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TOPIC: Polybutylene Mess...

Polybutylene Mess... 11 years 10 months ago #26798

I did an inspection in Boise the other day. In the home you could tell there was a big issue. The home was very humid with a familiar smell. It's not often you get to see why aluminum connections on polybutylene piping was not a good idea!!

Hot water line had come apart in the crawl space. It had been this way for a while, and someone was living in the home. :o  Hot water was spraying on the under side of flooring and hot steam working it's way through every crack and crevice. Possible microbial contamination is noted throughout the bedroom, closet and kitchen.
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Bent Nail Inspections
Serving Boise, Meridian, Eagle, Nampa, Caldwell and surrounding areas
Boise home inspector, boise home inspections, Meridian home inspector, Idaho Home Inspection, Nampa Home Inspector
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Last Edit: by Davin Strand.

Re: Polybutylene Mess... 11 years 10 months ago #26818

Davin, that is nasty!!

I hate crawl spaces, I would assume the client ran quickly away from that mess!!


Great job!!

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Home Safe Home Inspections
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Re: Polybutylene Mess... 11 years 10 months ago #26824

Yes, very quickly.

The home was selling as a short sale for 120k. The estimate to clean up was 12K. I think the seller walked away also.

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Bent Nail Inspections
Serving Boise, Meridian, Eagle, Nampa, Caldwell and surrounding areas
Boise home inspector, boise home inspections, Meridian home inspector, Idaho Home Inspection, Nampa Home Inspector
Boise home Inspections   
www.bestboisehomeinspection.com/ ...

Re: Polybutylene Mess... 11 years 10 months ago #26834

I thought they outlawed that junk

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I've Been Rich and I've Been Poor "Rich" is Better
Fitzgerald Home Inspection
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Re: Polybutylene Mess... 11 years 10 months ago #26839

Polybutylene had a number of class action law suits due to the high failure rate.  The problems were mostly around the use of plastic fittings.  Later installations used metal fittings and the number of leaks decreased.  The fittings are crimped using a single purpose tool.  Improperly crimped bands at pipe joints are another point of common failure. 

The product has not been outlawed as far as I know.  It has a bad reputation and it would not seem to make good business sense for a plumber to install new polybutylene.  It seems the potential callbacks would outway the potential savings in material cost.

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Bruce Ramsey, ACI

Re: Polybutylene Mess... 11 years 6 months ago #32596

The polybutylene mess has been around a long time. I can remember it back in the 80's here in San Antonio. Then came the new (Kitec) plastic piping. As a wise old plumber told me in the early 2000's "why can't everyone stick with the good old fashioned way - copper" ? He refused to use the new product in new homes reminding all what happened with that polybutylene crap. Boy, was he right!! There are now class action law suits against Kitec. It turned out that wise old plumber 20 years earlier wasn't so wise. He had used the PB product, but obviously looks like he had learned his lesson (the hard way).
Alot of the southwest is affected by the Kitec problem, especially Arizona, Texas and New Mexico. Also I believe California and Nevada along with other states and maybe Canada. The Nevada claim already has been settled (Dec. 09).
I believe this (Kitec) is actually a recall not like PB which in a NACHI post Phillipe said the polybutylene problem wasn't actually a recall. But I believe the Kitec situation is. It can't be fixed, so I guess it's gotta be replaced. That's alot of tear out in a home.
A local attorney (San Antonio) called me weeks ago to ask if I was aware of any homes with Kitec issues, that he was looking for witnesses for a national class action law suit that he was assisting in as the local go to guy. I'm sure he was also doing some ambulance chasing for additional clients. I told him that I had been around Kitec thru most of the past decade and was unaware of any issues. This was the first I had heard of problems with it. Marcel mentioned in a Nachi post that he hasn't had any issues with it in Maine. How 'bout anyone else?
So either way all the HIPpies here should add a Kitec disclaimer not just a PB disclaimer when coming across it in an inspection.
I'm waiting on a call back from the local attorney and will add any updates here on the Kitec issue.

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Title: San Antonio Home Inspections
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Last Edit: by Joe Keresztury.
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