Does your home have Poly-B pipes for the interior plumbing of your home? If so, this could have implications for you as a homeowner in terms of renovation costs as well as home insurance policy premiums! In this post we will go over the history of Poly-B pipes, possible issues with them, and some suggestions on how to improve the plumbing if you do find Poly-B in a home.
History of Poly-B Plumbing
Poly-B is short for Polybutylene, and is a common gray plastic pipe found inside homes. It is used for the water supply. Estimates state that nearly 700,000 houses across Canada have Poly-B plumbing. For about 20 years since the early 1970s this type of piping was used in homes because they were thought to be a great material and relatively inexpensive. That is, until Poly-B pipes began to leak!
Possible Issues with Poly-B Pipes
One major issue with Poly-B pipes is that while they may look fine from the outside, they may be slowly deteriorating on the inside. Because of this, they could rupture suddenly, causing water damage and possibly mould growth (if not detected or fixed quickly). This has huge implications for homeowners as the cost of fixing the damage can be extensive and could mean higher insurance costs as well. The deterioration was especially common around the fittings of the pipes as they were often fitted too tight, causing cracks that were prone to eventually deteriorate and leak. Other known causes of Poly-B deterioration leaks are high water pressure, high heat, too many chemicals like chlorine, and/or improper installation.
How To Improve Poly-B Plumbing
Because the Poly-B fittings were especially prone to leaks, a common way to improve Poly-B pipes are to replace them with copper fittings instead. Other tactics used to help Poly-B plumbing last longer include ensuring you are using copper fittings, reducing the pressure, reducing chlorine levels, and keeping them away from high heat areas like hot water tanks etc..
Replacing Poly-B Pipes
Although the above tips can help Poly-B pipes last longer, the best solution to avoid any water damage and/or mould is to just replace them altogether. PEX or copper pipes are often recommended as good replacement alternatives to Poly-B. More often than not, you will probably have to replace the Poly-B pipes in your home eventually.
Contact Us For More Info!
As you can see, Poly-B plumbing in a home can be a liability to both the homeowner and home insurance providers. If you have Poly-B in your home, we encourage you to do everything you can to minimize the risks of leaks. If you have any more questions about Poly-B plumbing for your home, feel free to contact us today to discuss! We hope this article has been helpful and informative.