Polybutylene pipe may be gray, white, blue or black. White, or black pipe may not be polybutylene. The safest way to check for polybutylene is to have a professional plumber thoroughly check the system. Polybutylene pipe connectors can be copper, brass, or plastic. The connector types are barbed with a crimp ring or compression with a plastic or metal ferrule.
Polybutylene is a form of plastic resin that was used extensively in the manufacture of water supply piping from 1978 until 1995. Due to the low cost of the material and ease of installation, polybutylene piping systems were viewed as “the pipe of the future” and were used as a substitute for traditional copper piping. It is most commonly found in the “Sun Belt” where residential construction was heavy through the 1980’s and early-to-mid 90’s, but it is also very common in the Mid Atlantic and Northwest Pacific states.