You may have heard talk about the need to replace “Poly B” pipes in your home. Major plumbing work is one of the nightmares of a homeowner. Just the suggestion of changing out the pipes in your home can give a person nightmares, with an endless stream of dollars dribbling through a hole in your pocket. However, when making any decision about your home, make it an informed decision.
What is Poly B, why is it used, and why does it matter?
The term “Poly B” refers to polybutylene, a type of plastic common in household piping for many years. It’s a flexible grey pipe, manufactured from 1978 to 1998, and was particularly popular in home construction in BC during the housing boom of the 80s and 90s. So what’s the problem?
There are two common issues with Poly B pipes: the Poly B fittings used at the joins has a low fault tolerance and will begin to leak after several years, and secondly, polybutylene will slowly corrode over time when exposed to chlorinated water. Virtually all city water in North America is treated with a small amount of chlorine, and considering how common Poly B pipers are, that means bad news for a lot of homeowners.
Another negative result is that, as problems with Poly B pipes become more common, it is becoming more difficult to get home insurance on homes with Poly B pipes. And if you do find a home insurer willing to insure your home with Poly B pipes, your premiums are generally higher.
As time goes on, more and more homeowners across North America are changing out their Poly B pipes. Is it time to change out your pipes? If your home has Poly B, then it’s a question you need to ask yourself, and knowing more about Poly B can help you make an informed choice.