From the early ‘70s till the late ‘90s, Poly-B plumbing was extensively installed in new homes. Constructors considered it a fantastic material at the time. It was flexible and easy to work with, allowing for convenient fitting and hassle-free installation. More importantly, being a plastic polymer, Poly-B pipes were significantly cheaper than their metal alternatives. This made them a perfect substitute for copper piping.
However, during the mid-‘80s, problems started emerging. Homes that had Poly-B plumbing were frequently experiencing leaks and eventually required Poly-B replacement. The leaks usually occurred behind drywall. As a result, homeowners were unable to discover the problem until mold appeared or the leak caused significant water damage.
Based on survey reports, it is estimated that more than 700,000 homes in Canada had this piping installed before it was discontinued.
It’s interesting to note that the Canadian Standards Association initially approved Poly-B plumbing for potable water systems. The pipes were tested and certified for use in homes and offices. And Poly-B plumbing did indeed work well for about 10 to 15 years. However, people noticed that beyond this period, Poly-B pipes began to fail.
In other words, the main issue with Poly-B lines is not ‘if’ the pipe will suffer damage. Rather, it’s a matter of how long until it deteriorates.