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Comatose
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Thoughts on homes w/ polybulytene ?

Sun Jul 16, 2017 3:35 pm

Hey folks,

Does anyone here have thoughts or personal experience with homes that have polyb piping?  
I currently live in a home that was built in the early 90's in the past 8 years other than the pump having been replaced a few times i haven't had major issues.  I believe the previous owner had the pipes burst in the boiler room, but they are mostly copper there now.
I'm now in the market and looking at homes that were built in the later 90's..  e.g. 97, 98, and despite polyb being banned since 95 it seems many homes i've been checking out still have them.  One i can tell they had redone the boiler room w/ all copper, another not so, but the bigger problem im really worried about is that these larger homes im looking at all have radiant floor heating, and so the extent of polyb use is much greater and throughout the home. and in areas that are not as easily serviceable if they start leaking.
From what i've read it sounds like its a ticking timebomb wherever they're used.  Would you stay away from these homes ?  or do you think im being overly paranoid?

thanks in advance~
 
Harahomes
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Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2016 7:36 am

Re: Thoughts on homes w/ polybulytene ?

Sun Jul 16, 2017 6:48 pm

Hi
These pipes (grey in color) are notorious for degrading and failing. The horrible thing about these pipes is you won't notice the leak until they have caused lots of damage because they usually start leaking slowly.  Usually you won't have a catastrophic failing like an exploding pipe,  You will get slow leaks that cause damage and mold on your framing and on the inside of the drywall.

I wouldn't buy a house with this type of plumbing, but I guess you don't have a choice if you’re buying a 90's home
 
reallyreal2
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Re: Thoughts on homes w/ polybulytene ?

Sun Jul 16, 2017 7:15 pm

Harahomes wrote:
Hi
These pipes (grey in color) are notorious for degrading and failing. The horrible thing about these pipes is you won't notice the leak until they have caused lots of damage because they usually start leaking slowly.  Usually you won't have a catastrophic failing like an exploding pipe,  You will get slow leaks that cause damage and mold on your framing and on the inside of the drywall.

I wouldn't buy a house with this type of plumbing, but I guess you don't have a choice if you’re buying a 90's home


Isn't there any way to test for leaks?
 
Harahomes
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Posts: 89
Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2016 7:36 am

Re: Thoughts on homes w/ polybulytene ?

Sun Jul 16, 2017 7:36 pm

reallyreal2 wrote:
Harahomes wrote:
Hi
These pipes (grey in color) are notorious for degrading and failing. The horrible thing about these pipes is you won't notice the leak until they have caused lots of damage because they usually start leaking slowly.  Usually you won't have a catastrophic failing like an exploding pipe,  You will get slow leaks that cause damage and mold on your framing and on the inside of the drywall.

I wouldn't buy a house with this type of plumbing, but I guess you don't have a choice if you’re buying a 90's home


Isn't there any way to test for leaks?

Sure, pressure gauge on one end and apply air or water pressure through it and see if there is any loss.  Will an home inspector do that?  Most likely not.
But that's not the issue.  It may not be leaking now but it might fail later on.  These pipes fail when they are used for hot water applications and from higher chlorine levels in water.  Personally I wouldn't risk it.  But then again they might not fail at all. 
 
yzfr1
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Re: Thoughts on homes w/ polybulytene ?

Sun Jul 16, 2017 8:40 pm

For the radiant heat, it's a closed system so there should not be any introduction of new chlorine to degrade the plastic. Any existing old chlorine should have already been reacted by now. Its been 20+ years, I suppose if anything were to have happened it would have already.

Worst comes to worst scrap the whole radiant heat system and install base board heaters lol

Yeah I hope the price of the home really reflects the X factor with this type of pipping. I have the new style of radiant heating. I wish everyone sticks to force air, cheaper to maintain and you can slap on air conditioning
 
reallyreal2
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Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2016 11:30 am

Re: Thoughts on homes w/ polybulytene ?

Tue Jul 18, 2017 8:33 am

Thanks for your opinions.  To be honest, I was curious for selfish reasons - I have the Poly B in my home (25 years old now) and *knock on wood* no issues yet.  It was a major concern when purchasing the home but I decided to take a chance.

Honestly - does anybody know of a single person that has had their Poly B fail?  I heard nothing but ghost stories when purchasing my home and it got me a little spooked.  But I decided that you'll never find the perfect home and just have to deal with the smaller warts.

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