Buying a Home that has Kitec Plumbing, Beware !
I just got a memo from our Broker of Record Today about Kitec Plumbing. There have been numerous inquiries recently from people either buying or selling their home containing Kitec Systems for their hot and cold water pipes.
They wanted to know if it's good, bad, or what.....well....it's bad !
These Kitec Systems are very prone to premature failure and leaks, sometimes even bursting and flooding the house causing extensive damage.
If you do have a house that has this type of plumbing and you want to replace it with copper, it aint going to be cheap. Plumbing is usually behind walls and under floors, so it will cost you thousands of dollars to remedy this situation.
What is Kitec Plumbing?
This system of plumbing pipes was marketed as a cheaper alternative to using copper pipes. The claim was that is was also corrosion resistant. (they actually started corroding pretty fast). Normally used in drinking water and heating systems.
Kitec Pipes consist of a flexible Aluminium Pipe between an inner and an outer layer of plastic pipe, called PEX Pipe, with brass fittings. The fittings were made with a high zinc content that caused dezinctifying where there was either very hot water or high pressure.
When was Kitec Plumbing Used?
Kitec systems were installed in houses between the mid 90's and up until 2007 when they were recalled. If your house was built in this timeframe, or even if your home was extensively renovated, you might have Kitec Installed.
How to recognize Kitec Plumbing.
kitec cold waterA Kitec System, Blue for cold water
For cold water lines, the pipes are blue, and for hot water the pipes are orange. There were some other colours included, but those are the main 2 colours. These systems needed to have the company fitting used, so you will find either Kitec or KTC stamped on them.
You can go into the basement mechanical room or near the hot water tank and find these pipes, or you can find them underneath a sink or vanity.
Sometimes electrical boxes are hooked up to the water pipes as a ground, but you cannot use Kitec Plumbing to ground electrical systems, as they have plastic in them. There should be a large yellow sticker right on the electric panel box.
Buying a home with Kitex Installed.
If you're working with a REALTOR to buy a house, I would expect that your Agent should easily be able to find this and point it out to you, and explain what it is, before you decide to buy that house. If you are working with a new or inexperienced person, or worse still, no agent, beware !
To conclude, a settlement fund of $125 Million was set up for claimants in the U.S. as well as Canada. Claims must be filed before Jan. 9th 2020, after this date, claims will be dismissed.
There are now 2 types of Kitec on the market....those that have leaked and those that are going to leak !
Any questions about Kitec as a buyer or a seller, give us a call or email