What Does this Picture Say to You?

This is a common thing to see in homes of a certain age in Charlottesville and Albemarle and beyond. What does it say or mean to you?


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  1. Mark January 27, 2014 at 14:46

    Needs a new seal! Shut off the water at the curb and replace that seal, because if one of your pipes bursts turning that thing ain’t gonna stop the flow of water into your pipes.

  2. Phil V January 27, 2014 at 16:16

    Galvanized coming into the house, directly connected to copper, directly connected to a polybutylene hose that’s deteriorated and lost it’s seal because of the chorine in the water, causing the entire copper section to deteriorate. If that PB continues throughout the hose, all the supply lines need to be replaced.

  3. Amy Haden January 28, 2014 at 06:53

    Yes, as Phil says — PB piping — subject of a recall & lawsuit. Installed in houses in the 1990s (1980s also?). We just missed the recall as our house was built in early 1993. After reading about failed PB pipes in the news, we had all the PB replaced a few years later.

  4. anonymous January 28, 2014 at 19:56

    That doesn’t look like galvanized coming in, etc. but rather a 1/2″ Quest line supplying a hose bib (possibly not a frost-proof one hence the valve). The valve doesn’t need a new seal because the leaking isn’t occurring at the packing nut. Copper fittings in Quest have been an issue but problems usually manifest themselves first at elbows where the direction change in the flow of water usually causes them to fail before straight fittings like couplings or sweat adapters. Streaking on those pipes could just be a plumber who used lots of plasic and very little copper and forgot to wipe down his sweat fittings after soldering (the acid in flux will damage pipes over time if not cleaned off). Time to re-pipe with pex (unfinished basement will save $$ for the first floor at least) and swap out hose bibs for frost-proof.

  5. Jim Duncan February 3, 2014 at 15:22

    Polybutelyne plumbing – slowly but surely it will break, in my experience, and never at a convenient time.

    We have a lot of this in our area … and it’s always an interesting point in the negotiations.


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