Janine Thomson

Serving the Westshore with quality, integrity & accuracy.

For years, the building industry has been constructing houses In North America with Polybutylene piping and fittings for plumbing. Between the years of 1978 to 1995, Polybutylene or Poly B was the major source of plastic material shaped fittings and pipes described as light grey in color. More than 700,000 homes in Canada have this as their major plumbing source. Recent claims have been coming out of the wordwork in relation to the deterioration and stability of Poly B. When exposed to extreme heat, such as water or sunlight and for extended amounts of time, the Poly B has been known to deteriorate, by cracking and then substantially breaking. High levels of chlorine and water pressure are also claimed to be a factor in its wear and tear. 


 Poly-B piping is no longer listed as an acceptable plumbing piping material in the current National Plumbing Code of Canada as of 2005. 


Over the recent years, Insurance companies have raised concerns about the insurable liabilities and risk associated with Poly B. Lawsuits have been taking place over North America in regards to Poly B claims. It is important to know now, that for some owners, insurance is not possible, or if any, premiums maybe significantly higher than average. In some cases, renewal of an owner's insurance has been denied. 


To further this concern, Poly B that breaks and causes water damage, insurers will not cover or insure the damage directly because of its attribution to Poly B. If Poly B becomes more of an issue in the next few years, most insurance companies will be opting out of insuring anything related to Poly B. For now, as acceptable coverage, insurance companies want all Poly B to be encased with copper fittings or collars on pipes and joints. 


When purchasing your next home, especially a house built between the years 1978-1995, it a good suggestion to have an inspection for Poly B piping. As your realtor, it is important that we enlist such advice and input clauses as subjects to in your offers, realtive to this discovery. Ultimately, you will not be a happy purchaser, if this part is off set or ignored and as time goes on, this could be a costly procedure to replace and manage. Significant costs can rise as high as $15,000 to replace Poly B, all depending on the size of the home.


To conclude, now is the time to check your home insurance if you know Poly B is going to be the source of your troubles. Check this article on 8 Ways to make the best of Poly-B. Better to crack down on Poly B before its too late!


Contact Janine Thomson 250-812-6920 for further information and we can recommend the right people to help you!



Sources of information & credits:


FYI Home Inspections 

Poly B - Know the Facts

Fleetwood Buidling Inspections

Intact Insurance


Disclaimer: This article is for information purposes only and is not a resolution or indication of Poly B in your home. 

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You have a property on which you want to make an offer! In addition to the information and suggested areas of investigation that you have reviewed earlier in this brochure, you may consider engaging the services of experts to provide inspections and reports on important components of a property.  These services may be engaged prior to you making an offer or, more commonly, you may make your offer subject to you receiving and being satisfied with applicable inspections or reports. The cost of commissioning any inspection or report will vary and should be factored into your overall purchasing budget.


Why do an inspection?

It a wiser solution to knowing what you are purchasing and the cost that maybe incurred if the property were to have some unknown weaknesses. Otherwise, without, you could be purchasing a home with a heavier cost than anticipated.


The types of inspections and reports you may wish to obtain will depend on the type of property, e.g. detached house, strata titled unit, recreational; the mechanical and service components, and geographic location of the property. Below is a list of the more common inspections and reports that are available to buyers. The list is organized alphabetically, not by order of importance, as the degree of importance of a particular inspection or report will depend on the specific nature of the property.

  • Appraisal Report: provides guidance to the value of a property and may be required by mortgage companies or obtained by buyers who want an estimate of the value of a property.
  • Depreciation Report: helps strata corporations plan for future repair and maintenance costs and helps prospective buyers to understand what repairs will be required and the future costs to a strata corporation to undertake the repairs.
  • Electrical Inspection: an inspection of the electrical system and components of a property which will identify the deficiencies, if any.
  • Engineers Report: provides information on the integrity of any buildings and other aspects of the property.
  • Environmental Report: assists in determining if there are any environmental problems or considerations with a property, including but not limited to asbestos, radon gas, underground oil storage tanks or riparian areas.
  • Furnace and Chimney Inspection: assists in determining if the furnace and the chimney meet current safety and insurance standards.
  • Gas Line Inspection: undertaken by a natural gas utility, determines the integrity of gas lines and if any improvements to the property have been built over the gas service lines requiring their relocation.
  • Home Inspection: provides information on the physical condition of a property.
  • Municipal Compliance Report: from the municipality provides information relating to (non)compliance with municipal bylaws and regulations, or to waivers granted by the municipality.
  • Plumbing Inspection: an inspection of the plumbing and drainage components of a property outlining any deficiencies.
  • Property Disclosure Statement: a statement provided by a seller concerning the condition of a property, to the best of their knowledge.
  • Surveyors Certificate: a report showing the property boundaries and the location of all improvements in relationship to those boundaries.
  • Septic/Sewer Inspection: determines the condition of the sewer/septic system.
  • Title Search: ascertains the ownership of land and whether there are any easements, restrictive covenants, leases, mortgages and encumbrances and charges registered against the land.
  • Water Quality/Quantity Test: determines the recovery rate and quality of the water supply.
  • Wood Stove/Fireplace Inspection: undertaken to determine if the wood stove or fireplace meets insurance requirements.

You may request other inspections or reports concerning specific components of a property, such as the roof, air conditioner, or any other component where the condition of that component would be material to your decision to buy a property.


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NOTE: MLS® property information is provided under copyright© by the Victoria Real Estate Board. The information is from sources deemed reliable, but should not be relied upon without independent verification. This website may only be used by consumers for the purpose of locating and purchasing real estate.