Protect Your Home From Water Leaks
Prevent catastrophic damage and high water bills
What Is Kitec Piping and Why Is It An Issue?
Kitec plumbing is a polymer pipe, typically installed in homes between 1995 and 2007, that is prone to spontaneously burst. While you can take steps to prevent leaks from these this type of piping, Kitec pipes are more likely to crack at any minute and cause major damage to your home. A major leak of this sort can not only cause serious damage to homes, but can also result in mold, mildew, and extremely high repair costs.
About Kitec Piping
Kitec piping was originally installed because it was believed to be a cheaper and more efficient alternative to copper piping. It was commonly used between 1995 and 2007 because of its low cost and ease of installation.
The first recalls of Kitec piping occurred in 2005, which suggests that the lifespan of Kitec can be approximately 10 years. However, industry professionals predict that failure rates of Kitec will only increase over time and most, if not all, homes with this plumbing will experience premature pipe failure.
Why is Kitec a Problem?
The brass fittings that connect Kitec piping contain high amounts of zinc, which breaks down when exposed to moisture and oxygen in a process called dezincification. Zinc oxide then causes blockages in the piping, which results in bursts.
Aside from the makeup of the fittings, the pipes themselves only are able to handle a maximum temperature of 180 degrees Fahrenheit. However, hot water tanks can go beyond this temperature, also causing the pipes to break down.
Class Action Lawsuit
Although the manufacturer, IPEX, denied that there were any serious issues with the piping, class action lawsuits were filed in both the United States and Canada. This resulted in the pipes being recalled and a $125 million settlement.
The lawsuit also includes other IPEX products in addition to Kitec®. Many of these are solid wall PEX pipes with no layer of embedded aluminum. To the best of our knowledge, there have been no premature material failures with these pipes*.
IPEX and their insurance company settled, and set up a $125 million fund to compensate those with Kitec® failures. We don’t know if the issue is limited to areas with certain water chemistry, for example, or whether there were manufacturing issues with some of the product. The other issue is dark spots and/or blisters forming on the pipe*.
If you’ve already experienced damage due to Kitec, filing a claim form to collect from the settlement fund can be done online.
Do I Have Kitec Plumbing?
Kitec is flexible, polymer piping and has a thin layer of aluminum between an inner and outer layer of plastic piping.
There are a few things you can look for to find out if you have this type of piping:
- The distinctive orange and blue piping; though sometimes it is a gray color
- Brass fittings that may have one of the following identifiers: Kitec, KTC, CSA B137.9/10, or ATSM F1974
- Yellow sticker inside your home’s electrical panel door. Because these pipes can’t be used as an electrical
- ground, a sticker noting the non-metallic interior water piping may be present.
- Any of the following brand names on pipes…
- KERR Controls
- Plomberie Amelioree
Visit the link below to learn more about Kitec plumbing:
LINK TO OTHER KITEC ARTICLE
*Information taken as excerpt from Carson Dunlop