Poly B Plumbing Kelowna

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Kelowna Poly B Repipe - What is Polybutylene?

Poly b piping in a residential property

Poly B Plumbing Concerns & Regulatory Actions

In the early 1980s homes with polybutylene pipes began to spring leaks—often these were tiny, pinhole leaks that aren’t always obvious until they’ve caused significant damage in walls and ceilings. Many lawsuits were filed complaining of allegedly defective manufacturing and improper installation, causing hundreds of millions of dollars in damages. 

By the mid-1980s, insurance companies began noticing a pattern of leaks in homes equipped with poly B piping. This issue raised substantial concerns about its long-term reliability. By 1995, most professionals in the construction industry ceased using poly B in residential projects. Furthermore, in 1997, the National Plumbing Code, governing plumbing trades in Canada, officially banned the use of poly B. In 2005, the NRC-CNRC National Plumbing Code and the Government of Canada removed poly B from the list of acceptable plumbing materials. Consequently, in the Okanagan region, homes constructed between 1978 and 1995 are typically the homes with domestic poly B water piping.

Now we know, decades later, that polybutylene is prone to leaks 10-15 years after installation. 

Over time, exposure to chlorine, oxidants, and UV rays weakens the pipes, causing them to become brittle and prone to cracks, leaks, and even bursts. Additionally, fittings used with poly B plumbing were often made of metal, which can corrode and further exacerbate the issues.

The oxidants in water supplies—and chemicals such as chlorine—react with the polybutylene pipes and their fittings, slowly degrading the plastic and making it brittle. Different cities and municipalities have different minerals in their water supplies, and some are more strenuous on piping materials than others. Tiny cracks form inside the plastic pipes, and the structural integrity of the pipes is reduced. The pipes can fail without warning, causing pinhole leaks which can damage the structure and belongings. Other factors such as poor installation can certainly contribute to the failure of polybutylene systems, but it’s nearly impossible to detect installation problems in a home when most of the plumbing system is concealed behind walls, ceilings, and floors.

Due to their unreliability and the potential for extensive water damage if they fail, it is highly recommended to replace Poly B plumbing in homes with more durable and long-lasting plumbing materials like PEX (cross-linked polyethylene) to ensure the safety and integrity of the plumbing system. This proactive measure can save homeowners from costly repairs and damage caused by water leaks.

Urgent Concerns Associated With Poly B Piping In Your Home

If your home contains Poly B plumbing, you must act swiftly to address the following critical concerns:

Poly B piping poses an immediate threat to your property’s integrity. The longer you delay, the higher the risk of unexpected leaks and excessive water wastage. These leaks can go undetected for extended periods, leading to severe structural damage and significant utility bills.

Poly B pipes are notorious for developing tiny, hard-to-spot pinhole leaks. These insidious leaks may seem minor, but they can unleash a cascade of problems, including water damage, mold growth, and compromised indoor air quality. Don’t wait for these silent threats to escalate.

The damage caused by poly B leaks isn’t limited to what you can see. Water can infiltrate your walls and ceilings, weakening the structural integrity of your home and leading to costly repairs. Replacing poly B piping promptly can prevent extensive and expensive damage down the line.

Insurance companies are increasingly wary of homes with poly B plumbing due to its history of leaks and damages. You might face higher insurance premiums or even difficulty obtaining coverage if you delay taking action. Protect your home and your insurance options by addressing this issue immediately.

If you plan to sell your home, having poly B pipes can be a significant deterrent for potential buyers. Many are aware of the risks associated with this type of plumbing, and it can negatively impact your home’s marketability and value. Acting promptly to replace poly B pipes will make your home more attractive to buyers and increase your home’s value.

Don’t wait for these poly B piping concerns to escalate into costly disasters. The urgency of addressing these issues cannot be overstated. Contact Vision Plumbing immediately to consult with our experts and ensure the safety and integrity of your home’s plumbing system. Our experienced team is ready to provide you with the necessary guidance and swift solutions. Protect your home, your investment, and your peace of mind – reach out to us now for immediate assistance. Your proactive action today can save you from a costly disaster tomorrow.

How to Tell if You Have Poly B Plumbing

Poly B pipes are typically grey in colour with a dull, matte finish. The most common diameter is 1/2” or 3/4”—the same as most residential copper piping.

