With home insurance no longer covering damage that occurs as a result of Poly B plumbing failures, owners of homes built between 1985 and 1997 are now finding themselves with a decision to make. Do they pay for the removal and replacement of their plumbing or do they wait and risk potentially having that plumbing fail?
What is Poly B piping?
Poly B is short for Polybutylene. Poly B was a popular choice for home builders during its years of production due to its flexibility and low cost. Years later, we are discovering that there was a hidden cost: Poly B ultimately fails. It is simply a matter of when. The resulting leaks could mean expensive repairs for the unfortunate homeowner. While it is understandable to be concerned about the cost of replacement, don’t wait too long or you could end up with a greater expense in repairing your home and valuables.
There are a couple of factors to take into account when determining the final cost, such as the size of your home, whether it is one storey or two, and the number of fixtures to be re-piped. Another factor is the type of replacement. Will it be PEX (flexible plastic tubing), PVC_CPVC (rigid plastic pipes), or copper? With the number of variables, the eventual expense can vary quite a bit.
You will likely be replacing the Poly B with plastic pipes, either PEX (flexible plastic tubing) or PVC-CPVC (rigid plastic tubing). Re-piping a house will typically reach at least $8000. A small, one-bathroom home might be considerably less, but will still most likely run over $3000. If you are replacing the Poly B with copper pipes, you can practically double the price, though there will be some variance depending on the current price of copper.
Re-piping your home may necessitate a moderate amount of damage, as drywall is removed to give access. Will this be replaced and repainted? That alone can add $5000 to $10,000 to your total. When all is said and done, the job of replacing your Poly B plumbing is not an easy one, involving a considerable amount of labour over the course of several days, with copper pipes taking longer to install than plastic ones.
In summary, the cost will be determined by many factors including:
The size of your home
The type of replacement
The number of fixtures
Ease of access
Re-piping your home is, unfortunately, a costly proposition and one that will cause some disruption to your home life for several days. You can realistically expect to pay up to $22,000, more. This will cover the removal and replacement of the piping and any necessary repairs. Once done, however, you can relax knowing that the ticking time-bomb in your walls has been safely removed, protecting your home and valuables from costly water damage.