12:12PM | 05/13/04
Member Since: 03/23/04
71 lifetime posts
I'm purchasing a home that has a Vanguard (superflow)Manifold plumbing system.

I've never seen this before, no copper pipes...polybutylene pipes. In the utility room there is a panel very similar to an electrical panel. It has red and blue levers next to the water sources (bathroom, kitchen etcy)just like you would shut off electricty to various parts of a home. Since this is a reposession I have no opportunity to ask the past owner about how this operates.

I've gone to the Vanguard website but can't find any advice concerning how this thing operates. It would have been installed about 1994, the year it was built.

any advice, warnings etc?


01:01PM | 05/13/04
Member Since: 03/23/04
71 lifetime posts
polybutylene seems to have some major problems!!! Is this the case with every one that has these pipes, can I look forward to replacing the entire plumbing system???

Fortunately the contract is contingent on a satisfactory home inspection, I suspect this would fall under the MAJOR DEFECT clause.


06:02PM | 05/13/04
Member Since: 06/06/03
1248 lifetime posts
Hello Julie,

I am no expert in these matters, but there have definitely been class-action suits regarding polybutylene pipe. I think you're doing the right thing by researching before you buy.

No house is perfect, but "Buyer Beware!" is appropriate.


-k2 in CO

Moderator, Miscellaneous Forum


01:01AM | 05/14/04
Member Since: 03/23/04
71 lifetime posts
The exact same thought is going thru my mind, no house is perfect.

Can you suggest a way I might be able to understand the kind of risk I am taking? I know there is a class action suit, but where might find the % of failure rate? I have a call into a local plumber but he hasn't called back yet.

This is a ranch on a crawlspace, I've been in the crawlspace and see no signs of leaks. I see no signs of leaks in the bathroom or kitchen. I've called the water company and they have no record of excessive water usage, just the normal bills for a 3 to 4 person family.



doug seibert

04:36AM | 05/14/04
Member Since: 08/10/02
843 lifetime posts
You can read about the pipes in the FAQ at the bottom of the page..........The Vanguard systems I have seen are PEX (cross linked poly)which is NOT part of the PBLawsuit...............

"The Cox vs. Shell settlement involves certain polybutylene plumbing systems installed between January 1, 1978 and July 31, 1995. Claimants may be eligible for a replacement of their plumbing system at no charge and/or a leak expense reimbursement if they qualify. Claimant must presently own or have previously owned a home plumbed with a polybutylene plumbing system and they must have experienced a qualifying leak. Claimant can complete a claim eligibility form on line at or request a claim eligibility form from by calling 1-800-392-7591 or by writing to the Consumer Plumbing Recovery Center (CPRC) at PO Box 869006, Plano, TX 75086-9006. The CPRC will review the form and determine the claimant’s eligibility. For more details visit



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