The Plumbing Pipe Advocate
is urging home buyers to check their proposed home’s plumbing pipes to ensure they do not have defective plumbing pipes or defective plumbing tubes, fittings, Chinese made copper plumbing pipe or old cast iron plumbing pipe, because all of these types of plumbing pipes or plumbing systems should be replaced.
Types of Commonly Used Pipes and Possible Issues
- Chinese copper pipe in residential homes nationwide, 2005-to-prese
nt. (pin hole leaks because of inferior manufacturing):
- Pex piping systems are probably the most common pipe put in new homes in the USA since about 2009. The problem: The advocate has discovered one of the most popular brands may be failing. This could impact possibly millions of homeowners nationwide.
- Polybutylene Pipe in a million plus US homes installed between 1978 & 1995 (Class Actions and it probably should be replaced).
- Kitec plumbing systems used nationwide from the early 2000’s until 2004. (National Class Action. The brass fittings with the pipe were prone to fail because of poor metallurgy)
- Wirsbo PEX plumbing systems (brass fitting failures) 2000’s (National Class Action)
- CPVC pipes which are plastic with glued joints may break at the joint (2000’s-2017)
- Zurn F1807 Fittings (Defective brass fittings that were prone to fail because of bad metallurgy. Sold by Zurn between 1996 and 2010)
- Galvanized pipe was not subject to a class action. It was commonly used in US homes prior to 1980. Homes with galvanized plumbing pipe should probably be re-plumbed.
Most home buyers in the US will hire a home building inspector to check things like a roof, or how much life is left before the roof needs to be replaced. We are now urging a home buyer to include a plumbing inspection to verify the home does not need to be-piped. A home re-pipe could cost between $10,000 and $25,000 depending on the size of the home and what type of plumbing material is selected.
What Are The Consequences of Defective or Old Plumbing Pipes:
- Continuous plumbing leaks could cost a homeowner hundreds of dollars per year in plumbing repairs and or personal property damage.
- An undiscovered water leak could cause a side or section of the house to rot without the homeowner becoming aware of it before it is too late. If a defective pipe is responsible the homeowners insurance policy may not cover the damage because most standard homeowners insurance policies have a clause that indicates there is “no coverage for damage caused by a defective construction product.”
- A leaking water line could potentially cause foundation issues.
- A condo or single family homeowners association probably has a responsibility to inform potential buyers about defective plumbing. By not disclosing this information the HOA could be liable for concealing a known defect.
Our recommendation at least for now is if you have to re-pipe or replace a homes plumbing system please use American Made copper plumbing pipe. There have been too many problems with plastic pipes/Pex and we are pretty certain there will soon be more involving at least one major manufacturer.
Important Note: When it comes to purchasing pipe for your home only buy US made products.
Upcoming Events: We will soon be adding the names of specific US plumbing pipe manufacturers who stand behind their product and hopefully plumbing companies in US major metro areas who have experience re-piping homes.