Do you have polybutylene pipes in your home? Have you suffered property damage because the polybutylene pipes failed without warning? If so, you may be eligible to join a polybutylene class action lawsuit.Between 1978 and 1995, polybutylene pipe was installed in six to 10 million new or remodeled homes. Shell Chemical Company was the primary manufacturer of the pipe, along with Qest and Vanguard. The acetal fittings used on the pipes were manufactured by Celanese and DuPont. These companies claimed that polybutylene pipe would last a lifetime, but as thousands of homeowners have discovered, the lifespan of polybutylene pipe is far shorter.
Problems with polybutylene have already caused thousands of homeowners to join polybutylene class action lawsuits. If you have polybutylene pipe in your home, you may be eligible to have it replaced at no cost to you. You may also be eligible to receive compensation for property damage resulting from a polybutylene leak. Please contact us today to discuss joining a polybutylene class action lawsuit.
Polybutylene is a form of plastic resin that was used extensively in the manufacture of water supply piping from 1978 until 1995. Manufacturers of the material touted it as the “pipe of the future” and claimed it would last a lifetime.
Polybutylene became extremely popular primarily because of cost. A typical 2,000 square foot residence cost $1,000 to $1,500 less to build with polybutylene than with copper piping. The material was most commonly used in the “Sun Belt”, but it is also very common in the Mid Atlantic and Northwest Pacific states.
Manufacturers’ claims about the lifespan of polybutylene piping have turned out to be exaggerated. In most cases, polybutylene pipe lasts less than a decade. And when it fails, it does so without warning. Homeowners who have experienced polybutylene pipe failures have suffered tremendous property damage. The only way to eliminate the problem of deteriorating polybutylene piping is to replace it.
One theory for the high failure rate of polybutylene pipes holds that oxidants like chlorine react with the pipes and fittings, causing them to scale and flake and become brittle. This can cause tiny micro-fractures, which undermine the basic structural integrity of the system. The polybutylene pipes weaken, and eventually fail without warning.
Polybutylene pipes are so risky that insurance companies have sometimes canceled homeowners’ policies or refused to insure homes built with it. The known presence of polybutylene piping can also affect a home’s value on the real estate market.
DuPont quit making its acetal fittings for poly pipes in 1989. As of April, 1996, Shell Chemical Co. stopped supplying polybutylene for U.S. pipes.
The problems caused by polybutylene piping have resulted in a number of class action lawsuits. Some of these have been settled. If you have replaced polybutylene piping or have experienced leakage, you should contact us right away to see if you are eligible for an existing class action. Homeowners who purchased homes after September 12, 2005 could be eligible or have the right to exclude themselves from the class actions in order to pursue their own damage complaint.
How to Determine if you Have Polybutylene Pipes
If you suspect that your home was built with polybutylene pipes, you should have it inspected by a licensed plumber. However, there are some characteristics you can look for to help determine if you have polybutylene pipes.
Interior polybutylene pipes enter the home through a basement wall, concrete slab or crawl space. Common places to inspect for interior poly piping are water heaters, sinks, toilets and bathtubs. Interior polybutylene pipes are ½” to 1” in diameter and typically are gray or white in color with a dull finish.
Points where pipes enter the home, such as the basement or a crawl space underneath, or at the main water shutoff valve or the water meter, are good places to inspect for exterior polybutylene pipe. Exterior polybutylene is usually a light blue, but it can also be gray or black in color.
While polybutylene pipes often have polybutylene fittings, this is not always the case. If you see copper fittings on a pipe, do not assume that the pipe is not polybutylene.
Polybutylene Class Action Lawsuit
Faulty polybutylene pipes have become a nightmare for tens of thousands of homeowners, but there is help available. Already, many people have been able to receive compensation through polybutylene class action lawsuits.
If you or someone you know has experienced a polybutylene pipe failure, you have valuable legal rights. Please fill out our online form or call 1-800 YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529) to discuss joining a polybutylene class action lawsuit today.