To check for poly B plumbing inside your home, look near your hot water tank, running across the ceiling in your utility room, crawlspace, or unfinished basement, under your kitchen sink, and penetrating walls to supply sinks and toilets.

To check for poly B plumbing outside your home, start by taking a look at your water main. Polybutylene water mains are usually grey, blue, or black (note that black poly B can look similar to polyethelene piping).

Quick tip: the water main usually enters the home near the water heater, right before your main shutoff valve.

residential poly b pipe replacement needed in a client's home.

Check service piping as well as your water main. Service piping is usually 1″ in diameter, and it may be found entering your home through a penetration in the concrete slab (either the floor or wall in the basement or crawlspace). 

Canadian residents can look for the common piping manufacturer’s stamps, or identifying codes, on their pipes to determine if they are poly B. These codes usually look like one of the following:

Note: The absence of these codes doesn’t necessarily mean the plumbing is not poly B. If the plumbing material meets all the other criteria, it could still be polybutylene, and you should have your pipes inspected by a professional to confirm. 

Contact Vision Plumbing Heating Cooling to help confirm if you have Poly B plumbing.

How to Replace Poly B Plumbing

If you determine that you have poly B pipes in your home, it is important to replace them as soon as possible in order to prevent severe damage and costly emergency repairs when they do eventually fail. Replacing poly B plumbing is a big job that requires expertise, so do not try to do it yourself. We always recommend replacing the entire system with new PEX piping, which is durable and has a long lifespan. Vision Plumbing Heating Cooling offers specialized poly B replacement services to homeowners in Kelowna and the surrounding area. Trust our team for expert poly B replacement services.

Poly B Replacement Cost

The cost to replace poly B piping in your home will be dependent on a number of factors, including how much piping needs to be replaced, the size of your home, and the complexity of the installation. Because of this, the estimated cost to replace an entire system can be anywhere between $4,000 and $20,000. If you have poly B plumbing in your home, don’t wait to have them replaced! Get in touch today and let us know the specifics of your project. We’ll be more than happy to provide you with an accurate cost estimate.

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Trusted by Kelowna & Surrounding Areas

Vision Plumbing Heating Cooling has been trusted for our high standards, ethical practices, and commitment to customer satisfaction across Kelowna, Vernon, Penticton, & surrounding areas throughout the Okanagan Valley since 1986.

Family owned and operated since 1986. At Vision, we see your solution!

