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Free Fixes For Faulty Pipes Available To Homeowners

Posted Updated

RALEIGH, N.C. — The following story originally aired Feb. 9, 2000

The plumbing in your house may be a leakwaiting to happen, especially if pipes aremade of polybutylene. It is a big problem, but homeowners who have had leaks areentitled to a big solution.

Polybutylene pipe was used in homes in North Carolina,and across the country, in the late 1970s through 1995.

The problem with is the pipe slowly deteriorates and eventually leaks.

Under a


manyhomeowners can get free repairs, although a lot ofthem still do not know that.

Polybutylene pipes have leaked in hundredsof thousands of homes across the country.

"I felt like my home was almost a time bomb," says homeowner ValerieChambliss. "You just never knew when it wasgoing to happen again, and I had been told once youhad a leak or two, you'd probably continue to havethem."

Under the terms of the class-action settlement, Chambliss got are-plumbing job, costing nearly $5,000, done for free.If you have polybutylene pipes that have leaked, so can you.

"Ninety percent of our business is polybutylene pipe replacement," saysKen O'Neill, who manages Plumbing Express inRaleigh.

O'Neill says the first thing homeowners need to do is find out whetherthey have polybutylene pipes.

"Look under your kitchen sink, in and around your hot water heater, or inthe crawl space," he says. "You can see you've got a plastic valve, and apoly supply tube, and you've got poly running to your dishwasher."

The main giveaway: if the pipes are gray, your pipesare most likely polybutylene.

Once you know you have polybutylene pipes, you should file a claim. Youwill need to provide documentation proving you have had at least one leakrepaired.

Once the claim is approved by settlement administrators, the job isput up for bid. Then, a contractor is assigned, and the pipe is replaced.

It can be a lengthy process, but Chambliss encourages homeownerswho have the pipe to get it replaced.

"Looking back on the week or two that my housewas a complete wreck, I would say it was worthit. I feel like I have peace of mind," she says.

The only way to qualify for repairs is to have had a leak.

You can get a claim form by calling

800-392-7591 or



This locally produced story was published more than 90 days ago, and some information in this online article may now be outdated. Exercise care when relying on archived material.


Monica Laliberte, Reporter
Robert Meikle, Photographer
Lori Lair, Producer
Michelle Singer, Web Editor

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