What is Kitec Plumbing?
Why should you care?
Because it could potentially interfere with you getting home insurance
What is Kitec Plumbing?
Between 1995 and 2007, Kitec piping was a popular choice for new home plumbing. While some PEX piping performs fine, one type (branded under the Kitec name) had a design flaw with the fittings that homeowners should know about.
How do you know if you have Kitec Plumbing?
Most Kitec plumbing can be identified by its bright orange (hot water) and bright blue (cold water) pipes, which were the most common colours, but it was also sold in red, blue, gray and black. The pipe is typically marked with one of about 10 different brand names including Kitec and PlumbBetter. Visible fittings are stamped with Kitec or KTC.
The best place to look for a Kitec system is near the hot water tank or in the mechanical room where the pipe connects to, or exits from, the walls. Pipes are also visible beneath kitchen sinks or bathroom vanities. Electrical panel doors may contain a sticker stating that Kitec was used in the home and that the electrical system cannot be grounded to it.
Kitec may deteriorate or fail due to excessive water pressure or water running at temperatures hotter than the manufacturer’s rating of 77C (180F).
Industry professionals believe that homes and condominiums with Kitec plumbing and fittings will experience premature pipe failure, and failure rates will increase over time. The pipes may not just leak but burst, with potential for flooding.
- One alleged issue is with fittings that contain high levels of zinc, resulting in corrosion and weakness over time.
- May result in leaks and water damage to the home
- May also result in clogging and poor water pressure and flow
- The other issue is dark spots and/or blisters forming on the pipe.
What your Insurance company will do about it
Can you be reimbursed for your existing Kitec Plumbing system?
Kitec plumbing has been the subject of many lawsuits across North America, including a large cross-border class action which was concluded in 2011. A settlement fund of $125 million (all figures U.S.) was established, with $25 million going to the lawyers in Canada and the U.S., and $100 million being set aside for claimants who have until January, 2020 to file.
With an estimated 87,600 claims, the payout to each claimant will be nominal and the final amounts will not be settled until the expiry of the claims period in 2020.
If you have a property with Kitec piping, you should register in case you have a failure in the future. You have until 2020 to register. If you have a failure, document it and send the bill for repairs. You will get some relief, although you will not likely receive full reimbursement for the costs.