Once considered a miracle new plumbing product, Kitec plumbing has become a curse for many homeowners.
It was manufactured by a company called IPEX and installed between 1995 and 2007. At the time, Kitec was considered by plumbing professionals to be a top-quality product. The characteristic flexible polyethylene blue and orange piping had brass fittings and a thin inside layer of aluminum. It was flexible and easy to install, which meant quicker and less expensive installations and the aluminum reinforcement meant it was sturdy enough to last … or so they thought. It was used throughout homes, and particular, in underfloor and radiant heating systems and homes with boiler heating systems.
Homeowners across Canada reported the failure of the brass fittings and the actual disintegration of the piping itself. The failures caused flooding and massive repair bills as all the Kitec had to be removed and replaced. It was thought that the brass interacted with the plastic piping, causing a reaction that led to the failure of both.
By 2011, a class action lawsuit was underway alleging that Kitec was improperly manufactured, causing the pipes to fall apart. By 2012, the case was settled and payments began to be made to claimants. For those homeowners still discovering Kitec in their homes, the deadline to join the class action suit and file a claim is January 9, 2020.
Certified home inspectors like AmeriSpec will be able to identify Kitec piping and recommend a consultation with a plumber. Unfortunately, it isn’t a question of if Kitec will fail, but when, so it needs to be addressed promptly before disaster strikes. Many homeowners are opting to have the defective piping removed and replaced before the pipes fail and lead to serious water damage. Since Kitec can burst or slowly erode and drip continuously into walls before failing outright, replacement seems to more prudent, if costly, approach.
For more information about Kitec piping, please contact AmeriSpec at 1-866-284-6010 or visit www.amerispec.ca to find your local office.