Why Replace Polybutylene Water Pipes with PEX Piping in Your Manufactured Home?
Manufactured homes gained prominence from 1976. Up until 1996, polybutylene or PB pipes were the main material used for all the plumbing. If your home was manufactured within this period, chances are that they have a PB water piping system.
Almost all polybutylene piping systems use copper connectors. These connectors can fool you think that the entire piping system of your home is made of copper. If you want to be sure of the plumbing materials used in your manufactured home, conduct the inspections and subsequent replacement of the materials you do not want.
PB systems are known to start failing after 10-15 years. Beyond this time, you can expect the pipes to develop wholesale leaks.
Why replace the polybutylene water pipes?
They are no longer manufactured.
It means that you cannot find repair parts or fittings designed for this plumbing system. You cannot confidently repair your water system whenever there is a leak or blockage. Even if you get compatible fittings, they are usually expensive.
You are better off installing a material that is currently available in the market to make your future repairs and replacements easy. You can easily find metal and PEX materials in the market.
They can easily rupture.
A single rupture in a piping system can cause widespread water damage. PB systems are much prone to ruptures, especially as they age.
Oxidants in the water react with the material causing flaking. This process is continuous, eventually weakening the pipes. Homeowners’ insurance does not cover homes that have polybutylene plumbing because they deem them too risky.
Replacing PB is a safety measure, especially when the polybutylene pipes are old. Unfortunately, the remaining PB piping systems were installed in the 1990s, at least 20 years ago. Replacing them is now a matter of urgency.
Their appearance is misleading.
They deteriorate from the inside, which means you cannot observe the damage. You need a professional plumber to assess the status of the pipe. Sometimes you will need highly specialized tools to inspect the hard-to-reach areas.
They also rupture without warning causing extensive water damage, hence the need to get rid of them immediately when you notice them.
Why replace polybutylene with PEX piping in a manufactured home?
It is an upgrade to a superior product
Whenever you are doing any remodel or renovations project, you want to end up with a superior product. Certainly, replacing polybutylene with a superior product like PEX piping is recommended.
They are much flexible than polybutylene
If you buy the correct PEX piping grade, PEX-A or PEX-B, you can easily bend it to the desired liking. PEX-A is a bit expensive compared to PEX-B, making PEX-B the preferred grade for residential and commercial buildings. This flexibility makes it possible to reduce the number of connectors that you need to complete any connection.
PEX-C is not very flexible and may not be suitable for water piping systems. Overall, PEX simplifies the piping system by adding durability and ease of installation.
They are resistant to corrosion
Most other piping materials will start corroding every time they are exposed to oxidants, chemicals, or any other material that will encourage degradation. PEX pipes resist corrosion, preventing pinholes and pits common in piped water systems.
Unlike other materials that are not coded correctly, PEX is coded correctly, including red, blue, white, and gray. You can use white and gray in hot and cold-water systems. However, red and blue are used exclusively for hot and cold-water systems, respectively.
This color-coding is perfect for complex systems that require clear labeling and accuracy.
PEX is generally safe
Even in freezing conditions, the pipes provide the required expansion to prevent the pipes from bursting. If you are also worried about lead contamination, PEX is lead-free and can handle even high-pressure water sources.
If the installation is done professionally, you have nothing to worry about for a very long time. A good plumber will know where to use push fittings, compression fittings, clamps, or crimps connections.
No water hammers
Unlike in metal piping, water passing through PEX pipes will run smoothly without making noises. It can also fit snuggly into the existing metal pipes, especially those from the mains or the water heater. All you must do is to get the right connectors for the job. You do not need the soldering of the pipes.
You cannot use PEX in water heater connections, but it is perfect for ferrying hot water from the source because of its insulating properties. Besides, PEX degenerates quite rapidly when exposed to UV light. Do not use it outdoors because it will not give you reliable service.
Ensuring that the plumbing system of your manufactured home is in good condition is imperative. It can determine how long you can continue to enjoy the services of your property.