Beware of Chinese-made copper pipes, pipe fittings, and other plumbing supplies not made in the U.S., consumer watchdog group Plumbing Pipe Advocate advises, adding that homeowners could find themselves with little legal recourse if they experience a major plumbing failure caused by defective materials.
According to the group, “As we have seen with other Chinese made building products such as toxic Chinese drywall, if the homebuilder goes broke because they used defective construction products the homeowner’s only recourse may be attempting [to] file a lawsuit against a Chinese company. As we saw with toxic Chinese drywall the Chinese do not stand behind the products they make.”
The group is referring to defective Chinese drywall that found its way into thousands of homes across the U.S. during the building boom between 2003 and 2008. The drywall emitted highly corrosive sulfuric fumes that ruined metal wiring and appliances, sickened homeowners, and forced many into bankruptcy.
The Plumbing Pipe Advocate, a unit of Washington D.C.-based America’s Watchdog, says it is especially urgent for homeowners who are about to start a major home improvement project or build a new home, condo, or other residence, to verify the property is plumbed with residential plumbing pipes and plumbing fittings that are made in the USA, which are made to industry and regulatory standards.
The group advises that if you are building or buying a new home or remodeling an existing one, to be sure the following plumbing materials are made in the U.S.:
- Copper residential plumbing pipe;
- Brass plumbing fittings;
- Pex pipe and or pex pipe systems;
- Cast iron plumbing pipe or fittings;
- Stainless steel plumbing pipe;
- Stainless steel plumbing pipe fittings.
“Prior to closing on the property, the home buyer should get the warranty information in writing on the pipe and or fittings from the builder. The Advocate fears if the largest home improvement stores in the USA are still selling Chinese made copper pipe or pipe fittings-some homebuilders may still be using these products because they are so cheap,” the Plumbing Advocate said.
The group says that it is concerned about serious problems with Chinese-made copper plumbing pipes that were used in residential construction between 2003 and 2012 in California and other western states. According to the Plumbing Pipe Advocate, Chinese copper pipe is being blamed for leaks in hundreds of new homes “and may not even be made out of copper,” which could pose serious health risks.
“We are confident the defective Chinese copper plumbing pipe disaster is going to affect hundreds of thousands of U.S. homeowners,” said Thomas Martin, director of America’s Watchdog.