Kitec fixtures were commonly used in homes because they were less expensive than copper fittings and easier to work with. However, these inexpensive parts are causing a lot of headaches for homeowners! Luckily there is some recourse to aide homeowners in the costly repairs that are involved to resolve this issue.
Kitec plumbing is flexible aluminum and plastic pipe with brass fittings. It was sold from 1995-2007 and installed throughout homes built or renovated during that time. The fittings were manufactured by IPEX, made out of high zinc content causing corrosion of the plumbing components in areas with harder water conditions.
Issues with Kitec Plumbing:
Fittings: Due to the corrosion of the brass fittings, they are known to disintegrate or crumble. The fittings will therefore restrict water potentially flooding a home causing sever water damage.
Pipes: Kitec Pipes are known to disintegrate as well. It is believed that the pipes cannot withstand extremely hot water and therefore start to fail over time. It was designed to handle a maximum temperature of 180F but many homeowners set their hot water above this.
How to Identify Kitec Plumbing:
Most Kitec pipes are bright orange or bright blue. However, some of the pipes were also made in red, darker blue, black or grey materials. The flexible pipe will be marked with brand names (KERR, IPEX, AQUA, Kitec, XPA, AmbioComfort, Plomberie Amelioree, PlumbBetter, or WarmRite).
Fittings are also marked with Kitec or KTC.
The best place to look would be near the water heater where pipes connect.
What to do if you have Kitec Plumbing:
As a plumber in Las Vegas, I have seen first-hand the condition of Kitec products installed in homes. The only resolution is to repipe the whole home and remove any Kitec products. It is nearly impossible to repair a portion of Kitec piping because it will dissolve as you try to repair it. In addition to this, the remaining piping and fittings would eventually fail which has the potential for severe water damage in the future. Kitec fittings are honestly a time bomb waiting to explode. If you believe your home has Kitec plumbing, please call a licensed plumber as soon as possible to discuss your options for replacing the product before it’s too late.
Kitec Plumbing Class Action Law Suit:
There has been a class action lawsuit against the company for the defective products that were installed in homes. There was a settlement for Clark County residents and as of 2/26/2014, the Clark County court has given a three year extension for home owners to make claims. If you have Kitec products in your home, then please act fast. Once the funds are exhausted, you may or may not be able to receive any compensation.