So, what is Poly-B piping, and should I be worried if it’s in my home?
Polybutylene was the piping of choice for new home builders from the late seventies until about 1995. It was a lightweight, easy-to-use, cost-effective option compared to copper piping. It seemed like a great choice at the time, but over the years the shortfalls of poly-b have become apparent.
SO WHAT’S THE PROBLEM? Initially, the issues weren’t with the piping at all. The hard plastic joints and elbows were known to crack and break, a problem solved in Canada mostly by using brass or copper. Another issue was the chlorine and heat of the water caused pinhole leaks through homes. There were also several issues with piping being stored outside prior to installation. Exposure to sunlight caused the plastic to deteriorate at an accelerated rate, requiring whole-home repiping. Additionally, poly-b is oxygen permeable; oxidized water can drastically shorten the life of boilers and water heaters.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE POLY-B PIPING IN MY HOME? Poly-B is easy enough to identify. You can check by opening any plumbing access or checking the plumbing connected to your water heater. You’re looking for grey, plastic tubing with permanent markings down the pipes. If you’re still not sure Kingstree Plumbing can come out and check for you.
OH NO! I HAVE POLY-B… NOW WHAT? Don’t panic! While poly-b will eventually fail, it’s unlikely to happen tonight. Eventually, though, you will need to repipe your house. Keep an eye out for small leaks and cracks in the meantime, and book a plumbing inspection with Kingstree Plumbing so you know just what’s going on in your home.
SO WHOLE HOME REPIPING? Eventually, every inch of poly-b will need replacing, not a small feat when it runs through your whole house. Kingstree Plumbing is here to help you through the process. Starting with a full plumbing inspection to assess your pipes and get you an accurate quote. Next, we’ll come up with a plan to get your home back in peak shape. Whether you plan to repipe the whole house at once or work through your home in stages, we can help you out.
CAN I GO THROUGH MY INSURANCE COMPANY? Kingstree Plumbing is happy to work with you and your insurance company. Most insurance companies don’t cover the replacement of poly-b piping, nor do they consider it an added risk.
WHAT OTHER OPTIONS DO I HAVE FOR REIMBURSEMENT? Although there are several class action lawsuits being settled throughout North America, those avenues have all closed. The government of Canada did offer a reimbursement program, but only if you finished your whole home replacement by May of 2005 or within 15 years of the installation, whichever was later.
HOW MUCH WILL THIS AFFECT ME AND MY FAMILY? Replacing poly-b is nearly always an invasive renovation, but likely less than you think. In terms of cost, it’s impossible to give you a quote without seeing the project. However, most repiping projects are comparable to other maintenance projects such as replacing your shingles or changing the carpet in your home. Plus, it can increase the value of your home as well; which makes it an excellent investment.
At Kingstree Plumbing we understand what a huge project this is, and the impact it will have on you and your family. From identifying the problem to making sure it’s taken care of Kingstree Plumbing cares about making your life as stress free as possible. Call Kingstree Plumbing and let us take care of you.
Looking for a plumbing repair service near you? Check out Kingstree Plumbing! We provide residential and commercial plumbing services, including plumbing repair, installation, water softeners, water heaters, gas fittings, sump pumps, humidifiers, and whole-house repiping.
It’s our goal to ensure you have an operational plumbing system you can always rely on, regardless of the issues you may experience.
Our professional plumbers offer only quality services to you, helping you keep your plumbing systems in good operating condition with efficient repairs and replacements when necessary.
Fill out our contact form for regular services and more information, or call 780-695-2792 for emergency services.
About The Author
Darren, Founder of Kingstree Plumbing, started in the trades over thirty years ago in England and has been plumbing for 17 years. He wrote his Red Seal certification upon immigrating to Canada in 2009. Living with his family in the Sherwood Park area, Darren found a community he loved. Kingstree Plumbing grew out of a desire to give back to the community that welcomed them so graciously.