Ask the Home Inspector: Polybutylene Pipes

Can a home inspector predict the useful life of PB pipes in a home?

Unfortunately, inspectors cannot. Poly pipes may “look” fine, but most of the problems associated with poly systems are not visible. Inspectors can look for water leaking right now, we can look for evidence of repairs, and we can look for certain installation no-no’s (only where pipes are exposed), such as kinks in the piping. This helps a little, but many things contribute to a poly leak, most of which an inspector cannot see. When buying a house with PB piping, purchasers must be aware of the potential for leaks and damage and be comfortable moving forward with the purchase of the home, despite the risks.

 

 

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