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Mitigating Risk: The Long-Term Effects of Poly-B Piping on Your Property


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Polybutylene (Poly-B) piping was once a popular choice for residential plumbing due to its low cost and ease of installation. However, over time, it has become evident that Poly-B pipes are prone to failure, leading to significant issues for homeowners. In this post, we'll discuss the problems associated with Poly-B piping, the impact on insurance and home sales, and why you should consider replacing it.

Why Poly-B Piping is Problematic

Poly-B piping was widely used in homes built between the 1970s and 1990s. Unfortunately, these pipes have been found to degrade over time, often leading to leaks and water damage without any warning. The primary issues with Poly-B include:

  • Chemical Reactions: Poly-B pipes are susceptible to damage from chlorine and other chemicals commonly found in municipal water supplies.

  • Cracks and Leaks: Over time, the pipes can become brittle and develop cracks, leading to leaks that can cause extensive water damage. Harsh winters can exacerbate the problem, making the material more likely to crack under freezing temperatures.

  • Inconsistent Quality: The quality of Poly-B piping can vary, leading to unpredictable performance and increased risk of failure.

Insurance Challenges with Poly-B Piping

Insurance companies are well aware of the risks associated with Poly-B piping and often take a cautious approach when insuring homes with this type of plumbing. Here are some of the challenges you might face:

  • Higher Premiums: Many insurance companies will charge higher premiums for homes with Poly-B piping due to the increased risk of water damage. In Alberta, local insurers may be particularly stringent, given the heightened risk posed by the province's cold climate.

  • Limited Coverage: Some insurers may offer limited coverage, excluding property coverage, flood damage or other water-related incidents directly linked to Poly-B pipe failure.

  • Replacement Deadlines: Insurance companies might impose a deadline by which the Poly-B piping must be replaced, failing which coverage may be denied.

  • Denial of Coverage: Worst case, some insurers may outright refuse to provide coverage for homes with Poly-B piping. Building codes have evolved and have discontinued the use of Poly-B piping in 2005 and homes with this plumbing may not meet current standards.

Impact On Your Home Saleability

Poly-B piping can also significantly impact the saleability of your home. Prospective buyers are becoming increasingly aware of the issues associated with Poly-B and may be hesitant to purchase a home with this type of plumbing. Here’s how it can affect the sale of your home:

  • Lower Sale Price: Buyers may request a reduction in the sale price to cover the cost of replacing the Poly-B piping. In Alberta, where the real estate market is acutely aware of Poly-B issues, this can be a significant factor.

  • Sale Conditions: Some buyers may include a condition in the sale agreement that requires the Poly-B piping to be replaced and any resulting drywall repairs to be completed before closing.

  • Buyer Hesitation: The presence of Poly-B piping can be a deal-breaker for some buyers, leading them to walk away from the sale altogether. Home inspectors routinely check for this type of plumbing, making it a critical point during the sale process.

Challenges in Replacing Poly-B Piping

Replacing Poly-B piping can be a complex and time-consuming process. Some areas of your home, such as behind shower valves or within walls, can be particularly tricky to access and replace. However, the benefits of replacing Poly-B far outweigh the temporary inconvenience. By upgrading to modern, reliable piping, you can protect your home from potential water damage and improve its value and insurability.

Why Choose Express Plumbing for Your Poly-B Replacement

At Express Plumbing, we specialize in the replacement of Poly-B piping with high-quality, durable alternatives. Our experienced team ensures minimal disruption to your home and provides professional, efficient service. Here's why you should choose us:

Expertise: With over 10 years in the industry, our plumbers are skilled in handling Poly-B replacements and can navigate the challenges of accessing difficult areas.

Quality Materials: We use high quality materials to ensure your new plumbing system is reliable and long-lasting.

Honest Pricing: We believe in providing you with fair, open and accurate pricing with no hidden fees.

Satisfaction Guarantee: We prioritize your satisfaction and work diligently to meet your needs and exceed your expectations. Our services are completely backed with a full year, limited warranty on material and labour.


Poly-B piping presents significant risks to your home, from potential water damage to insurance complications and reduced home saleability. Replacing this outdated plumbing is a wise investment that can save you money and stress in the long run. Contact Express Plumbing today to learn more about our Poly-B replacement services.



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