Feb 19, 2021

Replace Your Old and Recalled Poly-B Pipes

If you have poly-b plumbing in your home, it is inevitable that you will be replacing it at some point. Poly-b (polybutylene) plumbing was installed in as many as 700,000 homes in Canada between 1978-1995. At the time, it was popular with builders because it was much cheaper than copper, and it was easy to install. However, it became apparent that poly-b was not suitable for plumbing – over time the flexible pipes began to burst and leak. Many homeowners suffered devastating damages, and a major class-action lawsuit took place which paid out over $20 million to homeowners. Unfortunately, payouts were only available if you replaced your plumbing before 2005, or within 15 years of being installed. There are still many people who have poly-b plumbing in their homes, which is a disaster waiting to happen.

How to Tell if You Have Poly-B

You can identify if your home has polybutylene pipes by removing a few tiles in your basement ceiling. Poly-b is flexible, light-grey in color, and has markings on the tubing. Poly-b is unable to withstand high pressures and high temperatures of whole home plumbing. 

Q&A With Homeowners About Poly-B

“My home has poly-b and it looks fine from the outside. Why should I replace it?”

One of the main issues with poly-b is that the pipes deteriorate from the inside-out. This means that, while the pipes may appear ok to the naked eye, this does not necessarily mean they are not eroded, and prone to rupture at any time.

“Can I simply hire a plumber to patch up poly-b leaks when they occur?”

The answer to this is a complicated one. While a professional plumber can repair poly-b leaks when they occur, this is hardly a long-term answer. The issue with patching up your poly-b is that you are in an uphill battle that you are bound to eventually lose. You may have other leaks that occur in different sections of your plumbing lines at any given time. Patching up your poly-b often becomes more costly in the long run, and it also leaves you in harm’s way of a potentially disastrous plumbing leak. 

“I am selling a home that has poly-b pipes. What should I do?”

If you are the seller, you may consider replacing the poly-b water lines prior to selling. Having new plumbing lines in your home is a huge selling point for buyers. Having poly-b lines in your home is a huge negative for potential buyers. A buyer will probably ask to have this done or to have the costs of doing so considered when coming up with their asking price. If you do not wish to replace the plumbing before selling, you should at least receive a quote to have this job done. That was you can be prepared with it, and if the buyer asks for a price reduction because of the poly-b, you can be certain the amount is reasonable.

“I am a homebuyer, and I found a home I love but it has poly-b water lines. Should this deter me from making an offer, and what else should I consider?”

If you are a home buyer looking at a home with poly-b, you shouldn’t let that deter you from acquiring the home of your dreams! While poly-b replacement is something that you will need to consider in the foreseeable future, and you may also factor this into your asking price. You could ask the seller to provide an estimate from a reputable plumbing company in the area on the cost of replacing the whole system. Don’t forget that you will also have to consider there will be some cosmetic repairs that will need to occur, like drywall and ceiling repairs, as some areas will need to removed to complete the installation. You may also consider adding a condition to your offer regarding the poly-b replacement and remediation. You can ask your realtor for their recommendations on adding this as a buyer’s condition. You will also want to hire a reputable home inspector who will thoroughly check for leaks, moisture issues, and/or mold/mildew. You should also check with your insurance company, as many insurers are becoming more reluctant to provide flood coverage if you do not have this system replaced. Lastly, you can ask the seller for any repair and maintenance records related to the water lines, as well as full disclosure of any previous leaks or floods that may have occurred.

Say Goodbye to Cracked, Leaking Poly-B Pipes 

Never fear another plumbing leak again. Call the expert plumbers in Edmonton at Always Plumbing & Heating today for a FREE estimate on your whole home poly-b replacement. We will send an extensively-trained plumbing team to your home to inspect your system and provide a straightforward price on the replacement. 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. We also offer in-house financing with affordable monthly payment plans which is a favourite of our customers. 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.

For a limited time*, with your whole home poly-B replacement, you will receive a FREE fully installed Flo by Moen whole home flood protection system. Your new water lines combined with a smart, mainline leak detection and shutoff valve, will offer you peace of mind when it comes to your home’s plumbing system. The best way to avoid water damages is to prevent it, and that is exactly what you will receive when you have your poly-b replaced and a Flo by Moen installed in your home. 

*Offer available until December 31, 2021