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Al’s Plumbing, Heating & A/C in Plano, Texas provides maintenance & repairs for all brands of Central A/C, Gas & Electric Furnace, and Heat Pumps.  Additionally we sell and install new HVAC Systems from American Standard (same company as Trane), Ameristar (same company as American Standard) and Coleman HVAC (same company as York HVAC).

Al’s also provides full service plumbing maintenance, repairs and replacements for every plumbing component in your home.  Al’s sells and installs Rheem Professional Series gas & electric water heaters, and tankless water heaters.  Al’s is near your home in Plano, Allen, and Frisco.  We service all homes in southern Collin and Denton Counties with no travel charges.

Call Al’s today to discuss any concerns or problems you have with your HVAC System or Plumbing.  We will arrange an appointment at your convenience and offer 24/7 Emergency Service.

Does Your Home Have Polybutylene (PB) Water Pipes?

Polybutylene (PB) Water-Supply Pipes Were Installed In New Homes Built During 1978 — 1995

They Were Used Extensively In The Sun-Belt  

Polybutylene Water Pipes Are Always Flexible And Typically Gray.  

Image Source: YouTube Embedded Video

Click On Arrow Above For A Video About  Polybutylene Water Pipes

 

NOTE:  Newer Homes Have Cross-Linked PolyEthylene (PEX) Flexible Water Pipes.

PEX Does Not Have The Failure Problems Associated With Polybutylene (PB).

PEX Pipes Are Usually Red (for hot) & Blue (for cold)

 Click On The PEX Photo (left) TO: View Product, See Details, or Purchase Directly From Amazon.com

 

You can usually see exposed water pipes under your kitchen sink.  If they are flexible & gray, the are most likely PB pipes.  This means you likely also have them under the slab foundation too.

These plastic water pipes were used (instead of copper) due to low material cost and lower installation charges. PB pipes were installed in up to 80% of the new homes constructed during 1978-1995 in certain areas of the country.    It is most commonly found in the “Sun Belt”, and is also common in Mid-Atlantic and Northwest-Pacific states.

Polybutylene is a form of plastic resin. When first used, polybutylene was considered a tremendous invention and thought to be the water pipe of the future.  As with any new product, there is the risk of failure over time, and this was certainly true of polybutylene.   It is believed that oxidants (such as chlorine) in public-water supplies caused polybutylene material to: become brittle, scale, flake and split.

Once brittle, small to large ruptures started to occur in polybutylene pipes .  Small leaks inside walls provide the moisture required for mold growth, which is when many are noticed  At first, it was common for PB pipe to leak at the connections. In response, PB suppliers changed from plastic to metal collar-rings.   Shortly after that, ruptures began to occur in the gray pipe material itself.

Based On Their History, PB Water Pipes WILL Fail Eventually,  

Creating Large Risk For Home Owners.

Common Consequences Of A Home Having PB Water Pipes:

  • Some Homeowner’s Insurance Companies contain clauses omitting coverage related to water damage resulting from polybutylene pipes.  **
  • Polybutylene pipes slow the resale of the home.
  • When reported by a home inspector, under slab pb pipes typically cause many buyers to back out of the purchase.

** In Florida, homes with Polybutylene plumbing pipes have been blacklisted by nearly all insurance companies.  It is based on evidence that Polybutylene pipes fail more      often than all other types of plumbing.

** Source: http://www.harrylevineinsurance.com/what-to-do-if-you-have-polybutylene-pipes/

The 1st Class-Action Lawsuit (Cox v. Shell Oil Company) Over PB Pipes Was Settled In 1995

In the late 1970s, polybutylene plastic plumbing systems were installed in new homes, particularly in the sunbelt states were experiencing.  Within a few years PB pipes began having failures of the fittings between pipes + the pipe material itself.  Failures were largely due to degradation of PB plastic material and metal fittings used to connect them.  Over time PB products corroded and ultimately leaked due to exposure to heated and chlorinated water.   By the mid-1990s, the polybutylene industry could no longer avoid the truth of its products.

  • Shell Oil was the sole manufacturer of polybutylene resin.  In 1977, Shell Oil Company began manufacturing polybutylene resin. Shell withdrew the product from the U.S. market in 1996.
  • Until 1990, Hoechst Celanese Corporation manufactured fittings for the plastic plumbing systems under the brand name Celon.
  • DuPont manufactured a product named Delrin between 1983–1988.  Delrin was also used in the production of fittings.
  • Vanguard Plastics also designed and manufactured plumbing systems using both Celcon and Delrin for its fittings.

