Issue with Poly Pipes

Posted by on April 15/2023 | 0 Comments

What Are Poly Pipes? The Controversial Plumbing Choice That Could Cost You Thousands of Dollars

Poly pipes, also known as polybutylene pipes (or poly b pipes), were once installed in homes and businesses for their main plumbing and water supply. They were made of a plastic resin material (plastic pipe) and were lightweight, easy to install, and relatively inexpensive compared to other plumbing materials. Despite that, using poly-b pipes has since been discouraged or banned in homes due to concerns about durability and potential failure.

Our trained Hy-Pro Plumbing & Drain Cleaning technicians know how to identify them and can discuss your options. Depending on the location of poly pipes in your home or business or if you are considering purchasing a property with polybutylene pipes, a replacement should be a consideration. Call one of our friendly and professional staff at 1-877-554-9776 to discuss your situation or to book an appointment.

The Low Down On Polybutylene Plumbing and Pipes

Polybutylene pipes caused various concerns over time, which led to poly pipes being discontinued after the late 1990s. Some of these concerns were:

Failures and Leaks

Poly pipes are prone to failure, particularly at the fitting and joint connections. Over time, they can develop cracks and fractures, leading to leaks or water damage.

Material Degradation

Exposure to chlorinated water and other chemicals in the water can cause poly pipes to degrade, reducing their durability and increasing the risk of failure.

Manufacturing Defects

Polybutylene pipes were produced by various manufacturers using different methods and materials. Some batches created had defects at the production level, which increased the risk of breaking down and failure after installment.

Insurance and Property Values

Many home and business insurance companies have stopped covering the water damage caused by poly pipes in a property, which could lead to costly repairs and cleanup for the property owner. Plus, it decreases the home’s overall value if poly pipes are still installed in the home.

Building Code Restrictions

Many building codes now prohibit using poly pipes in new constructions, which can make it difficult or expensive to replace failing or older pipes in older buildings. Also, when purchasing a home or building built before 1995, you will have to consider the replacement cost if poly pipes are still being used.

Health Concerns

While there has not been any evidence to suggest poly-b pipes pose a health risk to humans or pets, some have been concerned about the presence of chlorine or the potential of chemicals leaching into the water supply. This is a particular concern when acidic water is treated with chloramine.

Alternative Solutions to the Poly Pipes for Your Plumbing System

Several options are available when looking for alternatives to poly-b pipes for your plumbing system. The suitable choice will vary depending on your specific needs or budget and the local codes and regulations on building and construction. Here are the top four most popular choices:

1. Copper Pipes

Copper pipes are a durable and long-lasting option for plumbing systems. They are resistant to corrosion and can withstand high temperatures and pressures. Copper plumbing pipes are also a good choice for areas with hard water, as they resist scaling and mineral buildup. Although, copper plumbing pipes are expensive and require special tools and expert technicians to install them.

2. PEX Pipes

PEX pipes (cross-linked polyethylene) are popular for plumbing systems because of their flexibility, durability, and ease of installation. PEX pipes are resistant to corrosion, scaling, and freezing and can be used for both hot and cold-water lines. This is less expensive than copper pipes and requires fewer fittings, reducing the risk of leaks. Even so, they may not be approved for use in some areas, and some companies will not install them.

3. PVC Pipes

PVC pipes (polyvinyl chloride) are a lightweight and inexpensive option for plumbing systems. They are resistant to corrosion and can withstand high pressure, making them a good choice for water supply lines. They are easy to install and require few fittings. But, PVC pipes may not be approved for use in some areas and are unsuitable for water heaters and not recommended for hot water supply lines.

4. Galvanized Steel Pipes

Galvanized steel pipes are a durable and long-lasting option for plumbing systems. They are resistant to corrosion and can withstand high temperatures and pressures. They are also relatively inexpensive and require few fittings. Despite that, they can be difficult to install and may require specialized tools and experienced technicians for installation.

Poly Pipes: Protect Your Property & Your Bank Account By Knowing Your Plumbing Options

While once popular and usually the first choice because of their affordability and ease of installation, the risks associated with poly pipes have led to their restriction of use and being banned in some areas. They have become controversial since they frequently failed and caused expensive water damage to a person’s property. Building codes have restricted polybutylene piping, and insurance policies won’t cover water damage caused by the malfunction of poly pipes. If you have poly piping in your home, it’s vital to be aware of the potential risks and take action to prevent water leaks or damage and keep your property safe — there are several alternatives available to you. By consulting a plumbing professional at Hy-Pro Plumbing & Drain Cleaning, you can discuss the options for your specific needs to ensure that your plumbing system is safe, reliable, and long-lasting.

Whether you are a homeowner, property manager, or building owner, be proactive about your plumbing system and ensure you use the best materials available in your area. Your safety, comfort, peace of mind, and bank account depend on it.

If you are worried about the quality of your plumbing system or suspect that you may have poly piping installed, don’t hesitate to contact us for an inspection and assessment. Take action now to prevent costly water damage and ensure that your property remains safe and secure.

Don’t wait until it’s too late—contact Hy-Pro Plumbing & Drain Cleaning at 1-877-554-9776 to talk to one of our trained, professional team members to learn more about your options. Let’s discuss how we can help you keep your plumbing system running smoothly for years.

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