Polybutylene pipe (or Poly-B Pipe Replacement ) is a cheap, durable plastic that was widely used in plumbing systems throughout the 1980s and 1990s. It’s cheap because it’s made from toxic byproducts of natural gas production and it can last for decades without needing maintenance.
Unfortunately, the chemical makeup of Poly B™ makes it prone to failure once moisture enters the system. The consequences can be serious, but fortunately, there are ways to avoid disaster. In this blog post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about Poly-B Pipe Replacement and what you should do if you think your home might have this outdated plumbing material.
What is Polybutylene or Poly-B Pipe Replacement?
Polybutylene (or Poly-B pipe replacement ) is a type of plastic that was widely used in the plumbing systems of homes across the US and Canada during the 1980s and 1990s. It’s cheap because it’s made from toxic byproducts of natural gas production. Although only a few decades old, it has become notorious for its high rate of failure.
The plastic used in Poly-B Pipe Replacement is typically black or dark blue and is sold in either 25-foot coils or 50-foot spools. While it’s usually used for water supply lines, it can also be found in drain, vent, and overflow lines. You can identify it by its distinct texture and lack of flexibility.
Why Is Poly-B Pipe Replacement Necessary?
The benefits of Poly-B pipe replacement aren’t enough to outweigh the risk of failure. Besides the increased chance of failure, it’s also more expensive than other types of plastic. If you remove old Poly-B pipes in favour of a more modern material, you’ll save money in the long term thanks to reduced maintenance and repair costs. You’ll also be preventing a full-blown disaster. The primary issue with Poly B™ pipe is that moisture can cause it to swell and crack.
This can lead to serious problems if left untreated. A small crack in your water supply line can cause the entire pipe to rupture, leading to flooding and thousands of dollars in damage. Moisture in drain and vent lines will cause the system to back up, and the excess pressure can cause the pipes to burst.
How to Tell if You Have Poly B™ Pipe
The easiest way to know for sure if you have Poly B™ pipe is to look for the telltale signs of dated plumbing. If you see black or blue plastic with a wavy texture, you almost certainly have Poly B™. You can also check your water meter to see if it is stamped “PB” or “Poly B™.”
If you suspect you have old plumbing, the easiest way to know for sure is to call a local licensed plumber. They can identify Poly B™ pipe and tell you whether it needs to be replaced or not.
How Can You Tell If Your Poly B™ Pipes Are About to Fail?
Fortunately, there are warning signs of an impending Poly B™ pipe failure. You can check your water meter for increased water flow, a pressure drop, or water meter back-flow. These are signs that water is backing up inside your home’s pipes. You can also look for signs of water damage inside your home, like discoloration or buckling in walls, floors, or ceilings. If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to seek professional help as soon as possible.
Even a small leak can cause thousands of dollars in damage if left untreated. If you’re certain your Poly B™ pipes are going to fail, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on them and make note of when they fail. This will allow you to document the damage and make a claim against your homeowners’ insurance policy. This will allow you to get the repairs you need without paying out of pocket.
3 Ways to Know if Your Poly-B Pipe Replacement Are About to Fail
- Check your water meter for increased water flow, a drop in pressure, or signs of back-flow.
- Look for signs of water damage inside your home, like discoloration or buckling in walls, floors, or ceilings.
- Keep an eye on your Poly B™ pipes and document when they break.
2 More ways you might know that your poly-b pipes are about to fail
- You see signs of water damage inside your home.
- You notice a drop in water pressure.
2 Ways a Poly B™ Pipe Failure Could Cause Major Damage in Your Home
If a Poly B™ pipe breaks inside an enclosed wall or floor, the entire section of the house will be at risk of water damage. If a pipe breaks in an open area, water could flood your home.
In the worst-case scenario, a broken pipe can cause a full-blown house fire. If a Poly B™ pipe breaks and the water is allowed to run freely without being controlled, it can cause water to build up pressure. After a period of time, the pressure will be released in an explosive and dangerous manner. This could be enough to cause damage to your home, cause burns or even death to someone in the area.
How to Fix a Poly B™ Pipe Failure Right Now
If you find a broken Poly B™ pipe, the best thing you can do is turn off your water supply and call a plumber. They can shut off the water supply and repair the pipe as soon as possible. If there’s a nearby water source, like a river or stream, the plumber may be able to use it to divert excess water pressure. This will help reduce the risk of water damage or flooding in your home.
If you notice a Poly B™ pipe is leaking, turn off your water supply and don’t attempt to repair the pipe yourself. Instead, call a plumber as soon as possible. They have the right tools and training to ensure that the pipe is repaired quickly and properly. They can also shut off the water supply so you don’t have to worry about flooding in your home.
Poly B™ pipe is a toxic and outdated material that was used in many plumbing systems in the 1980s and 1990s. It’s cheap because it’s made from toxic byproducts of natural gas production and it can last for decades without needing maintenance. Unfortunately, the chemical makeup of Poly B™ makes it prone to failure once moisture enters the system.
The consequences can be serious, but fortunately, there are ways to avoid disaster. In this blog post, we’ve covered everything you need to know about poly-b pipe replacement and what you should do if you think your home might have this outdated plumbing material.