Polybutylene pipes or Poly B Pipes, are flexible piping materials used in many residential properties, but they are no longer used in plumbing installations. Generally, you can identify these pipes by their copper connections, light grey colours, and elbows. Poly B pipes were popular in many homes because of their cost-effectiveness compared to copper pipes.
How to identify if your home has Poly B pipes
If you are not sure whether your home has poly B pipes, it is easy to identify them without hiring a plumber for assistance. Check one area of your home where you can access the piping system. You identify the pipes by their light grey colour, plastic material, brass connectors and fittings.
Reasons to replace your poly B pipes
Use of the pipes has been discontinued because the material fails at a certain level of pressure. This is what has led to their decreased popularity compared to how they were used in the past years. Here are some of the tops reasons replacing poly B pipes is a great idea.
High risk of burst and leak
One of the top reasons is that poly B pipes are at high risk of leak and burst. The pipes do not last a long time without getting damaged as a result of small impacts or exposure to different elements. They get leaks and burst fast compared to other modern types of piping used in homes. Thus, they put your home at a high risk of getting flood-damage too. At times it is the fittings that malfunction, while the pipes also get the leaks. With these pipes in your home, it is just a matter of time before they fail to function effectively.
Permeable to oxygen
Another problem with Poly B pipes is that they are permeable to oxygen. Thus, if these pipes are used in circulating hot water loops, you get oxidized water that can damage your boilers and water heaters. Therefore, they shorten the lifespan of these appliances. You end up spending more doing repairs and replacements of the appliances.
Prone to sunlight damage
When exposed to sunlight for a long period of time, poly B pipes get damaged easily and fast. Thus, if the piping system is not protected from sunlight or installed indoors, then it has a shorter life than desired.
How to do the replacement
Poly B piping can not be repaired. Parts are no longer available and in order to replace your them, your plumber must remove all of the water lines throughout the home or building. Working with a professional plumber who has the experience in repiping is important. The plumbers can offer you high-quality work and ensure that your home piping system is back to its perfect condition. The cost of doing the replacement will depend on size of your home, the complexity of the project, material, and interior access. No matter the amount it will cost, you will have more benefits in the long end since you have more durable, functional and high-quality piping system and most of all, avoiding failed pipes leading to floods.