August 19, 2019
Poly-B (polybutylene) is a flexible plastic plumbing piping that was commonly used in homes built between 1978-1995. Poly-b was popular for builders as it was much cheaper than copper piping, and it was installed in over 700,000 Canadian homes.
Poly-b piping is generally light grey in color with copper connections and elbows. You can easily identify if your home has poly-b piping, by removing a few ceiling tiles in your basement, such as in your utility room, and viewing the pipes in the ceiling of your basement. If your ceilings are drywalled, you can check in your mechanical room at your water meter or the pipes coming from the top of your water tank. If the pipes are grey plastic with copper connections, it is likely that your home has poly-b piping.
Poly-b piping was discontinued several years ago because over time the pipes began to burst and leak. As homes begin to age, more problems arise with this type of piping, causing devastating effects for the homeowner. Subsequent insurance claims can take years to resolve, and that is subject to if your home insurance policy will even cover the claim. Poly-b has been through so many lawsuits that many insurance companies will not cover you at all if this piping fails, or they will refuse to insure you until you have it replaced. With poly-b piping, there is a very strong possibility that it will fail.
Getting reimbursement through a lawsuit against poly-b is no longer an option. Poly-b paid over 20 million dollars in a class-action lawsuit, but the reimbursements were only available if your system was replaced by 2005 or within 15 years of being installed. The reimbursement only covered 25% of the system and 25% of the damages. The safest thing that a homeowner can do is be proactive by having their system replaced, in a procedure known as whole-home re-piping, before pipes begin to leak. Repairing sections of poly-b piping is not a solution, as once they start leaking, the problem will keep returning in more areas than one. The cost of replacing poly-b piping will vary depending on the size of your home. The expert plumbers at Always Plumbing & Heating will remove the poly-b pipes from your entire home and transition them to pex piping. This can be an expense upfront, but it will protect you from future devastation that would be sure to happen if leaving poly-b piping in your home. If you have any questions about poly-b piping in your Edmonton and area home, please do not hesitate to contact the professionals at Always Plumbing & Heating, your local experts in whole home re-piping.