Depending on the needs of your re-piping, we can get it all fixed and offer tremendous peace of mind.
Unsure about the need for re-piping or what Poly B is? Let us help!
“WHAT IS POLY B?”
Poly B or Polybutylene is a material that was used for water piping in BC homes during the 1980’s until the late 1990’s. It was also used extensively in other parts of North America. At the time of its introduction, Poly B was considered to be the “next big thing”, saving builders thousands of dollars in the cost of building homes.
After many homes were damaged by burst pipes and leaks, there were several ensuing class action lawsuits against the manufacturer. In 2005, Poly B was de-listed an acceptable piping material by the National Plumbing Code of Canada.
The earliest examples of Poly B came with plastic compression fittings, most of which have already failed and been replaced. Later on new plastic fittings with copper bands were introduced as well as metal (copper alloy) fittings. The copper fittings were considered to be better for some time until it was discovered that the piping itself began to break down. More recently the metal fittings themselves have begun to corrode and burst.
Another factor to consider is that Poly B is particularly sensitive to Chlorine. Chlorine tends to make the pipe brittle, making it more vulnerable to a rupture.
“HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE POLY B IN MY HOME?”
If your home was built in the 1980’s or the 1990’s and has not been re-piped already, there is a good chance it is piped with Poly B. In BC it is typically grey, and carries the denotation “PB” and a series of numbers. If you are inspecting the pipe yourself, it is highly recommended not to put any kind of pressure on it, as this could cause a leak or a break. Plastic fittings are particularly vulnerable to pressure, as are corroded copper alloy fittings. Often the copper fittings corrode from the inside out, only showing signs in the later stages of advanced corrosion. Look for a powdery white or green substance on your copper fittings. If you see these signs it is very probable that you will have problems at some point in the near or immediate future. If you do not see any such signs, it is still highly advisable to have the Poly B removed from your home! To get a professional opinion, we encourage you to take advantage of a Plumbing Inspection by PenTech Mechanical. To see what typical Poly B piping looks like, check out this video on YouTube:
“WILL THIS AFFECT MY HOUSE INSURANCE POLICY?”
Insurance companies are aware of the issue because of many past and current claims. Some insurance companies are no longer covering homes with Poly B or will only underwrite it with a very large deductible. As the systems age, their vulnerability to leaks and blowouts increases. It is likely that homeowners will find it more and more difficult to renew their house insurance policy until the Poly B issue has been resolved. Whether your home is currently covered can be verified by calling your insurance company.
“WILL THIS AFFECT THE VALUE OF MY HOME?”
Poly B is a known problem for most sales agents and home inspectors. It is very likely that this will be brought up as a consideration should you decide to sell your home. Some homeowners sell at a large discount to avoid re-piping, while others decide to have it replaced in order to increase the value of their property. Putting your home on the market with Poly B is roughly comparable to selling a home in need of a new roof or flooring, as is the cost.
“CAN I MAKE MY HOME SAFE WITHOUT A RE-PIPE?”
There are certain tips which if followed may temporarily increase the life of your Poly B piping, however ultimately the best way to protect your home is to consider a full house re-pipe. There are absolutely no guarantees that any part of a Poly B system won’t fail at any time! If for any reason you decide not to eliminate Poly B from your home for the time being, it is advisable to follow these tips:
- If your PRV (the valve which regulates your water pressure) is more than eight years old, it is recommended to have it replaced. A PRV can fail prematurely and put extra pressure on your system.
- Your water pressure should be set at 50 PSI to reduce the chance of a rupture.
- The temperature of your domestic hot water system should be kept below 180F. Poly B is considered to be vulnerable to heat.
“WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF RE-PIPING NOW?”
Because of our proficiency at home re-pipes, PenTech Mechanical already offers some of the most competitive rates in the region. In addition, PenTech is currently offering deep discounts. Homeowners could save more than $2000 dollars by taking advantage of our current pricing! Doing so you will likely increase the value of your home, help you avoid a large insurance claim, and bring you peace of mind!
To briefly reiterate; If your home has Poly B, it is highly recommended to replace it as soon as possible! Take advantage of PenTech Plumbing’s great offers today!