Vision Plumbing Heating Cooling:
Elevating Service Every Season

Louise KitchinLouise Kitchin
23:56 22 May 24
Fast efficient knowledgeable and friendly
02:54 09 May 24
I think it was Kirk or Curt - Didn't quite catch it but had an amazing experience at Brandts Crossing. He explained the whole job upon arrival. The guys walked in with shoes off, socks on, laid down drop sheets. Very neat and tidy and even vacuumed all areas. Definitely recommending Vision to my friends. All of my pipes settled nicely.
Fiona LehnFiona Lehn
20:28 07 May 24
I call Vision for all plumbing and HVAC repairs and servicing. They are always extremely competent, communicative, and thorough, and they have even offered preventative solutions that increased efficiency and saved me money. They're the BEST!
Mandi CarrollMandi Carroll
21:55 02 May 24
Kjel was in our apartment building doing maintenance on our swamp cooler and was very courteous and informative. Glad Vision is looking after our building!
Judy BoyczukJudy Boyczuk
18:54 02 May 24
Just had Kjel up to clean and service our ductless heat pump. He was so nice and did a good job, while he was here my elderly husband fell (Nothing to do with Kjel) Kjel was very concerned and helped with getting him up. Wonderful, caring young man.Judy
Emily McDuffEmily McDuff
23:36 24 Apr 24
Kjel preformed an AC maintenance on my boyfriend’s family home. The service was amazing and we recommend Vision Mechanical to anyone looking to get their home AC or furnace serviced!
Moroni77 NephiMoroni77 Nephi
05:30 24 Apr 24
Gentleman came to our home to do the yearly maintenance checkup on our air conditioner. Arrived on time, and was very thorough with everything. Communication was great and we would be MORE than happy to have them here again!! Highly recommended.
Debbie HudsonDebbie Hudson
17:33 18 Apr 24
Kjel clearly communicated the timeline for the appointment and was incredibly courteous and thorough in his work.I appreciated his manner and explanation of what he was doing, and have already booked my annual contract for next year through him, which was thoroughly explained and convenient to so while he was at the house.
Gordon KurioGordon Kurio
20:37 07 Apr 24
Recent furnace and water heater replacement As usual great service from the Vision Crew. David, Jeff,Kent and Brandon.Well done.
Fred BusbyFred Busby
23:05 05 Apr 24
The crew we had were very professional and the teamwork was great. They were very clean and tidy throughout the entire process.I would highly recommend Vison Plumbing,Fred Busby
Barry AdamBarry Adam
16:48 26 Mar 24
Our Navien on demand hot water went down suddenly. It not only provides hot water for everyday use but for our floor heat as well so we needed it fixed asap. I called 3 local companies that I got off the Navien website. Vision was the third one and the only company where I could get through to a live person. They were out the same afternoon which is very uncommon. They even texted me when the tech was on his way. Kevin the tech was great to deal with and did a good job troubleshooting. It turned out we needed more parts and the have a good web based system for viewing and accepting quotes. They were very responsive which I have not experienced with other local mechanical companies. A great experience thus far.
Dale TurnerDale Turner
23:00 25 Mar 24
Simon came out quickly on a call out and was very pleasant to deal with. He came back a few days later to finish the job. A fine young man.
Payton FraserPayton Fraser
21:18 05 Mar 24
Would highly recommend Vision Plumbing Heating Cooling! Our furnace was giving us grief this morning and they saved the day with same day service and got our heat working again.Not only are they knowledgeable and accommodating but they’re friendly and provide excellent customer service! Definitely give them a call the next time you’re in need of their services!Thank you again!
Caroline GreenwoodCaroline Greenwood
00:01 29 Feb 24
Jeff from Vision Plumbing Heating and Cooling came by today to see if he could get our 1980's gas fireplace working again. He was timely, courteous and knowledgeable, and yes he got our old fireplace working again. Thank you Jeff
Brad ThiessenBrad Thiessen
07:16 26 Feb 24
James! Another great experience of outstanding customer service here with Vision P&H. James helped me get my furnace running in less than 15min on a weekend after waking up to shivers on a windy winter morning. Outstanding!
Robin SmithRobin Smith
02:26 31 Jan 24
Great service from Jeff and the whole team at Vision Mechanical. From the first after hours support call through to diagnosis and prompt repair they were great communicators and easy to do business with.
Julie PaulJulie Paul
06:37 24 Dec 23
Excellent service from the time we booked with a text reminder, then Jeff came right on time, was extremely knowledgeable and professional. He fixed our outdoor fireplace and explained everything to me. We had another company come out before and they could not figure out the issue and just ghosted me after promising to come back and fix. Jeff was able to figure out the issue immediately and provided GREAT service. I highly recommend Vision Mechanical - the prior reviews live up to expectations!
Kaylyn RobinsonKaylyn Robinson
15:13 14 Dec 23
Highly recommend this company. After contacting numerous plumbing companies, and having a couple no-shows and getting the run around, I reached out to Vision Mechanical. The booking process was easy, they showed up on time, and Esteban (the technician) was very friendly, knowledgeable, and thorough. I will certainly use this company again, should I need them in the future.
