15 July Close up of Kitec orange pipes

Why You Should Replace Kitec Plumbing

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Do you see orange and blue pipes labelled “Kitec” in your house or building? If so, it might be time to call in the plumbing experts because what you have is an accident waiting to happen. Pipe leaks, bursts, and blockages are highly common for homes with Kitec plumbing. Unfortunately, the problems only get worse over time. 

In this guide, we’ll talk more about Kitec plumbing and why you need to get it replaced immediately.

Let’s begin!

The blue and orange Kitec pipes with brass fittings

What Is Kitec Plumbing?

Kitec plumbing is a type of plumbing system manufactured by IPEX. It was first introduced in 1995 and was used until 2005. Kitec pipes are composed of two layers of plastic with aluminum sandwiched between them. These pipes also have brass fittings. 

Kitec is, in a nutshell, a ticking time bomb of plumbing nightmares. All home/building buyers, realtors, and homeowners need to be aware of this because the repercussions of having this plumbing system in your property can be costly. 

How Can You Tell If You Have Kitec Plumbing on Your Property?

Typically, Kitec pipes are orange when designated for hot water and blue for cold water. Red, gray, and black pipes have also been made available but are less common. 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

If you’d like a deeper dive, check out our guide on How To Identify Kitec Plumbing in your property. Better yet, seek the expertise of a professional plumber to be absolutely sure.  

Why You Need to Replace Kitec Plumbing

1. Kitec Pipe Lifespan Is Short

What we mean by “lifespan” in this context is the typical amount of time before serious plumbing problems are encountered with Kitec plumbing. Because the first product recalls of Kitec plumbing happened in 2005, a mere 10 years after it was first introduced, this suggests a short average lifespan, inferior product quality, and total waste of money. 

2. Orange Kitec Pipes Cannot Take the Heat

Orange or hot water Kitec pipes can only withstand 82 degrees Celsius. The problem with this is that typical water heaters work with a higher temperature. This means Kitec plumbing is prone to deterioration, leading to pipe leaks and breakage.

3. Kitec 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 blockages in the pipes that can restrict the water flow and increase the water pressure in the pipe. Ultimately, this increased pressure leads to pipe bursting.

4. When Kitec 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 lead quickly to flooding and severe water damage.

Damaged Kitec pipes

5. With Kitec, You’ll Face Costly Repairs With No Chance of Maintenance

Kitec pipes tend to deteriorate faster in some areas. This means that depending on the water chemistry in your neighbourhood or the constant exposure to high temperatures from your water heater, you could be faced with frequent and costly repairs. Unfortunately, there is no proven way to maintain Kitec pipes properly to make them last longer.

6. 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 stay away from properties with this plumbing system.

7. Kitec Plumbing Will Limit Your Insurance Options

Due to the inevitability of failure for this plumbing system, some insurance companies have resorted to refusing coverage, limiting coverage, or asking for increased deductibles for property owners who have Kitec plumbing installed in their property. To get an idea about what your insurance covers, check out our Homeowners Insurance and Damage Caused by Plumbing article.

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

If you’re sure your property has Kitec plumbing installed, don’t panic. Check out these practical options that you can do.

1. Watch Out for The Finalization of Kitec Settlement

According to a CBC article, a class-action lawsuit was filed against Kitec plumbing manufacturer, IPEX, resulting in a $125-million settlement fund; about 100 million of this will go to the end consumers. 

The hearings are yet to be scheduled, but the claims deadline for this action has passed and is in the administration stage. If you, another member of your household, or the previous owner of your home was able to file a Kitec plumbing claim, you can track the real-time updates on their official website: Kitec Plumbing System Settlement Website.   

2. 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 if they buy their next residential property from them.

3. Try Installing a Leak Detection System

Whole-home leak detection systems monitor the water flow and cut off the water supply in case of abnormalities, preventing flooding and expensive water damage. This is an option if you have Kitec plumbing and cannot get a replacement yet. However, take note that these systems can cost up to $500 or more and are only Band-Aid solutions, meaning repair costs for damaged pipes will still pile up over time. 

4. Plan For Emergency Situations

For worst-case scenarios, know where your main shutoff valve is. If a pipe bursts (and a leak detection system fails), you can manually shut off your water supply before flooding gets worse. Additionally, keep the number of a 24/7 emergency plumber handy, so you know who to call, even if it hits in the middle of the night. 

5. Replace Your Kitec Plumbing

This is the only way to be rid of Kitec plumbing problems for good. We’re happy to say that replacing Kitec plumbing is one of our specialties here at PlumbWize. Say goodbye to Kitec plumbing and hello to a modern plumbing system that you can count on. It’s an investment that will benefit you immediately and help you save in the long run. 

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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