What the heck is Kitec?

Kitec is a plastic plumbing system that was installed in Canadian and American homes from the early 1990s until it was initially withdrawn from the market in 2005, with some installations completed in 2007. In addition to hot and cold water pipes in homes, it was also used for floor pipes. , and other radiant hot water heating systems.

The premature failure has given rise to a cross-border class action lawsuit.

Widely promoted as an alternative to copper pipes, Kitec was withdrawn from the market because the fittings corrode very quickly. Failure is accelerated by high pressure and high temperature, and can also be affected by the chemistry of the water supply, including the pH of the water and the level of chlorine.

Many homes equipped with Kitec plumbing have already suffered extensive water damage due to the rupture of these pipe systems, and failure rates are expected to increase over time. The only complete solution is to replace the Kitec piping with copper or another plastic piping system, and in most cases this will require access behind walls and through floors.

Kitec plumbing can most often be identified by its orange (hot water) and blue (cold water) colored pipes, but it was also made in red, blue, gray and black. The tube can be printed with any of 10 different brands, including Kitec and PlumbBetter. Visible accessories are stamped with Kitec or KTC.

A Kitec system can be identified by locating the pipe in the hot water tank or in a utility room where the pipe enters or exits the walls. The pipe can also be seen under kitchen or bathroom sinks. You may also find a label on the electrical panel or elsewhere indicating that the plumbing system does not provide a proper ground for electrical systems.

Anticipated costs to rehabilitate single-family homes range from $4,000 to $8,000 depending on the approach taken and the work required. Prices include replacement of plumbing and drywall, but not kitchen or bathroom tile, or any fixtures, such as shower covers, that would have to be removed to access the plumbing.

A class action lawsuit concluded in 2011 awarded a US$125 million settlement fund, with US$25 million going to attorneys in Canada and the US, and US$100 million reserved for plaintiffs who have until January 2020. to file the claim. Final payments will not be settled until the claims period expires in 2020, and with an estimated 87,600 claims and the cost of administration, as well as new claims arising from recent publicity, homeowners will be lucky to see between $500 and $1000.

Many insurers are already denying applications for homeowners insurance where Kitec plumbing in the home has been identified.


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