Polybutylene... what is the final say?

Originally Posted By: Kevin McMahon
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PB piping has a 12" minimum radius allowed I believe. Any less than that can cause the material to collapse on itself.



ABC Home Inspection, LLC

Originally Posted By: jpeck
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Kevin,


Click on the link I provided, go to the bottom of page 13, gives minimum bending radius for the different pipe sizes.


--
Jerry Peck
South Florida

Originally Posted By: Kevin McMahon
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Yep…you’re right…thanks…I was trying to remember a detail I saw, and just actually looked it up and says minimum radius=12xD for PB…I knew 12 was in there somewhere! icon_surprised.gif



ABC Home Inspection, LLC

Originally Posted By: rmoewe
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I just inspected my first home with what I beleive is pex. It is a plastic tubing with crimp clamps at the joints. It is also red for hot and blue for the cold. Does anyone know if this is correct? Help would be appreciated. I told the client that it was a new type of plumbing material, one that was close to pb. I also told them about pb and the problems with it. I told them that time will tell; if it will stand-up. anyone have the web-site for this material. I looked it up and did not find the same material on the pex web-site. Thanks, Rick


Originally Posted By: Mike Parks
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Rick


I do not know if this will help or hurt. Habitat for Humanity is putting this in homes now. They try to give the homeowners a good product and since they hold the paper on the property, I do not think that they would want a sub-standard product in their homes.

Mike P.


Originally Posted By: rmoewe
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Mike, Thanks for the input, but is it PEX, or something else? Know of any web-site, that tells what it is? That would be great. Thanks, Rick


Originally Posted By: jpeck
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Richard,


The way you described it, it sounds like PEX. The best way to tell is to read what is written on the pipe itself.

PEX is available whitish, mostly clear, red, blue, an earthen ware color (reddish clay color), many different colors.

Go here and take the tour: Vanguard PEX Tour

Mike, Habitat for Humanity would not intentionally install a substandard product, however, they could install a product which could end up as being failure prone over the life of the product. The codes and builders who installed PB did not install a substandard product at the time it was approved for installation (by the codes) and at the time it was installed. It turned out to be failure prone over time. The same goes for FPE and Zinsco, I would not call them (or PB pipe) "substandard", only failure prone and problematic. That is all based on hindsight, which is much more accurate in telling the past than foresight is in predicting the future.[url][/url]


--
Jerry Peck
South Florida

Originally Posted By: Mike Parks
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Jerry


Yes.

Mike P.


Originally Posted By: rmoewe
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Jerry,


Thanks that sure looks like it. I will take the tour and see what they say. Does anyone know what the plumbers are saying about it.


So, how would you right it up in the report.


I told my clients that it is a lot like pb. I also told them that it was new type of piping and that only time would tell. I did tell them that if it needed replaced that the manufacturer, usually had to pay for the cost of replacement. Which comes from a class action law suit.


Originally Posted By: David Suelflow
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The State of North Carolina requires us to say the following:



Polybutylene plastic plumbing supply lines (PB) are installed in the subject house.
Polybutylene has been used in this area for many years, but has had a higher than normal failure rate, and is no longer being widely used.
Copper and Brass fittings used in later years have apparently reduced the failure rate.
This subject house has brass/copper/plastic fittings. For further details contact the Consumer Plumbing Recovery center at 1-800-392-7591 or the web at http://www.pbpipe.com
Additional information can be found at http://www.polybutylene.com/ - http://www.gahi.com/Polybutylene%20pipe.htm


Originally Posted By: ddivito
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I don’t recall the specific section but poly is still in the IRC 2000 code as an acceptable pipe


Originally Posted By: lschmid
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I just inspected a house built in 1907 with some of the old plumbing having been replaced. They used Vanguard Plastic Potable Tubing - 100 psi sdr-11 6-25-91. It is grey in color and uses the crimp on fittings. Is this different from poly? Thanks.



Larry Schmid


First Choice Home Inspection,Inc.


South Carolina Chapter President


www.1stchoicehomeinspection.com


A SAFE HOME IS A HAPPY HOME

Originally Posted By: Blaine Wiley
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Vanguard makes Pex piping which isn’t the same as polybreakaline. Here is a link to their tech info.


http://www.vanguardpipe.com/techfaq2.htm


Originally Posted By: lschmid
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Blaine, thank you for the confirmation. This is the first time I have come across it and wanted to make sure. Hope you have a great weekend.



Larry Schmid


First Choice Home Inspection,Inc.


South Carolina Chapter President


www.1stchoicehomeinspection.com


A SAFE HOME IS A HAPPY HOME

Originally Posted By: Steve McIntire
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http://www.pbpipe.com/photos.htm


Originally Posted By: jpeck
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Larry,


Go here Handbook One and go to Adobe page 9 (Handbook page ![icon_cool.gif](upload://oPnLkqdJc33Dyf2uA3TQwRkfhwd.gif). Compare those identification markings to what you found.[/url]


--
Jerry Peck
South Florida

Originally Posted By: dbrown1
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The following is a report by the Governmet in Alberta addressing the issue of PolyB used in plumbing a house.


