It is very likely that the polybutylene pipe in your home will eventually fail. Therefore, it makes sense to take the initiative and replace it. In particular, mobile homes were commonly installed with PB piping, and from the 1970s through the mid-1990s, standard rod-built structures also frequently employed PB.
Since neither PB pipes nor the fittings needed to join them together are often manufactured or sold, PB pipe repairs are very complicated. Therefore, the normal response to problems is to switch to another type of pipe to repair damaged parts or even to replace the piping for the entire system.
When deciding what type of fitting to use for the polybutylene transition, there are several possibilities. The outside diameter of the tubing is the same as PEX, CPVC and copper tubing, so one alternative is to use press-fit fittings.
- Pinhole Leaks
A fitting can be used for a quick repair when a small leak is discovered in a straight section of pipe under a mobile home or in other easily accessible locations. Simply remove the punctured area with scissors and then tighten the repair fitting. Be sure to measure so you don't end up removing more pipe than necessary.
- Replacing Shut-off Valves
For this repair, polybutylene shut off valve are a good alternative. You can quickly change the water supply piping to a toilet or faucet with new water supply hoses and quick-acting valves. Simply turn off the water supply to the home, unplug the old hose from the fixture, trim the pipe, install a new shut-off valve and install a new hose. Don't forget to repeatedly check for leaks after reopening the faucet.
- Replacement of large sections of piping
Snap couplings can also be used to switch from PB to PEX, CPVC or copper when changing major portions of piping. If you don't want to do an entire re-piping project, this is a great way to break it down into manageable pieces. Run the new pipe from the push-on coupling connection to the pipe.