Polybutylene (Poly “B”)

Dear Homeowners in the Ottawa Area,


Hello, my name is Jason Villeneuve and I am the Owner/Director of Welcome Home, the high-quality and reputable renovation company that has been working in your area.


Following the completion of a Poly”B” plumbing replacement contract in your area, I have received several inquiries from neighbouring homeowner’s wanting to do the same….and as you can imagine, they have many questions about the issue and the process of resolving the problem.


Unfortunately, the regulations and procedures governing this type of work are relatively obscure and vary greatly from one municipality to the next. Adding to the confusion is the wide range of stipulations and limitations from different home insurance companies regarding coverage and liability.


This overview will provide some clarity and make things as simple and stress-free as possible when deciding to have your plumbing upgraded by Welcome Home.


The following is a summary of information surrounding Poly “B” from various sources including the website “poly-b.com”:



What is Poly “B”?


Poly “B”, also referred to as Polybutylene, is a flexible grey pipe used in hot water systems and residential plumbing. It was manufactured in between the years of 1978 and 1998 because of its flexibility, low cost, and ease of installation. It is estimated that in Canada alone there are over 700,000 homes that have had this piping installed prior to it being discontinued. Each and every one of these homes is at risk of Poly “B” issues happening.


Poly “B” was the first plastic plumbing pipe manufactured to be used as an alternative to a more expensive copper piping. The fact that is was inexpensive and easy to install made it very appealing to plumbers and contractors throughout the US and Canada. In Canada, the use of Poly “B” piping was originally tested and certified by the Canadian Standards Association and approved for potable water systems.


Although there has been a lot of controversy over the use of Poly “B”, these water systems have acted without failure in many homes for extended periods of time that range from 10 to 15 years. Following this time frame, almost in all instances, Poly “B” pipe failure has happened. It is not a matter of if the pipe will fail but how long until the pipe fails.



Problems with Poly “B”


Although there may be homes that have not experienced damages yet, the fact is that the pipe was discontinued for a reason. Eventually and over time the pipe begins to leak and cause damages to homes. 


One or more of the following are the reasons you may be experiencing Poly “B” issues in your home:

  • High levels or free chlorine exist in the water supply causing leakage throughout the piping system.
  • Improper installation of the piping in homes where fitting were installed too tight causing hair line cracks eventually ending with leakage and damages to homes.
  • Improper installation of piping to be bent and put under stress causing leaks and damages to homes.
  • Installation near high heat areas including hot water tanks, in the attic, and other areas of extensively high temperatures.
  • The use of acetal (white or grey) fittings to connect pipes rather than the preferred metal fittings.



The Cost of Replacing Poly “B”


The cost of replacing the Poly “B” Plumbing system in your home depends on the size of your home and the contractor doing the work for you. Replacing the system is almost always invasive to an extent. There are many professionals that have have devised quick ways of re-mediating Poly “B” and getting your home back into the condition exactly as it was before. There are many factors that can dictate the price of a job.

  • Materials
  • Labour
  • Remediation
  • Interior Access
  • Size of the House
  • Number of Bathrooms
  • How much drywall needs to be removed to access pipes

Cost is always a deciding factor when considering to replace Poly “B”. In general these jobs are not cheap. Depending on these factors the price can range quite significantly.


The average price for having your plumbing upgraded is generally between $6,000 and $15000. This price should include complete replacement of Poly “B” with PEX (or equivalent) piping system and all repair to walls and ceilings during the Poly “B” re-mediation process.


A typical Poly “B” job takes about a week to complete the plumbing aspect of things and then up to another 2 weeks to complete the drywall process.


The investment however is a good one none-the-less. You will have peace of mind that you will not be a victim of a leaking water system and avoid the costs that come with an unexpected pipe failure.



We are here to help...


Contact us today for a free in-home consultation and estimate for the replacement of the Poly “B” plumbing in your home. Welcome Home can provide professional references for similar successful projects in your area....from people that you know and trust as your neighbours!

Visit our website for more information on Jason and Welcome Home and how we can help you take care of your biggest investment....your home!

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