Polybutylene, also known as Poly B, is a flexible plastic plumbing piping that was regularly used in home construction from the late seventies to the early nineties. It’s easily identified by its light grey colour and generally uses copper connections and elbows to join the sections of tubing together.
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Really great experience and fantastic customer service. The technician helped disconnect my old gas dryer and came back the same day to reconnect my new one. He was very helpful and informative, and addressed any safety concerns I had. I’d recommend this plumber to anyone looking for good value and a thorough level of service.
Cristian and Nick with ERM were great to deal with. Quick response and they were able to come fix the problem (plugged piping from the kitchen sink) within a few hours of when I called. Would highly recommend ERM!
we have use ERM a couple of times within the last year, Christian is absolutely fantastic, on time, you don't have to worry about him not showing up. expert workmanship, clean, personable, and gets right to work. we will use him again for a basement development.
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Many of our customers ask us if they should replace their Poly B in Calgary. The problem with Poly B in Calgary is it’s not a question of if Poly B will leak, it’s a question of when it will leak. This piping is not repairable and could cause a lot of damage to your home if not replaced.
Generally, Poly B has a life expectancy of about 15 years in Canada. It can last longer in some situations and catastrophically fail sooner in others. If you want to prevent water damage from occurring in your home, you should have your Poly B piping replaced as soon as you can. This is why we offer Poly B replacement in Calgary!
Some home insurance companies actually won’t cover water damage to homes that have Poly B piping installed. Poly B piping can even affect the resale value of your home! That should be more than enough reasoning to consider replacing your Poly B piping with a more durable and modern alternative.
Homes built before 1975 generally used copper piping and will not have Poly B piping installed. In this case, it would pay to own an older home! For those of you that own houses built from 1975 to 2005, there’s a possibility your home may have Poly B piping that will need to be replaced.
Plumbers began phasing out Poly B in 1998, and the majority had done so by 2005. The Canadian National Research Council delisted Poly B for plumbing use in 2005. However, the code was not retroactive, so once installed, it could stay. Even though manufacturers stopped making Poly B after it was delisted, some of the shady plumbers out there didn’t throw out their supplies of it and continued to install it in Alberta. The Alberta government estimates that there are nearly 150,000 homes in the province that were built with Poly B piping.
If you own a new home, it is unlikely that you have polybutylene piping installed in your home by a plumbing company. There is almost no need to worry about this. If you wish, check your home inspection report to be sure it was not installed with polybutylene piping.
Poly B piping is a plastic pipe with a medium grey colour. In some instances, you may see a stamp on the piping that says “Poly B Potable” on your water supply pipes or “PB2110” on the side of the piping. Polybutylene pipes generally use copper metal fittings or plastic fittings to join the sections of piping together as well.
Note, not all plastic pipes are made out of Poly B. Some plastic pipes in your plumbing system could be black ABS or PVC plastic piping, not polybutylene pipe. If your piping has a white or translucent appearance, it could even be a more modern and durable PEX piping. If this is the case, there is no need to worry. These types of plastic pipes are much more durable and less prone to leaking in homes. The latter is our preferred plumbing material for water systems in your home.
When checking for polybutylene piping in your home, take a look at the in floor piping, the piping near your water heater, your water supply, and other areas of your home. Damaged or leaking poly b pipes could damage your flooring, foundation, drywall, and other parts of your home.
Sadly, you cannot tell if polybutylene piping is damaged by looking at it. This is because the damage would be occurring inside the piping by water flowing through it and not externally. Unless you’re regularly bumping into the piping, it is unlikely that damage would occur to the outside of the pipes.
You can visually check for leaks and potential pipe failures, though. Look for any wet spots, drips, and other signs that the pipes could be leaking where there would be higher water pressure. This can happen for hot in-floor hydronic heating systems and cold water applications. In some cases, if there is a stream coming from the pipe, you could even have a pinhole leak. Poly B failures are not uncommon, and you should be checking your poly b plumbing regularly or replacing it with a more durable solution for this reason.
The Poly B replacement Calgary team at ERM Plumbing are journeyman plumbers who work primarily in SW Calgary. No matter what the plumbing repair, replacement, or installation you require at your home is; we approach every project with knowledge, integrity, and friendliness when we work on your home. If you have encountered an issue with the polybutylene piping in your home and need it replaced, give us a call! We’d be happy to install a better type of piping for your home’s water system to prevent leaks and damage to your home in the future. Let us show you why we are known as the go-to plumbing service in Calgary and southern Alberta. We’re here to help with any and all plumbing needs for residential applications and your pipe replacement needs.