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The Ticking Water Bomb in Your Home

The Ticking Water Bomb in Your Home

(NewsUSA)- Many homes built between the 1970s and the mid-1990s contain ticking water bombs.
Contractors thought polybutylene (PB) pipes would revolutionize home plumbing. PB pipes were lightweight, easy to cut and install, and only half the cost of the then-standard copper plumbing.
In the Mid-Atlantic, Pacific Northwest and Sun Belt states, PB plumbing became the norm. Experts estimate that 6 million to 10 million homes built between 1978 and 1995 contain PB plumbing.
The problem? Chlorine, a chemical present in every public water supply, degrades PB pipe and its fittings. Pipes develop fractures and small water leaks. Plumbing systems can then abruptly fail.
In the 1980s, failed PB plumbing systems caused millions of dollars in damage, leading to two class-action lawsuits. One lawsuit, Cox versus Shell, remains open until 2009.
PB pipes usually look blue or gray at the water main and where they enter the home, but they can be white or black as well. PB and copper pipes were sometimes installed together, so homeowners cannot always identify their pipes' material without professional help.
Homeowners with PB plumbing may need to install completely new plumbing systems. But in today's tough economy, replacing PB plumbing might not be an option for every American living in an older home.
New products let homeowners protect themselves and their homes from PB plumbing failures. One new product, the FloLogic system (, acts like a circuit breaker for plumbing systems. From the water main, the FloLogic System monitors a home's entire water system.
If a leak is detected, the FloLogic system turns off the water before the leak causes major damage. The system sounds an alarm at the keypad. The alarm can also be linked to a home's security system, so homeowners are instantly notified of problems.
The FloLogic system can prevent both water waste and water damage. Some insurance companies recognize its value, offering discounts to homeowners who install the FloLogic system.
If a home has PB pipes, its water system will eventually fail. The FloLogic system offers homeowners protection from their outdated plumbing.
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