I have listed a new property at 209 WOODHILL LANE in Fort Saskatchewan. See details here

One of Fort Saskatchewan most desirable locations. 209 Woodhill Lane. Close to river valley and beautiful walk trails. 2009 sq ft 2 Storey! maintenance free front yard! Spacious front entrance leads to great room with 9'ceilings, vinyl plank flooring with plenty of natural light. Stone floor to ceiling gas fireplace. Maple kitchen with oversized island with plenty of room for seating. Corner walk through pantry leads to garage entrance and laundry room with sink. Granite countertops. All appliances included. Garden door leads to fenced and landscaped backyard. Upper level bonus room with coffered ceiling. Master bedroom suite with huge walkin closet and 5 piece bath, double shower and jet tub. 4 extra bedrooms, 2 upper 2 basement. Oversized double attached garage 25.9 x 26 with over head radiant heater. Open staircase to basement which is 80% finished, full 4 piece bath, just flooring & ceiling. Good size rec. room and bedrooms. Large 10 x 15 deck with dura deck type planks. Move in Ready. Welcome Home!

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Practically Speaking:

Polybutylene is a plastic resin that was manufactured into water supply piping for use in new construction. Commonly referred to as Poly-B, these water supply lines in homes carry a stigma that seems to be far-reaching despite their relatively short usage time frame. In my former practice, I had clients who ranged from “who cares?” to “are there any life jackets available for the showing just in case?” and although I am not a plumber, I will try to give a clear explanation of the facts so you can help your clients to know when to seek professional advice from a plumber.

History

Poly-B was developed and approved for use in the USA as early as 1975 at a time when copper prices were very high. The standard at the time for home plumbing systems was copper lines with copper joints which all had to be soldered. This copper piping system not only used a lot of expensive copper, but was time-consuming in soldering, measuring, and cutting. Because of coppers' rigid structure, it requires many joints and elbows to go around corners. All these factors led to the development of a great idea, namely plastic piping which was cheap to manufacture, light weight to transport, had some additional flexibility, and required no soldering at all! This caught on right away and became an instant hit, making its way to Canada as well for wide distribution and use in residential and commercial applications as early as 1978 but with wide appeal during the years 1985-1997. In 1998 the Polybutylene resin stopped being produced because of complaints that some installations were failing, and ultimately the Canadian plumbing code removed Poly-B as a viable material for use in 2005.

The Problem 

According to the Government of Alberta, unconfirmed estimates have 148,000 homes in Alberta with Poly-B water pipe installations, however, Alberta installations were primarily done with brass or copper insert fittings and soft copper crimping rings. Most of the installations that had fast failures, prompting class action lawsuits, used plastic fitting and crimps, but this is more a distinction between bad and worse, not good, and bad. Several factors have been found to lead to the relatively fast failure of this piping, plastic fittings and crimps are one, but the more serious ones are high chlorine water supply, prolonged UV exposure, and prolonged exposure to the high heat of the water or the surrounding environment. The major cause of failure is simply that the core molecular structure of the material was not well suited to the requirements of a water supply pipe, so the pipe gets brittle over time, and is accelerated by the factors I mentioned. Once the pipe is sufficiently brittle, it only takes a small movement in the line through sudden pressure change, being bumped, or even through temperature changes, and the line can split or crack resulting in potentially major water damage.

The Solution 

One of the truly sinister parts about the Poly-B issue is that the pipe most often does not change color or appearance as it deteriorates, so one day it is fine and the next day you have an in-ground swimming pool you never ordered. To be fair, all plumbing systems have a life span, and even copper is rated for only 50 years, but with installations lasting double that without problems. Poly-B seems to have a predictable lifespan but commonly lasts 20-30 years with proper installation and not having any of the accelerating factors mentioned. Because of this uncertainty, the only solution is to replace the piping with a proven system like PEX. This can usually be done with minimal damage when using a qualified plumber, especially one specializing in Poly-B replacement.

How to tell if you have Poly-B piping

The easiest way to check is to find an exposed pipe, most commonly in the utility room, and look at it. Poly-B has a characteristically light to medium grey color but was also made in black, blue, red, and silver. The permanent writing on the piping itself will usually have a code that starts with “PB”, the most common seems to be “PB2110”. It is not uncommon for consumers to see PEX piping, which is the current standard, and think that because it is plastic it must be “the bad one”. Poly-B will normally have copper elbows and connectors and joints to make corners, but PEX most often does not require such connectors since it can bend, and PEX is normally a white translucent color. As a rule, if the house is built between 1980 and 1998, and you see grey plastic pipes in the utility room, it is likely Poly-B and you should alert your clients to this right away so they can plan for a plumber to cost out a replacement.

Insurance Issues

At the time of the writing of this article, I have not heard of any insurance underwriters refusing to cover homes with Poly-B piping. It is conceivable however that since we are nearing the upper limit of the economic life of the late 90s installations this issue may flare up again and insurance companies will alter coverage to match the risk.


