POLY-B (or POLYTBUTYLENE) REPLACEMENT
Ensure your home is not exposed to Poly-B.
Poly B, also known as Polybutylene, is a semi-flexible grey pipe used in residential plumbing systems. It was installed in between the years of 1985 and 1997 because of its flexibility, low cost, and ease of installation. Estimates are that in Canada there are over 700,000 houses that have Poly-B installed before it was discontinued. Every single one of these homes is at risk of poly-b failure. As time passes it becomes more of a risk for failure. It’s not a matter of if but when it fails.
Why should I replace my Poly-B plumbing?
1) Poly-B in a home is degraded by the chlorine found in the water. Chlorine will make the pipes brittle over time and will eventually lead to pinhole leaks or even a complete pipe failure. If not caught early this can lead to damaging your home, even worse you may not detect this damage.
2) Homeowners may experience difficulty in securing insurance and Poly-B plumbing can discourage potential buyers from purchasing your home in the future.
Why can you do about Poly-B?
Eventually, all Poly-B will fail and ideally it should be replaced before the risk of failure. If replacing is not a current option there are some steps you can take to slow down the rate of failure.
Replace plastic fittings:
Some fittings were made of plastic and often failed over time. It is easy to check if you have plastic fittings and they should be replaced copper or brass fittings.
Lower water pressure:
Pressure-reducing valves can be installed to reduce the water pressure, this reduces the stress on the pipes and fittings and may extend the life of your Poly-B pipes.
Chlorine in water can speed up the degradation of poly-B pipes. Installing a filter to remove chlorine before the water comes into your home.
Reduce your heat:
Hot water will make Poly-B pipes degrade quicker. Consider lowering the minimum acceptable level. BC Hydro recommends setting the tank to no lower than 55 degrees.
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