Polybutylene Plumbing

Polybutylene Pipe Repair
Do you have a "Poly House"?

Polybutylene Pipe Repair & Replacement

For more than 35 years, we have been repiping in San Diego County, and have done more repipes than any other company. We have seen many devastating water leaks and a good share of them have been polybutylene pipe leaks.

Polybutylene pipe is gray plastic water supply line pipe that was developed in the 1970s. It was actually touted as the pipe of the future. It cost less then copper and was easier to install. Unfortunately, any home that plumbed with polybutylene is like a ticking time bomb. It is not a question of if it will leak, but when.

See the tabs below for information on:

  • Determining if your plumbing is polybutylene
  • Why polybutylene pipes fail
  • What to do next
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Licensed Polybutylene Pipe Repair Experts

Call us to repipe your home or repair your poly leak:

  • We have more experience repiping homes that have polybutylene plumbing than any other company in San Diego.
  • Our polybutylene pipe replacement experts use specialized equipment to decrease disruption to your home and keep costs down.
  • You are protected when you call us. We are licensed, insured and put our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee in writing.

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To determine if your home is a “Poly House", start with the exterior. Underground water mains are usually blue in color (they can also be black or gray). The pipe is usually ½ to 1 inch in diameter. Frequently, it enters the home near the water heater. Your main shut off is attached to the end of the water main. Make sure you check both ends of the pipe. We have found cases where copper pipe enters the home and polybutylene is at the meter.

Polybutylene used inside your home can be found near the water heater, or coming out of the walls to feed sinks or toilets. Warning: some plumbers installed “stub outs” of copper when exiting the wall. Just because copper is showing does not mean you do not have polybutylene pipes. You may have to make a small hole in the drywall to see the connection.

Oxidants such as chlorine in the public water supply react with the polybutylene piping and acetal fittings, causing them to scale and flake and become brittle. This results in micro-fractures and reduces the basic structural integrity of the system. The system becomes weak and may fail without warning, causing damage to the building structure and personal property. Improper installation is also a common cause of polybutylene system failure, which can be nearly impossible to detect.

Throughout the 1980's lawsuits were filed hundreds of millions of dollars in damages. Manufacturers never admitted that poly is defective, but they did fund a class action settlement for $950 million.

Read your insurance policy thoroughly. Make sure you know what is covered and what is not covered. Many insurance companies will not cover a slow leak. Claims may be denied because the standard HO-3 homeowners’ policy specifically excludes "a loss as the result of a water leak over an extended period of time".

Call your insurance agent and confirm your coverage. Once you have read through your policy and confirmed what is covered and what is not covered, double check with your agent to confirm that your understanding is correct.

Turn the water off at the main when leaving on vacation.. If a pipe bursts the first day of a two week vacation you would likely face devastation upon your return home!


Call us for a repipe consultation. A repipe consultation will take about an hour. This is not a high pressure sales meeting, the purpose is to provide you with accurate information. If you determine it is not in the budget at the time, at least you will know what your plumbing issues are and what it will take to regain security and peace of mind. An affordable temporary option may be leak detection products that automatically shut off the water if a leak occurs.


Will my water be shut off during a repipe?

In most cases we will be dry piping, which means you will still be on your old system for approximately 2 days, then we will cap off the old system and you will be up and running on all new piping.

How long will it take to repipe my home?

A repipe takes 3 to 5 days depending on your home and 7 to 10 days if drywall patch and paint is included.

What do I need to move before a repipe?

Before our team arrives to do a repipe, we ask that you clear spaces around and under sinks, water heaters, washing machines and counter top areas. We place plastic around work areas to maintain a clean environment; clearing these areas helps us leave your home as tidy as it was before.

Why do I need a city inspection before a repipe?

The city requires us to pull a permit to make sure that everything we do is up to code. This is to protect the homeowner.


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