Poly-B Replacement Services

Replacing your polybutylene plumbing

Many homes built in British Columbia in the 1980’s and early 1990’s are equipped with polybutylene pipes. Due to the high cost of copper at the time, polybutylene pipes were an attractive and affordable alternative to traditional copper pipes. Unfortunately, the initial affordability of poly-b pipes has come at a cost. Many homeowners have since experienced extensive leaks, burst pipes and subsequent property damage due to faulty poly-b plumbing throughout their homes.

CanWest Mechanical is here for you. Our team will help assess the plumbing in your home and provide our expert opinion on how to alleviate the issues at hand. Contact us today for a free estimate.


common questions

Questions about poly-b plumbing? Check out our FAQ section! If you can't find what you're looking for, please contact us – We'd be happy to help.
Why is replacing polybutylene plumbing time sensitive?
  • Due to the increased risk of property damage, many insurance companies will refuse to insure a home with polybutylene pipes. 
  • The chlorine in our public water supply expedites the breakdown of polybutylene pipes. Polybutylene pipes will become brittle and begin to flake, crack or break, resulting in extensive damage to your property and contamination of your home's water supply.
how can you maintain polybutylene pipes before replacement?

In a perfect world, you would have the poly-b pipes in your home replaced as soon as they are discovered. However, due to financial constraints many homeowners choose to hold off on replacing their pipes until it is more feasible. 

Ways to maintain your polybutylene plumbing:

  • Reduce water pressure down to 40 to 60 psi. This will reduce the stress that is put on the already weakened pipes.
  • Reduce water temperature. Since hot water can aid in weakening the pipes over time, reducing the temperature can help prolong their integrity.
  • Change Plastic Fittings. Our team at CanWest Mechanical can help prolong the life of your poly-b pipes by swapping out the old plastic fittings for new brass or copper fittings.
Why is poly-b plumbing bad?

Over the years research has shown that polybutylene pipes fail to withstand day-to-day wear and tear such as the chlorine and disinfectants in our water supply and increased water pressure and temperature caused by daily use. Over time cracks will develop from the inside out, eventually resulting in a leaky or burst pipe.

Do I have to replace my poly-b pipes?

It is highly recommended that you replace your polybutylene pipes as soon as you are able to. Since poly-b pipes are prone to leaks and ruptures it is essential to have them replaced in order to maintain the integrity of your home. Polybutylene pipes take 10-15 years to deteriorate and cause problems in your home. Often times these issues go undetected, especially if your pipes are hidden behind sheetrock. If pipes are left to leak over a long period of time, dangerous molds and extensive property damage can occur.

Will home insurance cover a property with poly-b pipes?

Many insurance companies will not provide coverage for homes equipped with polybutylene plumbing due to the high risk of property damage associated with these pipes.

How can I tell if I have polybutylene pipes?

Some characteristics of polybutylene pipes include:

  • Stamped with the code "PB2110"
  • Flexible and sometimes curved (not rigid like most other pipes)
  • Not used for waste, drain or vent piping
  • Typically grey in colour, but can also be white, silver, black or blue
  • 1/2" to 1" in diameter