Poly Butylene Piping
Have you heard of polybutylene piping? Polybutylene (PB) piping was used in the 1970’s and 1980’s. It’s a flexible, grey plastic type plumbing that was used because it was inexpensive to install. It bends and fits anywhere and is used to connect with brass or metal fittings. The reason it’s become famous is for bad reasons. Many PB plumbed homes have experienced leaks. The leaks have been mostly at the fittings which have failed. The failure was due to chemical breakdown or bad crimping. In summary bad installation
From my experience, I have only seen 1 home in Colorado Springs experience failure. I’m sure there are more. However it’s not always bad. One could assume if it’s lasted this long, installation was good. However the connections could crack over time.
The better solution is PEX piping. It’s usually blue or red and has shown for years to be a good alternative. PEX has been used in Europe for decades.
Generally speaking if you see the grey piping running from your water heater and a manifold system, you probably have PB piping. Today’s inspectors will make a big deal out of it. If you are concerned have a licensed plumber look and evaluate you system. A company called Replumb Specialists http://replumbs.com is great to work with if you have replacement needs. Please let me know if you need help or have concerns.