If you have a ManaBloc plumbing system, you might not even hear the word until something goes wrong. Unfortunately, by that point, you’re probably in for a headache. While the initial problem often seems like a simple leak, nothing is simple about repairing a worn out ManaBloc system. The failure rate of systems installed decades ago is spreading like an epidemic, and unsuspecting homeowners are paying the price.
In its original concept, the ManaBloc system seemed to promise everything a new home needed for a plumbing system; convenience and easy installation at a cheaper cost. The ManaBloc is a modular control panel that regulates the hot and cold water flow to every faucet in your home. Every appliance and faucet that requires water has it’s own designated piping system, and all the shut-off valves are located in one convenient place. A big part of the appeal of this type system is the ability to turn off the water to only one faucet for a repair instead of using a shut-off for the entire house. Twenty years later, homeowners are stuck with an outdated system that’s impossible to repair without risking additional damage.
If you have an aging ManaBloc plumbing system and the panel isn’t leaking, there’s only one type of advice you should know. Don’t touch it! The panels usually don’t leak if you leave them alone. Like most plumbers, we will not touch a ManaBloc panel to make a plumbing repair. Instead, we turn off the water to the entire unit. The reason? We don’t want to make things worse. Using a shutoff valve that hasn’t been used in over a decade almost always results in a leak that can’t be stopped. A drip will turn into a steady leak that can do serious damage to your home over time.
ManaBloc service is impossible. They cannot be repaired. They must be replaced.
Practically all problems with a ManaBloc plumbing system are age-related. Pipes, fixtures, and connectors wear out over time, leading to leaks and water damage. To top it off, the ManaBloc system was all about cutting expenses, which means the parts are cheap and prone to damage. While some systems might not experience issues, these problems are common in ManaBloc systems.
The most common problem with a ManaBloc plumbing system is a leaking panel. Similar to an electric fuse box, a ManaBloc panel is often left alone until a repair is needed. This means the shutoff valves on the panel may go unused for years. The homeowner uses one of the shutoff valves to make a plumbing repair, and when the water is turned back on, the valve begins to drip. These leaks are usually impossible to stop and replacement parts are unavailable due to the age of the system. Even worse, attempting to fix the problem could lead to broken fixtures or additional leaks.
Most of the older systems used polybutylene piping, which is now known to fail over time. Polybutylene is a form of plastic piping that was a popular replacement for copper pipes. The plastic was a popular choice due to its ability to withstand pressure and inexpensive production. It was later discovered that polybutylene reacts negatively to chlorine, causing flaking and weakened pipes. Damaged pipes may be leaking within your home for long periods of time before water damage is visible. Unfortunately, checking pipes for potential damage is impossible because the damage occurs on the inside of the pipes.
Odd Pipe Sizes
While plumbing parts are widely available at home improvement stores and plumbing supply chains, finding supplies to fit a ManaBloc system can be difficult. Odd pipe sizes often require special crimping tools to fix leaks or other pipe damage.
When you purchase a home, it’s unlikely you’ll learn about every repair that was made in the past. If your ManaBloc panel has empty ports, it’s probably because polybutylene pipes have failed and been repaired. Instead of replacing entirely new piping all the way back to the ManaBloc panel, the damage was likely repaired in one spot and routed to a closer point in the system. These types of repairs leave homeowners with the potential for leaks in unexpected areas.
Low Pressure and High Water Bills
If you experience a drop in water pressure and your water bill keeps going up, you may have a hidden leak. Water leaking under the house can undermine the foundation and waste gallons of water. Leaky pipes inside the house can lead to dangerous mold growth and serious damage inside walls and ceilings. Low pressure is commonly seen in aging ManaBloc systems and it shouldn’t be ignored. Finding the underlying cause can prevent serious damage to your home.
ManaBloc repair isn’t likely to be a workable solution for any plumbing problem, but a replacement panel can be used to make repairs. While the old ManaBloc systems had serious design flaws, newer panels are more dependable. It’s important to ensure the proper tools are used for installation and directions are followed to the letter to ensure the warranty stays intact. Special fittings and fixtures may be required, so it’s necessary to ensure all materials are available before beginning repairs.
If your home is equipped with a ManaBloc system. and there is water damage in other areas of the house, the pipes are likely to blame. Unfortunately, most of these systems used polybutylene piping throughout the home. Leaks often appear suddenly in ceilings or behind walls. Additional leaks may go unnoticed underneath the home as well. It’s vital to get these problems fixed immediately to avoid serious water damage and dangerous mold growth. Replacing these aging pipes is the best way to repair existing leaks and eliminate future ones. A residential re-pipe can also add value to your home since homes with polybutylene pipes aren’t eligible for insurance.
To learn more about Manabloc system problems and replacement, contact Villiage Plumbing today. We’re happy to answer your questions and get your plumbing system back on track. We provide service you can trust at affordable fair prices. Call us today, or fill out our convenient online contact form.