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I have listed a new property at 50 STARLING WAY in Fort Saskatchewan. See details here

Located in desirable South Fort Meadows sits this gorgeous brand new 2285 square feet high end home. Large great room with 17’ ceiling and decretive wall electric fireplace. Large dinette to accommodate any sized table. Mud room with shelving leads to walk through pantry to functional kitchen. Double french doors to main floor den. Three bedrooms up. Separate upper level centrally located laundry room. Master has coffered ceiling, five piece ensuite and walk in closet. Huge bonus room also with coffered ceiling. 26’.10 deep garage with floor drain. 9.6’ x 15’ rear deck

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I have listed a new property at 54 STARLING WAY in Fort Saskatchewan. See details here

Now under construction. Brand new 2183 square foot executive two storey. Large great room with stone accented electric fireplace. The coffered ceiling dinette is large enough to handle any sized table. Huge gourmet kitchen with chef’s pantry. Huge family functional mudroom. Spectacular open stair case leads to large central bonus room. Three bedrooms up. Upper level laundry. Large master with coffered ceiling 5 piece ensuite with corner jet tub. Large walk in closet. 27’ x 24’ garage. Located on a quiet family street. Walking distance to recreational areas. For more info. Visit our show home at 558 Meadowview Drive.

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I have listed a new property at 654 MEADOWVIEW DR in Fort Saskatchewan. See details here

Built in 2021 Bungalow, everything on wish list. 2364 sq ft of fully finished living space. Landscaped & fenced with extra storage under deck. Reserve on east side. Open main floor, vaulted ceilings, vinyl planking throughout. Exquisite floor to ceiling stone gas fireplace sets the mood. Huge island with sink, pot draws & seating. Over abundance of cabinets & counter space. Quartz countertops throughout home. Built in oven, microwave & countertop induction stove. Garden door to maintenance free deck & rails, gas BBQ. Main floor laundry with sink. Extra bedroom/den & full bath on main. Master bedroom suite w coffered ceiling, side bed lights, walk-in closet. Ensuite: double glass door shower w seat, tile floor. Lower level, 9' ceilings, 2 bedrooms w walk in closets. 1 bedroom has access to the 4 piece bath! The rec room will be your time to relax with family. 2 large windows leaves this room bright & open. Central air conditioning. Heated garage w hot/cold running water and floor drain. Now time to View!

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I have listed a new property at 100 8530 94 ST in Fort Saskatchewan. See details here

Welcome Home! Clio is centrally located close to hospital. 1619 sq ft. Large welcoming front entrance from the front door and your double attached garage. Plenty of storage. Upper level great room is open and welcoming. Vinyl floor planking throughout. Bright and open with plenty of natural light. Functional kitchen with huge island with quartz countertop and seating. Plenty drawers, cabinets and pantry. Great for all those family functions. All appliances are included. Garden door to balcony with BBQ natural gas line. Family size eating area over looking living room. Stairs leading you to the master bedroom suite. Large enough for king size bed. Three piece ensuite with double stand alone shower. Two other good size bedrooms. Upper level laundry too! Double attached garage. Central air conditioning too! Best part no yardwork. Condo fees $155.00 per month includes yard and snow removal. Don't let this opportunity pass you by.

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I have listed a new property at 82 WOODBRIDGE LINK in Fort Saskatchewan. See details here

Very well kept desirable 1/2 duplex walking distance to our treasured River Valley Trail system including parks, play grounds, dog park, fish pond, ball diamonds and Andy’s playground. Boasting 1400 square feet. Spacious front foyer leads to great room with gas fireplace and built in entertainment center. European style shaker door kitchen cabinets with corner pantry and functional island with raised breakfast bar. Nice sized dinette. Hardwood flooring. Main floor two piece bath. Direct entrance to attached garage. Three bedrooms up. Master has four piece ensuite. There is also an additional four piece bath. Beautiful low maintenance landscaping front and back of home. Rear patio with additional raised deck lodging area large enough for future hot tub. North facing back large perfect for the evening sun. Yard is fully fenced. This home is a real pleasure to show.

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I have listed a new property at 14 ELLICE BEND in Fort Saskatchewan. See details here

Welcome Home! 2277 sq ft 2 Storey with all the bells and whistles. Spacious front foyer leads you to the Great room. Vinyl floor planking throughout main floor. 9' foot ceilings, extra large windows give an abundance of natural light. Stylish fireplace with tile surround. Extra large island with quartz countertops. Plenty of cabinets with pot drawers. Patio doors leads to your landscaped back yard and stone patio. Bonus the Gazebo stays! Just off the kitchen is den / child's play area. Walk though butler pantry to back entrance with customized mudroom. Half bath finishes the main floor. Upper level bonus room. Master bedroom suite with beautiful 5 pc. ensuite. Large soaker tub, double tiled stand alone shower and 2 sinks. Quartz counters in all bath rooms. Extra 3 bedrooms on upper level! all a great size. Upper level laundry. Basement is unfinished with rough in bathroom. Central air conditioner for the warm summer days. Double attached garage. Stunning home you won't want to miss!

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I have listed a new property at 120 DURRAND BEND in Fort Saskatchewan. See details here

Location - Location - Location really applies to this very well kept home backing onto scenic park and pond, with direct access to our Treasured Walking and Bicycle Trial System that adjoins the entire city. Boasting WALKOUT BASEMENT to sunny north facing, incredibly stylish and low maintenance landscaped, fully fenced back yard. Bright and open foyer leads to good sized great room with gas fireplace and upper entertainment center. Rich wood kitchen cabinets with walk through corner pantry and family function island with room enough for four chairs. All adjoining good sized dinette with coffered ceiling. Dinette could handle a variety of different kitchen tables. Patio door from dinette leads to private rear deck. Granite counter tops through out. Main floor laundry. Double attached garage. Upper level features bonus room, three bedrooms, four piece bath. Master bedroom has walk in closet and five piece ensuite with double shower, two sinks and jet tub. Basement is unspoiled and ready for your imagination

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