Terms & Definitions

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ACETAL: A type of plastic used in the manufacture of fittings for PB plumbing systems.

ADAPTER FITTING: A fitting used where PB pipe connects to a plumbing fixture, such as the connection to faucets and toilet tanks and other types of pipe. These are not insert fittings.

CLASS MEMBER: All persons and entities that (1) own real property or structures in the United States in which there was installed between January 1, 1978 and July 31, 1995, polybutylene plumbing with acetal insert or metal insert fittings or a polybutylene yard service line; (2) own or previously owned such real property or structures and have already incurred any cost or expense, by reason of leakage from, or from failure, repair, or removal of, all or any portion of such polybutylene plumbing or yard service line which was installed between January 1, 1978 and July 31, 1995; or (3) will own such real property or structures during the term of entitlement to relief under the Settlement Agreement. Class Member does not include purchasers under a contract for deed or other tenants who are not owners of such real property or structures. Class members must own property at a time during which a qualified leak or yard system leak could occur.

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COMPRESSION FITTING: A fitting which attaches one or more components of the plumbing system using nuts which screw onto a threaded body. Compression fittings allow components to be assembled by screwing the pieces together without special tools. These are commonly used to make repairs to the PB plumbing system. Leaks involving compression fittings are not covered.

CONSUMER PLUMBING RECOVERY CENTER (CPRC): The claims resolution facility established and approved by the Court to administer relief provided for under the terms of the Settlement Agreement.

CPVC: Chlorinated Polyvinyl Chloride. A plastic plumbing material similar to PVC, but rated for use in hot water systems.

CRIMP RING: A metal ring used with insert fittings that slides over the PB pipe and is crimped using a crimp tool in order to seal the connection between the pipe and the fitting. Crimp rings may be either aluminum or copper.

DATE OF PB PLUMBING INSTALLATION: The respective date that a PB Plumbing System or PB Yard Service Line was installed.

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FITTING: The component in a plumbing system that connects two or more pieces of pipe together.

FUSION FITTING: A non-insert fitting. The pipe slides into the fitting and then is fused with the pipe using a heat process. Very unlikely that this would be used for a repair. Leaks involving a fusion fitting are not covered.

HEAT RECOVERY SYSTEMS: Systems designed to pump potable water into pipe coils placed in the exhaust of an air conditioner compressor/heat exchange unit. The heat that is removed from the property is taken by the refrigerant to the unit where a fan blows it out into the atmosphere. By placing water filled coils in the path of this hot air, the normally discarded heat is used to heat water. This water is returned to the property's water heater. The system is fully integrated with the potable water system and is covered under the Settlement if the system meets all other criteria, such as plastic or metal insert fittings.

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HOT WATER HEATING SYSTEM: This system, which is properly called a Hydronic Heating System, is one which utilizes hot water to heat the living spaces within a building. The heat source may be any of a variety of sources including dedicated heaters or domestic potable hot water heaters. There are basically two types of Hydronic Heat systems, Radiant Heat Systems and Forced Air Heat Systems.

  • Radiant Heat Systems are systems which use heat exchange units throughout the living spaces. These units heat the spaces by simply allowing the heat from water flowing through them to radiant out into the spaces. There are no fans involved, the water is caused to flow through the system by a pump. There are several types of these, some utilize radiators, some utilize baseboard heaters and some simply have lengths of pipe coiled about in the walls, ceiling and slabs of the building.
  • Forced Air Systems are systems which use fans to force air from the living spaces of a building to flow through a heat exchange unit. Hot water is caused to flow through the heat exchange. The air is heated by the water and returns to the living spaces to start the cycle all over again. Examples of these are Apollo and AquaTherm heating systems.

Any system or sub-system which uses water for the purpose of distributing heat rather than for the traditional uses of potable water (e.g. drinking, cooking, washing and bathing) is not a covered system. The potable water system ends at such point as may be identified by a valve which isolates the heat system from the potable water system. That point may simply be a Tee-off from the potable water.

INSERT FITTING: Type of fitting, which is inserted into the pipe in order to connect two or more pieces of pipe. After the fitting is inserted into the pipe a crimp ring is placed over the pipe and fitting in order to create a seal. Covered insert fittings are those fittings which are composed of acetal or copper and have an insert connector at every connection.

LEAK: Leak means any verifiable failure in any component of a PB Plumbing System leading to unwanted discharge of water exclusive of (1) a leak in the first year of any applicable warranty period provided by the unit's builder, contractor or manufacturer (2) a leak resulting from abuse of such system or circumstances unrelated to ordinary use of such system, including acts of nature (e.g. earthquake, fire, flood, hurricane, tornado, etc.) (3) a leak that may be repaired without cutting the wall in or at (a) a valve, or (b) a riser (which is the connecting line from a shut-off valve to a fixture) or an adapter to a fixture and (4) a leak in an ice-maker line.

When the source of the water leak is not easily found, a leak detection specialist may be needed.

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LEAK EXPENSES: The reasonable and necessary unreimbursed costs for repairing qualified leaks (including repair of access damage) in the PB plumbing system and any physical damage to such claimant's tangible property directly resulting from a qualifying leak.

MANIFOLD: A device for distributing plumbing lines from a central location into a number of different directions in order to reach various fixtures or various portions of the home. Manufactured manifold systems are typically installed without fittings. Such systems are not covered unless they contain acetal-plastic or metal insert fittings.

