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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Identifying and Replacing Polybutylene Pipes

12/7/2020 (Permalink)

The plumber connects parts of the plastic water pipe using fittings, hands close-up. It is important to know if your building has poly-b pipes

Identifying and Replacing Polybutylene Pipes

Most business owners do not think about their plumbing until there is a problem with it. However, if your Broken Arrow, OK, commercial building has polybutylene, also known as poly-b, pipes, it may be in your best interest to identify and replace them before they burst.

Identification
It is important to know if your building has poly-b pipes because this type of piping is at higher risk of wearing out and bursting or leaking than other varieties. The following are some characteristics that can help you determine if you have poly-b pipes:

  • Gray, black or blue in color
  • Stamped with "PB2110"
  • Flexible
  • Installed between 1978 and 1995

If you suspect your building has polybutylene pipes, a professional plumber can let you know for sure. He or she can also advise you regarding the next steps to take.

Replacement
In many cases, replacing poly-b pipes is the best strategy. The project time and cost vary based on the number of poly-b pipes and the material with which they are being replaced. Common materials for the new plumbing include PEX, CPVC and copper. Although replacement can be expensive and time-consuming, it is preferable to incurring severe water damage at your business. If that happens, you may lose valuable documents and expensive inventory. Although an experienced restoration service can help you get your business back to normal, you may lose income if you have to shut down for an extended period. If you choose to replace the pipes, though, you have control over when the work happens and can let your customers and employees know ahead of time.
Polybutylene pipes were a seemingly efficient and economical plumbing solution in the '70s, '80s and '90s. However, it turned out that the material is sensitive to water treatment chemicals, high temperatures and other common factors. Identifying and replacing these pipes can protect your business from a burst pipe and water damage.

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