What is Polybutylene?
Polybutylene (often abbreviated as PB) is a form of plastic that was used in residential plumbing systems from 1978 to 1995. Some experts believe as many as 10 million homes were built with these pipes.
Many homeowners started complaining that these pipes would rupture and cause property damage. Finally, after a $1 billion lawsuit in 1995 (Cox vs. Shell Oil), polybutylene pipes were no longer accepted by U.S. building codes, and manufacturers stopped producing these pipes altogether.
Historically, polybutylene pipes have been found to be too fragile to withstand common disinfectants found in the public water supply and will quickly become brittle and crack from the inside out.
Being that Polybutylene pipes were heavily used in home construction in the Sun Belt of the United States from the 1970’s to 1990’s, there is a huge possibility that your Florida home has polybutylene pipes used in the plumbing system.
Reach out to your local public adjusters at Century Public Adjusters if you have experienced water leaks from your home’s polybutylene pipes.
How Do I Know If I Have Polybutylene Pipes?
Use the following tips to identify polybutylene plumbing. Polybutylene pipes are:
- Usually stamped with the code “PB2110”
- Made with a plastic resin
- Flexible and sometimes curved
- Not used for waste, drain or vent piping
- Most commonly grey in color, but they can also be white, silver, black or blue.
- Polybutylene pipes that are blue are used primarily outdoors
- ½” to 1” in diameter
What Should You Do If You Have Polybutylene Pipes?
Polybutylene pipes are prone to leaking and rupturing, it is highly recommended that the pipes be replaced because:
- Polybutylene pipes take about 10-15 years to deteriorate
- They can crack and leak without warning
- Over time these small fractures can deepen and work their way to the pipe’s exterior allowing water to escape causing water damages to your property
- Leaks from Polybutylene pipes, if not visibility detected, can lead to mold issues within wall cavities and under floors – with the possibility of interfering with the health of homeowners.
If you recently experienced water damage caused by your home’s polybutylene pipes, there are several actions you need to take to be protected:
- Take photos of the damages
- Contact a public adjuster
- Contact your insurance carrier
- Save all the emails with your insurance carrier
It is recommended to contact your insurance carrier and a trusted public adjuster as soon as possible to handle your water damage claim.
Polybutylene Pipes Claims and Florida Insurance Companies
In the instance that your Florida home has not been re-piped it will be very difficult for you to obtain homeowners insurance for water damage claims because of the potential risk of PB pipes.
Property insurance companies would rather not insure houses with PB piping because of their faulty history. They exclude coverage for PB piping failures or charge extra for policies that do cover it.
If your water damage claim caused by your home’s Polybutylene pipes has been denied by your insurance company, you need an expert public adjuster to evaluate your insurance policy coverage and represent you in a professional manner.
Florida Century Public Adjusters Can Help With Polybutylene Pipes Claims
It is important for home and business owners throughout Florida to reach out to a professional if they discover any signs of water damage. The team of experienced professionals at Century Public Adjusters is proud to provide free inspections to help property owners identify water damage.
There are four locations available to better serve clients throughout the state, including offices in Miami, West Palm Beach, Orlando, and Tampa, Florida.
Contact Century Public Adjusters today to schedule your free inspection and learn more about your next steps.