Kitec is a plastic plumbing system that was installed in Canadian and American homes from the early 1990s until it was initially withdrawn in 2005, with some installations completed in 2007. In addition to the hot and cold water pipes in the houses, it was also used for the floor, and other hot water radiant heating systems.
The premature failure has led to a cross-border class action lawsuit.
Widely touted as an alternative to copper tubing, Kitec was withdrawn from the market because the fittings corrode very quickly. Failure accelerates with 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 chlorine level.
Many homes equipped with Kitec plumbing have already suffered extensive water damage due to the rupture of these plumbing systems, and failure rates are expected to increase over time. The only complete solution is to replace the Kitec plumbing with copper or another plastic plumbing system, and most of the time it will require access behind walls and through floors.
Kitec plumbing can most often be identified by its orange (hot water) and blue (cold water) pipes, but it was also manufactured 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 tubing in the hot water tank or in a utility room where the tubing enters or exits the walls. The plumbing can also be seen under kitchen or bathroom sinks. You can also find a tag on the electrical panel or anywhere else stating that the plumbing system does not provide a proper ground for electrical systems.
The anticipated costs to modernize single-family homes range from $ 4,000 to $ 8,000 depending on the approach taken and the work required. Prices include the replacement of plumbing and drywall, but not kitchen or bathroom tiles, or any accessories, such as shower enclosures, that would have to be removed to access the pipes.
A class action lawsuit concluded in 2011 awarded a $ 125 million settlement fund with $ 25 million for attorneys in Canada and the United States, and $ 100 million reserved for plaintiffs who have until January 2020 to file. Final payments will not be settled until the expiration of the claims period in 2020, and with an estimated 87,600 claims and the cost of administration, as well as new claims arising from recent advertising, 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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