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3 Common Mistakes People Have About Polybutylene Piping

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Polybutylene, otherwise known as ‘Poly­B’, is most common in homes from the late 70s to mid 90s and was used because it was inexpensive to buy and install. As time goes on, Poly-B deteriorates and can leak and cause flooding in the home if not replaced.

Learn more about Poly-B Replacement on our website.

The risks associated with Poly­B waterlines are flooding, increased insurance premiums, cancelled insurance coverage and costly deductibles, as well as mold infestations caused by undetected pinhole leaks within waterlines covered by drywall.

The more we talk to our customers, we learn that there are common mistakes or misconceptions about Poly-B. So, we’ve compiled this list to set the record straight.

  1. Replacing Poly-B is super expensive and hard to afford.

This is a common myth people have about Poly-B replacement. Replacing Poly-B is actually quite affordable, and definitely costs less than if you have a flood in your home to worry about! We know that it’s unfortunate to have to replace your pipes, but JJ’s Plumbing Experts will come up with an affordable solution for you: whether it’s replacing your pipes altogether, or repairing your existing pipes to prolong the lifespan of your Poly-B pipes until you can afford to replace them. Bottom line: there are affordable options and we can come up with one that works for you.

  1. Poly-B problems/leaks happen because of poor installation.

While it’s true that you want a good pipe installer (like us!), it isn’t typically the case that it’s the installation of Poly-B pipes that causes the leaks. Installation quality could contribute to leaks, but in most cases installation does not appear to be the primary cause. The most common reasons leaks occur are: the age of the pipes, water quality/chlorine levels and degeneration of piping.

  1. The Poly-B pipes in my home have lasted for nearly a decade, so they are just fine.

Thinking this way is just waiting for disaster to occur. Most of the time, it takes many years for Poly-B piping systems to leak or fail. Many leaks start to happen in 10-15 years from installation of the piping system, so if you’ve had them installed for a decade or longer, it’s time to start thinking about a replacement.

 

Do you have Poly-B piping and would like to know if you should have a replacement soon? Call us at 604-479-2232 or email service@jjs.plumbing and we’ll help you find out.

 

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Do You Have Poly B Piping in Your Home?

Polybutylene pipe, otherwise known as Poly B piping, is a particular kind of piping that your home may be utilizing. One way you can tell is by looking under your sink, and if you see thin, grey piping, then that is Poly B. Poly B was used in hot water heating systems and in constructing new residential homes throughout North America, mainly during 1978-1998.

First designed as an economical alternative to copper piping, Poly B was used in many homes throughout the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley areas.

So what’s the big problem with Poly B piping?

Answer: Poly B piping has an abnormally high rate of failure. Lately, we have had a number of clients call us, saying that their home insurance companies have sent letters informing them that they will not renew their insurance, if their homes have Poly B. Because Poly B often needs to be completely replaced within 8-11 years of being installed, most insurance policies no longer cover Poly B. If they do, a high deductible is required to receive that coverage.

Yes, Poly B piping was cheaper and easier to install, but this didn’t mean that this was beneficial in the long-run. Within 10 years of Poly B installations, real-life horror stories started to surface, resulting in needing new piping to be installed.

Some of the repercussions of your house having Poly B piping are:

  • Leaks
  • Hairline cracks
  • Poor installment by plumbers: loose fittings
  • Water quality: irregular water pressures & chemical sensitivities (chlorine and mineral levels)
  • Mold issues
  • In-home flooding
  • Age of the pipe and fittings: degeneration of pipe fittings.

Homes with Poly B pipes are not so great for resale, either. If you’re looking to buy a fixer upper or sell your family home, check the piping under the sink first!

If you know that you have Poly B piping and want it replaced, or are unsure and want to find out, call the JJ’s Plumbing Experts at 604-479-2232 or visit us at jjs.plumbing to fill out our online form and get in touch for your free no-obligation quote today!

For a limited time, we’re offering $100 off your Poly B pipe replacement! Book for your free quote today.

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Don’t Get Denied On Your Home Insurance!

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Have you recently been denied insurance, or quoted a high premium due to polybutylene piping? If you own an older home, you’re probably aware of the nightmares that can go along with Poly-B piping. Poly-B piping was hailed as a cheap alternative that would revolutionize plumbing, but quickly became a nightmare.

All pipes, given enough wear and tear over time, will need to be replaced. The issue with Poly-B pipes is how quickly they seem to age, and their inclination to leak. While not all Poly-B pipes will cause problems, risk factors for this older grey style of pipe includes connection failures, chlorine levels, poor installation, and proximity to heat sources. They’re linked to issues with mould and mildew, which can be a complete headache when it comes to getting home insurance or a mortgage. Many insurance companies refuse to insure homes with Poly-B pipes, or offer higher than normal rates.

Fortunately, the pipes can be replaced with safer and more durable alternatives. It’s a good idea to have them replaced before they become an issue, and is a relatively easy fix.

Contact us, your Vancouver Poly B Replacement Experts, to get a quote on the best way to safeguard or replace your PolyB pipes before they become a headache!

778-285-0606

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The Problem with Polybutylene Piping

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PolyB Is the Smaller Grey Pipe to the Left

If you own a home that was built between the 70s and 90s, you’ve probably heard about PolyB, or Polybutylene piping, and the leaking and insurance nightmares that go along with it. Poly-B is a type of grey pipe used in home plumbing and water heating systems in North America that rose to popularity as an alternative to copper piping. It took decades — and millions of dollars in lawsuits — before the pipes went out of use in the 90s over safety and performance concerns.

Although all pipes can and will fail and leak eventually, PolyB pipes are believed to leak at abnormal rates, and can cause nightmares for homeowners when it comes to mould, mildew, and insurance. Not all pipes will leak, however, and risk factors for PolyB pipes include connection failures, chlorine levels, poor installation, and proximity to heat sources. Many US failures have to do with piping being in attics, where it is heated excessively in the Southern sun. Far fewer incidents have been reported in Canada, although coverage by CBC Marketplace hints that the problem might be bigger than many think.

Fortunately, there are many things you can do if you face problems with the pipes in your home, or wish to have them replaced before they become an issue. Contact us, your Vancouver and Naniamo Poly B Replacement Experts, to get a quote on the best way to safeguard or replace your PolyB pipes before they become a headache!

Lower Mainland: 778-285-0606
Vancouver Island: 1-250-586-7524