Understanding the Legality and Risks of Polybutylene Piping in Your Atlanta Home

is polybutylene piping illegal

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Is Polybutylene Piping Illegal

Once hailed as the plumbing industry’s future, polybutylene piping has since been the subject of debate and legal issues. For Atlanta homeowners, understanding the status and implications of polybutylene piping is crucial. This article will answer what most homeowners wonder about – is polybutylene piping illegal, why it matters, and what steps you can take if your home still has these pipes.

Why Its Advisable to Have Polybutylene Piping Inspected

Polybutylene piping is not illegal in Atlanta, but it is no longer used due to the high risk of leaks and ruptures. Homeowners with polybutylene piping may face challenges when trying to sell their homes or obtain insurance coverage.

If you still have polybutylene piping in your Atlanta home, it is advisable to have it inspected by a qualified plumber who can determine the likelihood of any problems and go over your options for replacement or repair. Taking proactive steps now can help prevent costly water damage in the future.

Historical Background of Polybutylene Piping

Factors Contributing to the Rise and Fall of Polybutylene Piping

Polybutylene piping gained popularity in the 1970s and was used extensively through the mid-1990s due to its low cost and easy installation. It was considered a revolutionary material for plumbing systems, especially in residential properties.

Legal and Performance issues

By the mid-1990s, polybutylene piping was found to be prone to failure, leading to significant water damage and costly repairs. Lawsuits and settlements ensued, making homeowners wary of its use. This led to the discontinuation of polybutylene piping in new construction and remodels.

Recent Developments in Regulations and Trends Regarding Polybutylene Piping

Impact on Home Sales and Insurance

While polybutylene piping is not outright illegal, it is no longer accepted under building codes for new construction and major renovations. This effectively forbids its use in new projects, but the law does not require the replacement of existing polybutylene pipes in homes. Homeowners should be aware, however, that having polybutylene pipes can affect property values and insurance policies.

Many homebuyers are cautious about properties with polybutylene piping due to the risk of failure and the potential for water damage. As a result, homes with these pipes may sell for less. Insurance companies may also charge higher premiums or deny coverage for homes with polybutylene pipes.

Essential Considerations and Recommendations for Homeowners

Identifying Polybutylene Piping

Polybutylene pipes are typically gray, blue, or black and are most often found in the interior plumbing of homes built between 1978 and 1995. Homeowners should inspect their plumbing or hire a professional to determine if they have polybutylene pipes.

Risks and Warning Signs

The primary issue with polybutylene pipes is their tendency to degrade and leak over time, especially when exposed to certain chemicals found in municipal water supplies. Signs of failing pipes include discoloration, flaking, and small leaks.

Data and Research on Polybutylene Piping Failures

Statistical Insights

Studies and data collected from numerous homes indicate that polybutylene pipes have a high failure rate, with some reports suggesting up to 40% of homes with these pipes will experience leaks. This data underscores the importance of proactively addressing polybutylene piping issues.

Detailed Comparison Table: Polybutylene vs. Modern Piping Materials

Feature Polybutylene Piping PEX Piping Copper Piping
Cost Low Moderate High
Durability Poor High High
Installation Ease Easy Easy Moderate
Failure Rate High Low Low
Aesthetic Impact Visible joints and bends Less visible Clean and tidy


Polybutylene piping is not illegal, but it poses significant risks and challenges. If your home has polybutylene pipes, it is wise to consider replacement to prevent potential leaks and damage, improve your property’s value, and avoid complications with home insurance and sales. Now is a good time to ensure a safe and secure home.

If you suspect your home has polybutylene piping, contact PB Pipe Guys for a professional inspection and consultation. Our experts can guide you through the process of identifying and replacing these outdated pipes, ensuring your home remains safe and secure for years to come.


Corey Hayes

Corey is a seasoned marketing professional with over two decades of experience in small business marketing, dedicating 15 years of his illustrious career to elevating brands including the PB Pipe Guys. His expertise and visionary approach have been pivotal in shaping the company's market presence and success.

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