Most plumbers cringe a little when they are called out to work on a home that has polybutylene supply lines. This first generation pex material was used in many homes built between 1980 and 1995. The problem with polybutylene supply lines is usually from fittings breaking down and failing causing leaks.
This product is commonly mistaken for PEX supply lines which can lead to leaks or flooding. The inside diameter of the pipe is larger than pex which means that a traditional pex ring will not crimp on tight enough to create a secure connection.
Whenever we see polybutylene in a home we use a special fitting that is setup to convert polybutylene to pex. It is not a good idea to install a shut off valve directly off a polybutylene line which is why we always transition over to pex.
We are starting to get a lot of calls to replace all of the supply lines for homeowners who have recently purchased a home. Some of the mortgage holders and insurance companies are now requiring that all of the polybutylene supply lines be replaced. This can create somewhat of a challenge due to the fact that most of the water lines are usually covered up behind drywall.
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