Most polybutylene pipe – also referred to as “big blue” pipe is a blue (or gray) plastic pipe manufactured by the Shell Oil Corporation. It was installed in homes in the greater Baltimore area between approximately 1978 and 1995 – mostly in new construction – but it was also used to replace water services in older homes as well.
It has been found that chlorine, which is added to the Baltimore water system to sanitize our drinking water, reacts with the polybutylene making the pipe brittle. All polybutylene pipes will fail for this reason. It is not a question of if it will fail, but a question of when it will happen. It is typical to see a need for pipe replacement when the seasons change. As the ground changes temperature, the change in temperature causes the pipe to expand or contract aggravating its weakness.
Warrior Plumbing and Heating wants to ensure that your home is safe. This month, we are offering a free big blue pipe inspection to see if your home’s piping needs replacement. We are also offering a further $300 off replacement, should it be needed. To ensure your home’s safety, please contact us today.
How do I know if I have it?
- Check to see if you there is any blue plastic pipe where your water service enters the home.
- Check to see if there is a gray plastic fitting when your water service pipe enters the home.
Unfortunately, some big blue pipe is completely hidden underground. If you match one of the below criteria, we would suggest having a Warrior plumber come out and inspect your pipe for you:
- My house was built between 1978 and 1995.
- My neighbors on my street or in my neighborhood have had it replaced.
- I have a higher than usual water bill.
- My yard is always wet.
- My sump pump runs too much.
- The front wall of my basement is damp or wet.
What is the value of replacement?
Even when the big blue pipe is in good condition, there are valuable reasons for replacement.
- Water Damage – If for any reason the pipe should break within the foundation of a wall or anywhere near, water damage is likely. Water that leaks into the home causes damage to flooring, drywall, air conditioning and heating units, furniture, personal belongings, and more.
- Mold – Mold can lead to an array of serious health risks. If a home becomes water damaged because of a broken pipe, mold can grow beneath carpeting, in walls, inside ductwork, and other small places.
- Exterior Pipe Break – If a pipe breaks outside the home, soil can wash away under driveways, walkways, and sidewalks. This can cause cracks or even the ground giving way which may lead to someone becoming injured.
- Increased Water Bill – Even small leaks that go unnoticed can create big problems and costly water bills down the road – especially as the leak worsens.
- Water Pressure – These pipes typically measure ½ to 1 inch in diameter. Based on size, this can cause limited water pressure. Once the pipes are replaced, water pressure improves.
- Hot Water – When new pipes are installed with an optional hot water recirculation system, there is never a shortage of hot water. While beneficial for everyone, this is especially great news for larger families.
- Home Value – Are you interested in selling your home in the future? Most homes sold undergo a home inspection prior to purchasing a property. Letting potential buyers know that old pipes have been replaced is a huge selling point and increases your home’s value.
- Peace of Mind – There is a peace of mind in knowing that your outdated and potentially dangerous pipes are replaced.
If you would like to learn more or are concerned about your home’s piping, please contact us today. We’re available 24/7 to ensure your home’s plumbing and heating needs are safe and sound.