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What to Do if Your Home Has Polybutylene Pipes?

Dangerous inspection outcomes?

Why are polybutylene pipes such an issue and what are you able to do about it?


It was imagined to be a routine 4-point inspection, however you’re confronted with some dangerous information. Your insurance coverage provider gained’t subject you a coverage—all due to your private home plumbing system.

If this has occurred to you, you already know what’s accountable: polybutylene pipes. However why is that this materials so controversial and—most significantly—what are you able to do about it?

The Downside With Polybutylene Plumbing

Again within the 1970’s, polybutylene (or PB) pipes had been thought of the “pipe of the longer term”. Comprised of a plastic resin that was versatile, inexpensive, freeze-resistant, and straightforward to put in, PB plumbing was utilized in roughly 1 in each 5 houses all through america between 1978 and 1995.

So what went unsuitable?

plastic pipe under sink leaking

The presence of sure chemical compounds—similar to chlorine—within the water provide causes polybutylene to turn into brittle. Immediately, the flexibleness that made PB pipes such an incredible possibility had been now inflicting leaks 10-15 years after set up.

Whereas the producers by no means admitted to product weak point, they did accept $950 million in a category motion lawsuit in 1995 (Cox vs. Shell Oil Co.) This put an finish to the usage of polybutylene piping in houses.

Sadly, this ruling did nothing to take away the fabric from houses, and main plumbing leaks (to not point out costly water harm) continued. In consequence, many insurance coverage corporations will refuse to insure houses with polybutylene plumbing.


“However My Polybutylene Pipes Have By no means Leaked!”

That could be true, however within the eyes of the insurance coverage firm, it’s not a matter of if you’ll expertise a leak, however when.

After paying out hundreds of thousands of {dollars} to cowl property harm all through the 1980’s, most insurance coverage carriers are not prepared to tackle that stage of danger. If a sure piping materials fails in 80% of houses, that’s the quantity they take note of.

This doesn’t essentially imply that your PB pipes are assured to fail. In actual fact, most individuals don’t even know they’ve polybutylene plumbing till they get an inspection.

But as soon as your private home plumbing system has been found, you’ll have to play by the principles with a purpose to get good insurance coverage protection.

closeup of plumber's hands assembling pipes

“What Are My Choices?”

If an inspection identifies polybutylene piping, there are some things you are able to do.

Your first possibility is the one the insurance coverage firm will suggest: a polybutylene pipe substitute by a licensed plumber. Changing your polybutylene pipes with copper, PVC, or PEX pipes is one of the best ways to safeguard towards leaks and water harm.

Your second possibility is to discover one other insurance coverage provider.

Every insurance coverage firm makes use of a unique set of knowledge. Firm A might discover one characteristic uninsurable, whereas Firm B doesn’t.

Finally, most specialists suggest re-plumbing your private home, not simply to forestall leaks, however to enhance your resale worth.


Wanting For Nice Protection?

Polybutylene plumbing might trigger a big hiccup in your homeownership journey, however it doesn’t need to spell catastrophe.

If you happen to’ve not too long ago found that you’ve polybutylene pipes, re-plumbing your private home and/or discovering a brand new insurance coverage provider will help set you heading in the right direction.

And one of the best ways to search out an insurance coverage firm that’s best for you? Working with an impartial insurance coverage agent. As a result of they don’t seem to be tied to a particular provider, impartial brokers are capable of store the market to discover a coverage that matches your actual wants.

At Harry Levine Insurance coverage, we’ve been one in all Orlando’s high impartial insurance coverage businesses for greater than 30 years, and we delight ourselves on guiding our shoppers to the carriers and insurance policies that decrease danger.

Whereas we suggest changing polybutylene pipes, we even have relationships with loads of nice insurance coverage corporations who’re joyful to subject you a coverage. Name at the moment or go to our web site for a free quote.



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