Should I Buy a House with Polybutylene Pipes?
Polybutylene piping was largely used in homes from the late 1970s to around the early 1990s — this means that there is a good chance many houses on the market today may contain them. Polybutylene pipes were widely popular for their cheap and lightweight properties, and they were also easier to manufacture than their metal counterparts. However, this material was eventually recalled due to the increase in pipe failure, and homeowners are still fighting back against the manufacturer for damages faced as a result of the pipes.
The housing market is hot right now, and, as a result, there isn’t an unlimited number of options for buyers to choose from. When a house does come around that fits within the parameters of what you are looking for, it can be hard to pass it up. So, should you turn away your dream home because it contains polybutylene pipes?
Are Issues with Polybutylene Pipes Guaranteed?
Although there are studies that show a percentage of pipe failure is linked to issues with polybutylene pipes, it all boils down to this: At the end of the day, it’s impossible to predict if your polybutylene pipes will fail. As said above, many homes built during the late 1970s to early 1990s that were designed with polybutylene pipes still contain them to this day, so some pipes are still holding up. No matter how durable, all materials will inevitably face wear and tear, although the fact that polybutylene has proven to fail at a higher rate should still be kept in mind.
Making the Decision
Overall, polybutylene pipes should not completely deter you from purchasing a home you love. You should, however, take some additional steps if you do decide to make a deal on a house with these types of pipes.
Hiring a professional plumber is key to ensuring the pipes are still in good shape. Doing so will alert you of any serious issues that can be foreseen and potentially avoided. Next, check with your homeowners’ insurance policy to guarantee you’re protected from any potential damages — unfortunately, not all insurance companies will protect against flood damage from polybutylene pipes. You may also want to discuss the chance of repiping the home with the sellers before your move-in and see if you can work out a deal.