A leaking water pipe can be one of the more severe leaks you will experience with your plumbing system. Water pipes are under constant pressure so when a leak does occur, the water will not stop until it has been shut off. Whether your home has a water leak can depend greatly on what type of water supply pipe has been installed in your home. One of the most common types of water pipes to leak is Polybutylene.
Polybutylene (known as poly b) is a piping material that was popular and widely used back in the 1970’s-1990’s. If you know you have this material in your home, we recommend that customers replace all of it. Polybutylene is prone to bursting and the resulting damages can easily have a full repipe looking like the cheapest and best option. We always favour preventative solutions here at Jack. In some cases, a home insurance company won’t even insure a home fitted with poly-b piping.
Another common pipe material that comes up often is copper pipe. Copper pipe in itself is a very reliable and long lasting pipe for water distribution in homes and buildings. Unfortunately, because of its rising cost, copper is not used as often in today’s industry. The homes / buildings that do have copper supply pipes are often quite old. Even though copper can last 30-50 years inside a home without any issues, over time the walls of the copper become worn down, and eventually, the walls become so thin that leaks occur. When we repair a copper leak, we often will try and replace as much of the copper that we see at the time of the repair. Something you have to be careful with when repairing leaking copper pipe is when you shut the water off to the home or building.
When you drain the water down to perform your repair, sometimes the water will wash away sediment that was sitting inside the pipes. This sediment may have been preventing pre existing leaks and now that it has been washed down the pipe, the leak will turn up once you turn the water back on. At the end of the day, if the pipework in your home or building is very old, it is best to consider replacement. In the present time our skilled technicians are using a polyethylene based material called pex or wirsbo. Both of these piping types have been around since the early 1990s and have withheld the test of time for the last 40 years.