Ever since QEST pipes were first installed in the late 70’s through the mid-90’s, there has been controversy.
QEST pipes (or polybutylene) are made of plastic resin. After several years of use, the pipes may flake and get very brittle. Once a section of the pipes has eroded, the pipes will eventually break and water stream out of the holes causing major water damage.
In fact, this plumbing system was so controversial, a class-action suit was filed and millions of dollars in repairs and replacements were awarded. Some homeowners have spent thousands of dollars replacing it while others have only made repairs. Ironically, others have continued to use QEST without any issues. Though these days you would be hard-pressed to find a newer home with QEST plumbing. Strict building codes in this area prohibit the installation of it.
Real estate agents also admit that it is more difficult to sell homes with this system. A home inspector may cite it as an issue but many prospective home buyers ignore it or decide to take their chances. Thankfully, there is no requirement to remove it. You just have to deal with it and make a decision if you do have it.
So, that brings up the major question: Should You Keep, Repair or Replace Your QEST Plumbing? There are several things to consider:
- Find out when QEST was installed. If it is ten years old or older, it may already be deteriorating. Typically, flaking has already occurred. There may be water damage evident on your ceilings. This damage may be in the
- See if there are any leaks. Some leaks can be replaced by splicing in a new section of PEX tubing. This worked sometimes but often one small repair soon led to more leaks.
- Check your local building codes. This one sounds quite boring but it is important. You may be required to replace it with metal water heater connections. If you plan to re-sell your home, you may also have some difficulty once a savvy prospect investigates and sees that it has QEST. You may have real difficulty selling it at your original market price.
- If any doubts, call your plumber. Have them inspect the pipes and make recommendations. A competent plumber will thoroughly check the pipes. Not all QEST needs to be replaced so beware of any plumber who says that without even inspecting it.
If you have QEST plumbing and need some advice, please call one of our licensed, professional plumbers at American Drain Cleaning and Plumbing in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. Please visit our website at www.americandraincleaningandplumbing.com. You can also call us at (610) 342-6852.