07 April Close up of two taps

Why You Should Replace Kitec Plumbing

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If you can see or remember seeing orange and blue pipes labelled “Kitec” in your house or building, it might be time to call in the plumbing experts because what you have in your plumbing system is most likely an accident waiting to happen. However, if you are just about to buy the property with this plumbing system, you need to know exactly what you are getting yourself into.

You see, there are strong reasons why Kitec plumbing was recalled last 2005 and why a lawsuit was filed against the manufacturer, IPEX. In this article, we will cover what Kitec plumbing is and the reasons why you need to replace Kitec plumbing as soon as you can.

What is Kitec Plumbing?

Kitec plumbing is, in a nutshell, a ticking time bomb of plumbing nightmares. All home/building buyers, realtors. homeowners, and building owners need to be aware of this because as we will discuss in a later section, the repercussions of having this plumbing system can be costly. So what is Kitec plumbing?

Kitec plumbing is a type of plumbing system manufactured by IPEX. This was introduced in the year 1997 and was used until 2005. The pipes are composed of two layers of plastic with a layer of aluminum sandwiched between. These pipes also have brass fittings. Kitec pipes are orange when designated for hot water and blue when designated for cold water. Red pipes have also been made available. These pipes are usually labelled with “Kitec,” but can also be labelled or called any of the following:

  • Ambio Comfort
  • Kitec XPA
  • XPA
  • Ipex Aqua
  • PlumbBetter
  • WarmRite
  • KERR Controls
  • Plomberie Améliorée

Meanwhile, the brass fittings would have one of these labels:

  • XPA
  • ATSM F1974
  • CSA B137.9/10
  • Kitec
  • KTC

The main advantage these pipes had (before the problems were found out) is the ease by which they can be handled and installed. Over time though, the high failure rate of Kitec pipes became clear. Arguably, it’s not a matter of IF but WHEN. This eventually led to the recall of the product and to a lawsuit being filed against the manufacturer.

Now that you have a rough idea of whether or not you have Kitec pipes in your property and you’re aware of their failure rate, you can skip ahead to getting in touch with an expert to do something about it – especially if you are already experiencing a plumbing problem or emergency because of your Kitec plumbing system. If you’re still not convinced that Kitec pipes need urgent action, keep reading and we’ll reveal all.

The blue and orange Kitec pipes with brass fittings

How Kitec Plumbing Will Fail You

Like we mentioned earlier, the Kitec failure rate is high. Eventually, these pipes fail at their main job which is to keep water flowering where it should. Here are the reasons that contribute to that:

Orange Pipes Cannot Take the Heat

The orange pipes were designed to only withstand 82 degrees Celsius. The problem with this is that plenty of water heaters can heat the water to a higher temperature. The result is a deterioration of the orange pipes that leads to its breakage.

Brass Fittings Crack Under Pressure

Brass, an alloy of copper and zinc, is definitely not the ideal material for plumbing fittings. Because of a chemical process called “dezincification,” wherein the zinc component of brass reacts with oxygen and moisture, the fittings eventually corrode. This leads to zinc oxide forming blockages in the pipes that can increase the water pressure on the pipe due to restricted water flow. Ultimately, this leads to the breakage of the pipe.

When It Ruptures, It Pours

A common observation regarding Kitec pipes is that they usually do not just leak when they get damaged. Rather, these pipes burst right after rupturing which could easily lead to flooding and water damage.

Damaged Kitec pipes

The Cost of Having Kitec Plumbing

The worst part about having Kitec plumbing is that repair expenses will pile up in time and as if that wasn’t bad enough, this type of plumbing can affect your mortgage and insurance.

Costly Repairs and No Chance of Maintenance

Depending on the water chemistry in your area (Kitec pipes tend to deteriorate faster in some areas) or how hot the water is from your water heater, you could be faced with frequent and costly repairs. Unfortunately, there is no proven way to maintain Kitec pipes so that they do not rupture.

Kitec Plumbing Will Affect Your Mortgage

Planning to get a mortgage on a property that has Kitec plumbing? Although this is possible, you will get limited choices because most lenders simply stay away from properties with this plumbing system.

Kitec Plumbing and Insurance

Due to the inevitability of failure for this plumbing system, some insurance companies have resorted to refusing coverage, giving limited coverage, or asking for increased deductibles for property owners who have Kitec plumbing installed in their property.

Not Too Late. Here’s What You Can Do Right Now

If you’re sure your property has Kitec plumbing installed, don’t panic. You have these following options:

Try to Get Claims

A lawsuit was filed against the manufacturer, IPEX and this resulted in a 125 million dollar settlement fund; about 100 million of this will go to the end consumers. However, because of the volume of people affected by this, it is likely that the monetary relief won’t be that much. Unfortunately, the deadline for filing claims for Kitec plumbing was last January 9, 2020. However, according to kitecsettlement.com, new claims are still being received but there is no guarantee that these will be accepted for approval.

Sell Your Property

Some buyers are willing to replace the plumbing as part of the purchase deal. Kitec Crusader, for example, offers to purchase properties with Kitec plumbing to help affected homeowners.

Try Installing a Leak Detection System

Though a leak detection system with a water shutoff is important for every home to have, it is an absolute must if you have Kitec plumbing right now and cannot do anything at the moment. Having this can help prevent floods and resulting water damage.

Replace Your Kitec Plumbing

We’re happy to say that replacing Kitec plumbing is one of the specialties of our experts here at PlumbWize. Say goodbye to Kitec plumbing and hello to a plumbing system that is reliable and will give you the peace of mind that you need. If you would like to keep the property that you have, it may well be worth the investment. Contact us today and get a free quote! We’d be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.

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