Poly B pipes were once very popular and these flexible grey pipes were used often in residential plumbing projects and in hot water heating systems. Copper piping was a lot more expensive at the time, so most contractors turned to Poly B pipes because of the price point, which was far more affordable and therefore a lot more attractive. This type of piping was also easier to install when compared to copper pipes, so it was a desirable option.
Poly B was once acceptable but has experienced a lot of failure over the years, which is why it is now considered problematic and why it is no longer used. In fact, several insurance companies do not provide coverage for homes with Poly B pipes, so this is something you need to confirm before you purchase a home so that you don’t run into this problem. Some insurance companies will offer coverage, although different rates and conditions will apply if Poly B piping is involved.
There are a number of reasons why Poly B pipes can lead to failure, including the use of plastic fittings, which were often used to connect the pipe. Poor installation in areas with high temperatures and improper installation near heat sources and hot water tanks can also lead to failure, as can high water pressure in your home and over-crimping of aluminum bands. Poly B is especially problematic in heating systems because the pipes allow oxygen to cross from the surrounding air into the water in the heating system, which can cause rust and lead to the failure of your boiler.
As a homeowner, the best thing you can do in this situation is to completely replace all of the piping in your home. This will ensure you don’t experience any Poly B failures, but if this option is not a possibility, there are other steps you can take to extend the life of your piping. You can start by changing the plastic fittings and replacing them with copper or brass ones instead. You can also lower your water temperature and the level of chlorine if you live in an area where this applies. It’s also important that you don’t over-crimp, as this can result in fractures and leaks, so the bands should never be crimped too tightly. If you do have plastic piping of any kind, make sure they are not within 18 inches of your hot water tank or other sources of heat.
If you’re considering selling your home, this is one aspect you will have to upgrade; otherwise, potential buyers will not be interested in your home. Poly B piping can cause clients to walk away because it’s hard to get insurance coverage and even if they were to get coverage, the premiums would be extremely high.
The experts at Wonderflow Plumbing Solutions can help in this regard because we specialize in Poly B plumbing and replacements. Whether you need repiping services or are looking for reputable plumbers, we do it all, so if you are in the Vancouver or Burnaby areas, give us a call today!