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Old 05-09-2011, 10:08 AM   #1
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Polybutylene supply line


So I was planning on installing a new water line for sprinklers and yard hydrants when I ran into this.

Turns out our house has a polybutylene pipe as the main supply line. There was apparently one contractor who was installing these in the late 70's early 80's. After talking with a few plumbers and excavators, it seems that decision has resulted in a bit of an economic stimulus to the local excavating industry in recent years as they have started to fail with alarming regularity. The wife and I decided that it would be financially irresponsible to spend the money we would need to replace the line if it should fail on a "convenience" line. So we are considering having the line replaced now rather than wait for it to fail. What are your thoughts? Have any of you seen these lines fail or attempted any work on them? Do you think we are overreacting? Everything I know about PB I learned on the internet http://www.google.com/search?aq=f&so...utylene+piping

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Old 05-09-2011, 10:37 AM   #2
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Polybutylene supply line


I have never seen PB used in this manner, but I did have it in a house I owned a few years back. Trust me, there are two types of PB: what is going to fail and what has already failed. I believe there were some class-action lawsuits over the stuff. I would fix it right away.

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Old 05-09-2011, 02:17 PM   #3
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Polybutylene supply line


That is what we have heard as well. Thanks for the reply. Guess we are heading down the right road.
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Old 05-09-2011, 11:34 PM   #4
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Polybutylene supply line


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That is what we have heard as well. Thanks for the reply. Guess we are heading down the right road.
I've replaced two of those. There was a class-action lawsuit, but the time ran out on that.

On one house I had to go 45 feet diagonally under a driveway. Was able to feed larger diameter PVC over the existing line, pull out the old blue poly, then fed new copper into pvc pipe using motor oil to help it slide.

Note that the diameters must be a lot different, or copper will get stuck. So a 1" copper will be able to go thru a 2" or more PVC.
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Old 05-09-2011, 11:40 PM   #5
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Polybutylene supply line


I prefer to replace them before they break so that I can do what is referred to as a Pull. I run a cable through that pipe and then use that cable to pull my new line trough. Big advantage is that your yard will not be dug up as bad. Once it breaks my chances of getting the cable through go down,,, making it a harder job
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Old 05-10-2011, 08:44 AM   #6
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Polybutylene supply line


Replacing piping on your own terms (that is before they break) will surely cost you much less. However, the chance that the pipe will break is nowhere near 100%.
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Old 05-10-2011, 11:47 AM   #7
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Polybutylene supply line


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Replacing piping on your own terms (that is before they break) will surely cost you much less. However, the chance that the pipe will break is nowhere near 100%.

I disagree... It is not if it will break but when will it break
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Old 05-10-2011, 11:52 AM   #8
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Polybutylene supply line


Ironically the City here uses PB as the supply from their mains to the water meters of homes. BUT--PB is not allowed after a water meter in a residential dwelling here. There was water bubbling up in the street just in front of my house recently. The City came out and determined that it was the PB line coming from the main, on my side of the street, to the home across the street. Fortunately they just "moled" under the street and ran a new PB line from the main to the water meter, leaving the old PB line in the ground. Good for anothe 15 years they said.
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Old 05-10-2011, 02:27 PM   #9
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Polybutylene supply line


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Ironically the City here uses PB as the supply from their mains to the water meters of homes. BUT--PB is not allowed after a water meter in a residential dwelling here. There was water bubbling up in the street just in front of my house recently. The City came out and determined that it was the PB line coming from the main, on my side of the street, to the home across the street. Fortunately they just "moled" under the street and ran a new PB line from the main to the water meter, leaving the old PB line in the ground. Good for anothe 15 years they said.

You are not allowed to even repair it here. Most would use Polyethelene instead
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Old 05-10-2011, 05:57 PM   #10
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Polybutylene supply line


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...snip... they just "moled" under the street and ran a new PB line from the main to the water meter, leaving the old PB line in the ground. Good for anothe 15 years they said.
Sounds like a job security philosophy to me. Typical of some cities' thinking IMO.

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Old 05-11-2011, 07:30 AM   #11
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Polybutylene supply line


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Ironically the City here uses PB as the supply from their mains to the water meters of homes. BUT--PB is not allowed after a water meter in a residential dwelling here. There was water bubbling up in the street just in front of my house recently. The City came out and determined that it was the PB line coming from the main, on my side of the street, to the home across the street. Fortunately they just "moled" under the street and ran a new PB line from the main to the water meter, leaving the old PB line in the ground. Good for anothe 15 years they said.
Sure that wasn't PEX (cross linked polyethelyne)? I don't think they even manufacture PB anymore.

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