Polybutylene Pipes: How to Replace
LESLIE: Marilyn in Florida, you’ve got The Money Pit. What can we do for you?
MARILYN: I have a house that I rent out that was built in 1987 …
MARILYN: … and has plumbing that is polybutylene.
MARILYN: And in the last four months I’ve had two leaks that have cost me, together, over $1,500. And I was wondering if you would recommend having it replaced or take the leaks as they come.
TOM: Well, as you seem to know, there is a long history of defects associated with polybutylene or PB pipe. And what’s going to happen over time is it’s going to continue to deteriorate and continue to develop leaks. And in some cases, I’ve even heard of homeowners insurance companies raising the rates or refusing to insure homes that had polybutylene pipe in it. So I think if you can afford it, it’s probably a good idea to replace as much of that pipe as you can. And generally you can do it in stages. For example, you could replace all of the accessible pipe as a first step and then maybe work on a room-by-room basis with the rest of it. But it is a good idea to think about replacing it because, as you’re starting to learn, it’s going to continue to develop leaks. And sometimes it might seem like you just get done fixing one before another one springs right up.
MARILYN: OK, well I thank you very much.
TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT. 888-666-3974.