MIXED FITTING SYSTEM: A system with both plastic and metal insert fittings as original installation. A system that has been repaired by installing metal fittings to replace original plastic fittings is not a Mixed System.

MOBILE HOME: Manufactured housing constructed according to Federal Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards (HUD Title 6). Mobile property constructed with an undercarriage for wheels. A mobile home may later be affixed to a foundation making a more permanent installation. Not to be confused with a modular home.

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MODULAR HOME: Manufactured housing designed for assembly on the home site and built in accordance with a "Specification Code" administered by each state, generally following the national Uniform Building Code (UBC). These structures are transported to a location with the intent to remain affixed to that location indefinitely.

MULTI-UNIT PROPERTY: Any dwelling or complex of dwellings with five or more units and/or a commercial property.

PB PLUMBING SYSTEM: That portion of any potable water distribution system with an Installation Date between January 1, 1978 and July 31, 1995, which is within a structure and is composed of Polybutylene Pipe with acetal or metal insert fittings (or any combination thereof). PB Plumbing System does not include PB Yard Service Line.

PB YARD SERVICE LINE: That portion of any potable water distribution system with an Installation Date between January 1, 1978 and July 31, 1995, which extends from the water company cutoff valve or a water source to the transition to the inside plumbing system in or at the structure (excluding the meter) and which is composed of Polybutylene Pipe with or without metal or acetal fittings.

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PB YARD SERVICE LINE REPLACEMENT: The replacement of a PB Yard Service Line with a PVC or other equivalent non-polybutylene yard service system that conforms to all applicable codes and standards and repair of the premises to return the premises, as nearly as practicable and reasonable, to the condition existing prior to the Qualifying Yard Service Leak.

PB2110M: Polybutylene pipe labeled PB2110m is not covered by the Settlement.

POLYBUTYLENE (PB) PIPE: Potable water pipe or tubing made from polybutylene resin manufactured and/or sold by Shell Oil Company.

P0LYETHYLENE: Derived from a polymer developed in the 1950's. This pipe is a rigid typically black product used in both sewer and water lines. In 1997 the pipe was also produced blue with black interior or black with a blue stripe. This pipe is typically labeled with either HDPE or MDPE. It is not covered under this Settlement.

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POLYSULFONE FITTING: A type of plastic insert fitting, typically black in color, manufactured by Vanguard. Found mainly in newer manufactured homes. System composed of and/or leaks occurring in these fittings are not covered.

POTABLE: The potable water system is the portion of the plumbing system that carries water to fixtures such as faucets. Potable water is used for drinking, cooking, bathing, and washing.

PVC: Polyvinyl Chloride. A plastic plumbing material, typically white or black, used primarily for yard service pipe, outdoor irrigation systems or interior drain, waste and vent systems.

REPAIR: To fix only the leaking fitting or leaking section of pipe that has experienced or is experiencing a failure. Not a complete removal and/or replacement of the PB water system.

REPLUMB (Repipe): The replacement of an interior PB plumbing system in a specific "Unit" with Type M copper, CPVC or other equivalent non-polybutylene plumbing system that conforms to all applicable codes and standards, and repair of access damage to return the "Unit", as nearly as practicable, to the condition existing prior to the Replumb.

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RISER: A small diameter PB supply tube with a molded end used to connect from a valve to a fixture, typically under sinks and at commodes.

SHUTOFF VALVE: This valve is close to the house or inside the house and shuts the water off to the interior water lines. This is not the meter valve.

SINGLE FAMILY PROPERTY: A property that is ordinarily expected to be occupied by a single family, irrespective of the relationship, if any, between or among the actual occupants. Commonly referred to as site built homes. For more information see the UNIT definition for a Type I Unit.

SOLAR HOT WATER SYSTEMS: Systems designed to heat water for the potable water system. These are not designed to heat living spaces. These are usually installed as an auxiliary system that works in conjunction with a standard water heater.

TRANSITION P0INT: The point at which the main service or distribution line connects to the interior plumbing system either inside the property or outside the property. Transition points vary depending on type of property.

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UNIT: A Unit means any real property or structure, or part thereof, situated in the United States with a PB Plumbing System or PB Yard Service Line. A Type I Unit is a single family site-built or modular residence, a single family dwelling unit in a duplex, triplex or quadruplex dwelling, a single-family unit in a condominium, a single family townhouse unit in a townhouse development, an apartment in an apartment building or complex, and each part of a commercial or other structure (e.g., a public or governmental structure, office building, store, shopping center, retail mall, factory, workshop, warehouse, garage, library, auditorium, museum, hospital, club, or public or private school, college or university) occupied by a single tenant or tenant group. When a structure other than a single family dwelling includes a common area with plumbing service, such as a common area restroom, laundry room, recreation room, clubhouse or communal kitchen, or plumbing servicing more than one unit, each such discrete area or plumbing system shall be considered to constitute an individual Unit separate and distinct from the other individual Units in the structure. A Type II unit shall mean a mobile home. Unit does not include boats, recreational vehicles, travel trailers, or other motorized vehicles or vehicles intended for regular use on public roads, nor shall it include any aspect of any municipal or other water service system upstream from the water company cutoff valve.

VALVE: A device used for turning the water supply on and off. Often referred to as "stops." The mechanical failures of such valves are not covered.

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