Re: Polybutylene Plumbing Systems (Vanguard Plastics, Inc.)
Posted by trw on June 04, 2001 at 02:14:58:
In response to Re: Polybutylene Plumbing Systems (Vanguard Plastics, Inc.)
: : The copper pipes in our almost 40 year old home have developed pin hole leaks over the past few years which my husband repaired. We are now thinking it's time to replace the water system. We would like to use Polybutylene Pipe equipped with a pressure reducing valve to reduce pressure to range of about 50 psi as allowed by our county plumbing code. We'd like to use ploybutylene because the easiest and most cost efficient way to replumb would be through our attic instead of through the walls (we don't have a basement as house is on a slab of concrete). After reading all the posts about polybutylene pipe, I'm thinking maybe our county code is out dated. Is all polybutylene pipe bad? Our county allows it for internal use on water pipe distribution systems.

: Dear Nancy:

: When I built my own home in 1991 I installed polybutylene "PB" hot and cold water lines in the house as well as over 2000' of PB pipe in the basement floor for radiant floor heat. We used the Vanguard brand product and have had no problems. I am not a Licensed Plumber, however I do hold a HARV (heating, air conditioning, refrigeration and ventilating) Masters License. The reason I mention this is that we make our living fitting and repairing copper pipe. I could just as easily installed copper, however I looked at all the alternatives and I thought PB was superior to copper. I found that there are two problems that contribute to the negativity of PB 1. The early fittings were made from an acetal material that were subject to being improperly installed and deterioration in time. 2. The rank and file plumbing industry never embraced the PB product. You will probably find it difficult to find the PB product since it has not been manufactured for 2-3 years.
: There are some verry good new replacement products that are available. I have some recent experience with the Vanguard Plastics, Inc. Cross-linked Polyethylene (PEX). My cousin built a new home in 1999 and we plumbed the hot and cold water and the radiant floor heat with Vanguard PEX, for the hot and cold we used a product by Vanguard which is called a Manablock which is a manifold which controls the flow to each water faucet and fixture. I have complete confidence in the PB and PEX products and if I were doing it all over again I would us the product in my own home. If this is a DIY project contact Vanguard for their instalation information before starting. If you are going to use a plumbing proffessional try to find a plumber who has some experience with the product is at least open minded enough to give it a try.
: Sincerely,
: Donald L. Crossley

: PS: I neglected to say that both mine and my cousins homes are on private wells.

: Good luck and if I can be of further help please E-mail me at

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