 

A Class-Action Lawsuit “Cox vs. Shell Oil Co.”  was filed in September 1993 in state court in Houston Texas. The Class Action Lawsuit Allowed Home Owners With PB Pipes To Get Their Plumbing Replaced.  Repairs were paid from a $950-million settlement of a 1995 lawsuit.  It was the largest property damage class action settlement in U.S. history at that time.  The lawsuit recognized home owners with plumbing replaced from Jan. 1, 1978 to July 31, 1995.”

Cox v. Shell Oil Is Long Settled.  No More Claims Are Accepted.  

Click Here For The Full Article The Details Above Were Extracted From:  FindLaw.com Cox v. Shell Oil.

 

In November 2017, A 2nd Class-Action Lawsuit Was Filed For Defective PB Pipes & Fittings

In November 2017, a new Class Action Lawsuit was filed:  Hurt v. Shell Oil Company et al.  This case, filed on November 20, 2017 seeks to “represent consumers who encountered the same alleged defect but were not classified as an eligible claimant from the Cox V. Shell Oil Company lawsuit. These new claimants are “One who encountered leaks before August 21, 1995 AND within 10 to 16 years after the 1995 Cox v. Shell Oil Settlement.”

Click Here For The Full Article The Details Above Were Extracted From:  2017 Second Class Action Lawsuit For Defective PB Pipes

The Only Way To Eliminate The Risks Of PB Pipes Is To Replace Them

While this is the last thing homeowners want to hear, their is no way to eliminate PB pipe failure.  A repair can be make to a leak or rupture, but it’s only a matter of time until another occurs.  The cost to repair water damage caused by PB pipes can be catastrophic for a homeowner who then discovers their home owner’s insurance does not cover water damage due to PB pipe leaks.

Leaking under-slab pb pipes causes swelling of the expansive clay soil under homes in DFW.  The more moisture DFW’s expansive clay absorbs, the larger it becomes.  Left unchecked, this can cause tremendous upward force on a home’s slab foundation, and can result in foundation damage requiring expensive foundation repairs.

 

Al’s Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning performs all plumbing repairs and replacements, including Under-Slab PB pipe replacements.  For Under-Slab replacement of water-supply line and waste-lines, Al’s tunnels under the home versus busting through the slab.

Concrete Slab Foundations are designed to perform as a one-piece system, with each area relying on other areas for the overall strength and integrity of the slab, busting through a slab undermines both. A patched hole does not offer the same surface-strength as the continuous surface provided by the slab’s design as designed and installation when new.

On homes built since 1990 have a Post-Tension Slab.   Post-Tension Slabs have cables running up and down + left to right. Once the slab has been poured, before the concrete cures to some extent, the cables are tightened very tight by a machine.  Each cable then creates inward pressure toward the center of the slab, strengthening the slab.

Why Post-Tension Slabs Are Not Designed To Be Cut.  Due to each cable having tremendous pressure on it, severing a cable will cause it to contract uncontrollably. This contraction has been documented as having caused serious injury or death of those near the cables when they are severed.

Post-Tension Slabs are designed so that each cable depends on all cables for the overall integrity of the slab.  If a cable is cut, more pressure is put on nearby cables than they are designed to support, affecting the integrity of the slab.

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Al’s Plumbing, Heating & A/C in Plano, Texas provides maintenance & repairs for all brands of Central A/C, Gas & Electric Furnace, and Heat Pumps.  Additionally we sell and install new HVAC Systems from American Standard (same company as Trane), Ameristar (same company as American Standard) and Coleman HVAC (same company as York HVAC).

Al’s also provides full service plumbing maintenance, repairs and replacements for every plumbing component in your home.  Al’s sells and installs Rheem Professional Series gas & electric water heaters, and tankless water heaters.  Al’s is near your home in Plano, Allen, and Frisco.  We service all homes in southern Collin and Denton Counties with no travel charges.

Call Al’s today to discuss any concerns or problems you have with your HVAC System or Plumbing.  We will arrange an appointment at your convenience and offer 24/7 Emergency Service.