Why You Should Replace Poly B Pipes? - By Hinse Mechanical

Sherwood Park Plumbers | Why You Should Replace Poly B Pipe

Poly B is the preferred name of Polybutylene. It is made of plastic resins. This plastic resin is the main base of all plastic in an unprocessed form. It is easily transformed to suit specific needs. In the case of polybutylene pipes in plumbing, the pipes are formed so that they fit in the spaces and directions they are needed to make up the plumbing system in your home.

Polybutylene was created and thought to be the future of plumbing systems. From the years of 1978 to 1995 it was used extensively. It created a system for the water supply and replaced copper. What made it so attractive was its low cost and ease of installation.  It was not only cheaper but was thought to be strong, versatile, and resistant to cold temperatures. However, even though it was installed in millions of homes trouble was brewing as time went on.

Allegations came in that these pipes were rupturing and causing damage to homes. With enough evidence showing this to be the case, production of Poly B was ceased. It turns out the lifespan of polybutylene pipes was only as long as fifteen years.

The reason for the degradation was attributed to the pipe being exposed to oxygen. Over time the pipes would crack and corrode from the inside. Many health issues arose as well because the Poly B leached toxins into the water supply. Some studies show that cancer is linked to these toxins. Although Poly B was known to be good with colder temperatures, changing temperatures was another issue. The piping expanded and contracted, and direct sunlight like in an attic caused pipes to burst. Finding replacement parts became nearly impossible too.

Poly-B is against current code regulations

What’s troubling is that even though the pipes were no longer being produced, some plumbers may have still been installing them due to supplies availability. In 2005 Poly-B was removed from the Canadian plumbing code standard. If your home was built before 2010 it is likely you have Poly B pipes.

If you are unsure what pipes you have in your home’s plumbing system, here is a quick guide to discovery. The easiest place to check is in your basement. You can either go to your utility room where there is likely no finished walls and the plumbing system is exposed. The other place to check is in the basement ceiling. You will need to remove a few ceiling tiles to expose what is there. If you see a greyish color system of plastic pipes with copper fittings and elbows then you have it. It is that easy to identify.

After some exploration, you may have discovered your home has Poly-B pipes. You are wondering if your home is in danger and how much time you have to replace these hazardous pipes before there is a problem. The first thing to do is call a reputable company such as Hinse Brothers Mechanical. We specialize in the maintenance, repair, and replacement of pipes. We can assess your home and come up with a plan and design that fits your timeline and budget.

Our award-winning team has years of experience and guaranteed excellence in the services we offer. We are the professionals to call for all your plumbing needs including Poly B replacement.

Reasons to replace your Poly-B pipes

The reason you will want to replace the Poly B as soon as possible is that there could already be a leak somewhere that you aren’t aware of. You cannot see all the pipes and there could be water already getting through which leads to mold. Worse than that your pipes could be a rupture waiting to happen. It is highly recommended they are replaced due to the extensive damage a water leak can cause to your home not to mention the mold that might already be lurking in your walls.

Of course we should mention here that not every Poly B pipe system has failure but that does not give much peace of mind when you think of all the incidents that have happened already. It is best to call the professionals and get things check out.

Good replacements for Poly B pipes are copper pipe or PEX tubing. It all comes down to cost.  Most clients opt for PEX due to the lower cost. These systems both have a lifetime warranty, so it all comes down to budget. Copper is considerably more expensive, hence the reason for finding a lower cost material for new home builds. PEX tubing is just the right choice.

What is PEX tubing?

PEX tubing is made from plastic as well and has been around for a long time. Another term for this tubing is cross-linked polyethylene. It is easy to install because it is so flexible. It is less likely to crack even with frozen pipes. This highly durable tubing can withstand all temperatures making it less likely to degrade over it’s lifespan. It is a safe system and environmentally friendly.

Switching your plumbing system does not necessarily have to be an all or nothing approach. You can do your whole home at once, but you can also do the switch in stages starting with the most susceptible areas such as drains and faucets first. It may seem overwhelming to the homeowner, but not to worry. When you call the experts like Hinse Brothers we will come up with a plan and design that suits your lifestyle and needs but also keeps your home safe.

Get a quote today!

The common questions our clients ask is how much it costs to replace the entire plumbing system and how long does it take. It can range from as little as $1500 to $15000. This of course depends on how big your home is, the complexity of the design, and what you choose as your replacement. As for timeframe, that varies as well. It can take anywhere from one day and longer based on size and complexity as well. You will be given an estimate before the work is done on the expected completion time.