AugerPros Plumbing Blog

Quest Water Lines: A Plumbing Concern for Homeowners

If your house was built between the late 1970s and mid-1990s, you might have what’s known as Quest plumbing lines. These are gray, flexible pipes made of a material called polybutylene (PB). While they were hailed as a revolutionary plumbing solution at the time, they can become brittle and prone to leaks over the decades.

Here’s what you need to know about Quest water lines and why repairs aren’t a viable option:

Understanding Quest Water Lines

Quest is simply a brand name for polybutylene pipes. They were popular because they were:

  • Cost-effective: Less expensive than traditional copper pipes
  • Easy to install: Lightweight and could be connected with clamps instead of soldering
  • Durable: Initially thought to be resistant to freezing and corrosion

Why will my Quest Water Lines Possibly Fail?

There are a number of reasons why Quest piping might eventually fail. The industry behind Quest piping has claimed that there were no inherent problems in the pipes and tubing, but instead issues with the way they were originally installed, specifically with pipe connectors. However, it’s been suggested that the failures in Quest piping in the USA are most likely linked to differences in municipal chemical water supplies. This has led to Quest and any form of polybutylene no longer being approved as forms of plumbing material in building codes across the US.

Unfortunately, over time, polybutylene pipes can deteriorate due to:

  • Chlorine: Commonly added to municipal water supplies, chlorine can break down PB pipes.
  • Oxidation: Exposure to oxygen can degrade the material.
  • High water pressure: Excessive pressure can cause pipes to crack.

While a leaky Quest pipe might seem like a simple plumbing fix, here’s why repairs are generally not recommended:

  • Brittle Material: PB pipes become increasingly fragile as they age, making patching prone to future leaks.
  • Hidden Damage: Deterioration often occurs from the inside out, so a seemingly small leak might indicate more widespread pipe weakness.
  • Replacement Parts Availability: Finding compatible replacement parts for Quest pipes can be difficult.

Class Action Lawsuit Over Quest Pipes

Lawsuits were filed against Quest throughout the 1980s and well into the 1990s, alleging defective manufacturing and installation, resulting in damages amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars. Quest has never actually admitted to knowing that this plumbing was defective. But they nonetheless did agree to fund a class-action settlement.

What to Do if You Have Quest Water Lines

The safest course of action is to repipe your entire plumbing system with a modern material like copper or PEX (cross-linked polyethylene). While repiping is a significant investment, it can prevent future leaks and potential water damage. If you’re experiencing issues with leaks or have difficulty renewing your homeowner’s insurance due to Quest pipes, you might want to consider replacing your Quest piping. 

Here are some signs that may indicate you have Quest pipes and need to consider repiping:

  • Your house was built between the late 1970s and mid-1990s.
  • You have visible gray, flexible pipes.
  • You’ve experienced unexplained leaks.


Quest water lines were once a common plumbing solution, but age and material limitations make them a potential plumbing hazard. If you suspect you have Quest pipes in your home, give our Auger Pros team a call to discuss repiping options and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with a safe and reliable water delivery system.