he is still in business) he will claim that the excavation contractor is at fault. The excavation contractor (if he is still in business) will say he was working under the direction of the builder.

    Don't be surprised if you have to foot the bill to replace the pipe.
  17. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,642
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    quote; Can sue under defective construction and installation.
    Thanks

    Good luck, but try to find a lawyer that will work on contingency so you only have to pay him if you win. The builder's warranty, in AZ, is two years for residential construction. Do you have photos of the boulders IN PLACE to prove they were on the pipe?
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2013
  18. kookla50

    kookla50 New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Arizona
    Just want to recover the $30k I have spent on water bills and plumbers to fix leaks and ultimately replace line.

    30 K??? Who do you use for your plumbing? And how long do you let something leak before you fix it? For 30 K you could repipe the house, which is probably also in PB if the main line is, replace the main line, and take a pretty nice vacation while it was being done.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2013
  19. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,150
    Location:
    Houston, TX

    Good advise.


    Chances are if you do not have a good insurance company thru your mortgage company, You will need to foot the bill.

    And chances of getting the money back is nearly Null. Your mortgage company may be able to help, They Will make it get fixed.


    You may have to Suck it up Buttercup.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2013
  20. craigpump

    craigpump Member

    Messages:
    943
    Location:
    ct
    $30,000 for 3 repairs?

    Someone has been seriously hosed (no pun intended)
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