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Poly B Water Piping Replacement

poly b water piping

We recently replaced our Poly B water piping in the house. A really big job that turned out well, thank goodness.

Between 1970 to 1995, nearly a million new Canadian homes installed Poly B water piping. Turned out, that was a big mistake. Although CSA approved, polybutylene (grey color) turned out to be a disaster. We saw its use discontinued in Canada and elsewhere by 2005 after many complaints and class action suits.

Well, guess what? My house was built just before use of Poly B water piping was discontinued. Lucky me.

Over the last year, our water lines started leaking. First it was a pinhole in the furnace room. Then it was a crack around a curve under the kitchen sink. All of these were simple but not cheap to have repaired by a plumber since they effected the basement.

I did some research and found out two disturbing things. First, some insurance companies will no longer cover water damage due to Poly B. Second, many people won’t buy a house unless its Poly B has been replaced. Sigh.

So, I decided to have the Poly B water piping replaced with PEX through the entire house. This big job typically requires cutting lots of holes in walls and ceilings (see above, left) which then need to be repaired and repainted (see above, right). Since this repair has both functional and aesthetic requirements, my recommendation is to find a contractor and plumber that come highly recommended.

Poly B Water Piping Replacement

My contractors came highly recommended by my next door neighbor, who is also a contractor. My estimate was reasonable and the job was scheduled. As expected, the work required many drywall holes in walls and ceilings to provide access to piping. Replacing the pipes in our 2800 square foot house took two 8 hour days. However, we did have water back on at night.

Our repairs and repainting took five days, as we needed multiple coats of paint. Fortunately, we had kept the original indoor house paint and most of it was, amazingly, still good.

So, many thanks for our plumber Jerzy and our painter Anton. By the way, it turned out Anton is also an iconographer, and  you can see some of his amazing work in this video. In hindsight, we should have asked him for some icons in our house!

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