16:28 12 Dec 23
I used vission plumbing for few jobs in my house. Vision plumbing team is awesome. The house is old and I had to change and fix many things, from changing pipes to fixing bath overflow and installing dishwasher. Vision team helped me with all that. I had hired, unfortunately, another company (Bee's knees plumbing and heating) to install furnace and they did so wrong that I had flood in my basement for a month. I called again Dave, they came, found problem and fixed everything for me. I am definitely taking this company for any future jobs that I will have in the house. I trust them and I know I won't have any problems after they leave. Dave is amazing. For any issue he explained me what is going on and how they can fix that. Every worker from vision was very profesional and respectful. Great job vision team!!!
Roy AndersonRoy Anderson
22:22 11 Dec 23
Jeff came as a follow up visit and didn’t take long to diagnose the problem and find a solution. Fireplace now operating efficiently, Thank you!
Graham BenderGraham Bender
00:17 01 Dec 23
Problem solved quickly and then offered to do another small job because of minimum one hour charge. That is extraordinary.
Junya NakamuraJunya Nakamura
16:10 30 Nov 23
Contacted with them and had responses right away. Had choice of 7am!! Or 3 pm and picked 7pm. Tech: Esteban showed up on time, fixed the problem. Explained about his work and cost. Employing good employees must be good company. They also do commercial work, they did some of the work at my restaurant and again I had no issue at all and did great job!! Highly recommended!!
That FarmThat Farm
04:15 18 Nov 23
Levi expertly tuned up the Natgas fireplace. Excellent work!! Timely and professional. Thank you.
Joanna FoxJoanna Fox
19:22 16 Nov 23
The BEST customer service and knowledgeable maintenance. Thank you Jeff, we are so happy to have our gas fireplace up and running again! ♡ Highly recommend!!!
Barb MacWilliamsBarb MacWilliams
06:58 08 Nov 23
Very happy with Jeff’s work on my old fireplace which needed cleaning and maintenance. Excellent communication and explanation of how things worked and what he was doing.
Brad KoppBrad Kopp
01:49 04 Nov 23
I have used Vision Plumbing Heating Cooling twice in the last six months, once to fix the condenser on the A/C and today to fix the furnace. They are a very responsive and professional company. I arrived home a few nights ago to find the house was an ice box as the furnace was not working. I called Vision the next day and within 24hrs they had a technician on site. His name was Jeff and he was a pleasure to deal with. He removed the motor on the furnace and showed me the source of the problem - two birds had gotten in through the exhaust vent and clogged the system so it shut itself down. He cleaned out the motor, reinstalled it and answered all of my questions. The charges were very reasonable for an hour of time spent at our home to fix the issue. I had a similar great experience with their technician in the summer time. I used Vision Plumbing Heating Cooling as prior to them I had used one of their competitors, Border Plumbing, and the experience was brutal. They sent a technician to diagnose a noisy water pipe in our mechanical room. The tech was onsite for 25min and he told me the problem was in the irrigation line, which I already knew. Then he was done and I got a bill for twice as much as what Vision charged, but Vision actually spent an hour to fix something. Border told me after the first 15min the price goes up, and in response to the negative review I wrote, they said that the technician had to drive for ~50min to get to our place, so they allocated one hour and 17 minutes to the service call, hence the charge. Jeff from Vision had to drive to our place in Kelowna from West Kelowna, spent an hour at the house, fixed a real issue with our furnace, and Vision charged half as much. Use Vision.
Valerie MarshinewValerie Marshinew
01:12 03 Nov 23
We had work done on our plumbing manifolds and most valves in our house . Although Vision Plumbing Heating Cooling were the most second most expensive of the four plumbing quotes we chose them. Michelle was terrific to deal with in the phone being very professional and friendly. On the day of the work Alex and Keenan arrived on time. Both were professional and courteous. They were very helpful and ensured we understood the work being performed and answered all of our questions. I give this company 5/5 for their service performed and I would hire them again. Thank You.Rick & Val MarshinewKelowna, BC
Abe GalAbe Gal
18:14 29 Oct 23
We had Jeff sevicing an oldish fireplace that would not start.We appriciate his vast experience and knowledge , fireplaceworks perfectly now. Cost was fair also. Abe
kevin tomaszewskikevin tomaszewski
01:37 24 Oct 23
I had a plumbing emergency spring up overnight and had to shut off the water supply to the house. They were able to make room for me in their busy schedule the next day and made the repairs I needed in a quick and timely manner. I would recommend Vision Plumbing Heating Cooling to anyone seeking plumbing services, in fact l am going to call them up for a larger job I've been planning for next year.
Shelah PansegrauShelah Pansegrau
23:12 23 Aug 23
Visions had excellent customer service and communication from the outset. Within two days of my request, Jeff came to diagnose and repair the pool heater. He is knowledgeable and respectful, thoroughly explaining the problem while repairing the heater. Thanks Vision Plumbing Heating Cooling!
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