Plastic Plumbing: Tempest in a teapot?
Chlorine is added to list of suspects... as lawyers solicit claimants.

Polybutylene (PB) Plumbing used for hot & cold supply piping in homes, also known as "Poly-B" has attracted considerable attention lately, most notably in B.C., Alberta and some U.S. States. Recent alarming media coverage has whipped many home owners into a state of panic.
Plastic pipe problems are like a "tempest in a teapot" said the president of the Alberta New Home Warranty Program. "The rate of incidents is insignificant - and our experience with it has been zero."
The Canadian Association of Home Inspectors, the Home Builders? Association and the New Home Warranty Program, among other organizations, have all investigated and researched this issue. PB appears to be an excellent plumbing system with a relatively low incident rate of failures, most of which have been attributed to poor workmanship or improper choice of materials.
So why the sudden burst of media attention?

Info packages have been sent to media sources and home owners, claiming experts have stated that such systems are failing. The lawyers who sent the packages have been soliciting home owners to join a potential class-action suit against the makers of PB tubing and associated fittings.
There have been very few documented cases of PB failures in Canada, and most authoritative sources indicate that the problems lie with the plastic "acetal" fittings, very few of which are encountered in Canada.
Chlorine levels above 2PPM may cause damage to PB tubing, however this is unlikely because this is a much higher than normal chlorine level, and would certainly elicit a flurry of complaints from residents.


Metal insert fittings, typically made of copper or brass.
Aluminum crimp rings have also been blamed, and these are also rare in Canada, where primarily copper fittings and crimp rings have been used. Many U.S. failures occurred in southern areas where plumbing was run in attics, which has not been practiced in Canada, and some plumbers took old brass fittings and used them for plastic... a likely mismatch.
In Alberta, where the level of concern is at its highest, the Labour Department reports the problem rate at less than a fraction of 1% of all installations. In fact, only two cases have been cited, and both of these were reportedly due to poor workmanship.


HOW TO TELL THE DIFFERENCE:
Polybutylene (PB) piping used in Canada is grey in color, with blue lettering on it and a Canadian Standards Association (CSA) stamp. Some installations will have plastic fittings at the joints, where other will be connected with copper fittings and crimp rings.
C-PVC is a more rigid plastic piping with glued joints. It is white or creamy colored, with black or blue lettering, and a CSA stamp.

IF YOU HAVE CONCERNS ABOUT PLASTIC PIPING:
Extensive investigation, including contacting the national research centres in Canada and the U.S. has triggered no alarm bells. Although the jury is still out on plastic plumbing, the issue appears to be blown out of proportion at this time.
If homeowners are concerned about the type of plumbing in their homes, and would like to set their minds at ease, they should contact their plumber or builder.
In the event that repairs or replacement are recommended, second and third opinions should be obtained.
A prudent home owner may also want to contact their insurance carrier to determine if there are any limitations to coverage, based on the type of plumbing in the house.

RECOMMENDATIONS AND LIMITATIONS TO USAGE:
? Do not use plastic piping in a continuously circulating hot water plumbing loop.
? Do not use where water temperatures could exceed 180 degrees F.
? Do not use in an application where the plastic pipe will be exposed to direct sunlight.
? Do not allow pipe to be left exposed to direct sunlight for more than 30 days during or before construction.
? Do not use acetal (plastic) fittings.
? Water heater connections should be made with metal (copper) connectors at least 18" long.
? Pipe must be kept at least 6 inches from hot water tank or furnace flue pipes.
? Polybutylene piping is not suitable for swimming pool piping systems, or where more than 2ppm of chlorine (free residual) will be routinely encountered.


Originally Posted By: dspencer
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I have installed PEX and is a GREAT product. My distrbuitor supplies RED PEX for hot and Blue PEX for cold(all I have ever seen here). Pex crimp rings and crimper must be used to secure fittings. When installed properly this is great stuff especially in old home remodel jobs when you have to replace the old pipes! the CPVC is what I don’t like.


Originally Posted By: mtimpani
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I am in AZ and pex is what is used in new construction. Can they use pex in NY with the freeze/ thaw cycles?



Thank you, MarkTimpani


www.pridepropertyinspections.com

Originally Posted By: tgocze
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We have used PEX tubing in Maine for almost 20 years. It can tolerate freeze thaw cycles, although it is not a great design idea to plan on allowing it to freeze. Wirsbo makes an expander tool for connecting to fittings, relying on the natural ability of PEX to expand and shrink back to its original size.


PEX has been reported to have a potential life expectancy 200 years at 100psi and 180F. It is after all a cross linked version of what we install in the ground to deliver well water to ones house.