|Homeowners with polybutylene (PB) plumbing inside their homes or outside used for yard service lines may qualify for a free replacement of their plumbing system. For homeowners who purchased their house, mobile home, or multi-family structure after August 12, 2002, this may be the first time they are eligible to participate in this program.
The first step for all homeowners is to inspect their plumbing. PB systems are distinguished by flexible, gray plastic pipes joined by plastic or metal insert fittings held in place by small aluminum or copper bands, a little wider than a man's wedding band. Inside a home, these may be found in the attic, crawl space or water heater closet, often beneath insulation materials. Outside a home, blue, gray or black piping at the water meter or pipe entry site may indicate the presence of a PB yard service line.
Under the terms of the $1.073 billion 1995 Settlement between consumers and PB pipe manufacturers and raw material suppliers, systems that qualify for replacement must have been installed between January 1, 1978 and July 31, 1995. PB pipe was installed in millions of residential properties in the U.S. beginning in the late 1970s, but should not be confused with PVC or CPVC products, which are rigid and white or off-white plastic.
Since 1995, the Consumer Plumbing Recovery Center (CPRC) has replaced over 330,000 plumbing systems for homeowners, but there remain thousands of others who have purchased homes or other properties in the last several years that qualify for the same free replacement benefits.
The CPRC can be reached toll-free at 1-800-392-7591 or online at www.pbpipe.com
This eUpdate posting by: Steve Joyce, Editor