House piped almost entirely with PB (no leaks apparent). Would you classify this as a “Major Concern” (items that have failed or potential of failing soon) or as a possible defect item needing evaluation by a qualified plumber?
I’d make them aware of the problems associated with PB and allow them to make an educated decision. Provide them with enough information so they understand the possibility for problems.
Its more of an issue if on city water (chlorine) than a well or community well usually but either way they need to know a house flood can occur.
Here’s a relatively long comment that I put together and plagerized from the plumbing course about PB…
*1.**It appears that the home contains polybutylene plumbing. Polybutylene plumbing can be identified by the number stamped on the side of it. That number will end with PB2110. Polybutylene plumbing was put in many homes between *1978 and 1996 (in some parts of the country even later.) Some polybutylene plumbing systems are the subject of Class Action lawsuits and settlements funded by the manufacturers. A home inspection cannot determine if polybutylene pipes are about to leak simply by looking at the outside of them. Pipes deteriorate from the inside and can split under pressure. They can leak anytime without warning destroying furniture, family heirlooms, and even causing structural damage. Leaks can go unnoticed and lead to mold.
There is no single course of action that is recommended for consumers with polybutylene plumbing. Many recommend replacing the entire system even if there have not been any problems. This course of action should be considered taking into account your personal level of risk aversion, the types of *materials used, the age of the system, as well as past performance. *
I cannot determine if the type of polybutylene plumbing system discovered qualifies for polybutylene Class Action settlements, which are due to wrap up in 2009. However, you can find out more by contacting the Consumer Plumbing Recovery Center at (800) 356-3496**or visiting their website at *www.pbpipe.com](http://www.pbpipe.com/). *
In NC, the state requires it to be treated as requiring further evaluation in a home inspection report and it must be noted in the Summary Section.
I do the same in SC.
Significant enough that many insurance carriers will not write a policy if the home contains any PB. The statement by Mark is very good at identifying the problem and some solutions. At the very least the customer is aware of the potential problems, if they proceed to closing they do so with full knowledge. I never try to second guess what some people will buy. Every time I did I was surprised. Some will buy a burned out hulk because they liked the big oak tree in the front yard or a stained glass window. Takes all kinds.