Kitec plumbing: The myth and the mystery

All through your career as a true estate agent, there is a very good prospect you’ve toured or mentioned a dwelling that had Kitec plumbing. When it will come to this controversial piping materials, status precedes genuine effectiveness. 

In simple fact, even though Kitec may have a lousy rap, we’ve identified that it’s principally unwarranted in our decades of inspecting properties in the Better Toronto Spot (GTA). 

To dispel the misconceptions surrounding Kitec and to leave your consumers greater knowledgeable, let’s just take some time to discuss the facts surrounding this product. 

Here’s everything you should really know about Kitec plumbing as a authentic estate agent.

What is Kitec piping?


Built by IPEX Inc., a Canadian firm, Kitec is a brand name identify for cross-joined polyethylene (PEX) piping offered amongst 1995 and 2007. 

Kitec was employed in properties, condos, and higher-increase properties, and we’ve basically observed installations as recently as 2012. With orange piping for warm drinking water and blue piping for cold water, this piping can be very easily recognized by its brass fittings, commonly marked Kitec, KT, or KTC.

Resource: Carson Dunlop



As with quite a few conclusions surrounding building products, funds was a component in its widespread use. Plumbing a property with plastic piping is considerably less high priced compared to copper. 

To this working day, PEX remains a quite well-known offer of plumbing content in Canada.



What are the worries?


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In the early 2000s, there ended up a substantial range of failures of Kitec piping and fittings in the southwest United States. There have been a substantially lesser range of failures in Canada. 

Despite this record, in our encounter, we have noticed really number of failures in the GTA, with most of them related to lousy set up, abnormal running temperatures, or abnormally substantial stress.

Now, Kitec piping is regarded as a materials point that need to be disclosed all through a authentic estate transaction, in accordance to the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO). 

Though this is the scenario, it’s crucial to correct a usually recurring fantasy linked to Kitec piping’s remember. 

Inspite of a lot of sources reporting a recall on Kitec piping, there was never ever a customer-degree remember. Instead, there was a manufacturer’s recall on some of Kitec’s pipe fittings in 2005.

In late 2011, a North American class action lawsuit was issued wherein promises had been acknowledged right until January 2020. 

The course motion lawsuit included Kitec and other PEX piping made by IPEX Inc., including Plumbetter, IPEX AQUA, WarmRite, Kitec XPA, AmbioComfort, XPA, KERR Controls, and Plombiere Amelioree.

This course motion lawsuit, in limited, indicates that there were some troubles, and the maker agreed to a settlement. Course motion lawsuits on building solutions are not uncommon. 

For illustration, other PEX piping suppliers (e.g. Zurn, NIBCO, Uponor, and Viega) have experienced class action lawsuits, as have polybutylene piping units and almost every maker of roofing supplies in Canada.


What should really you do when encountering Kitec piping?


When seeking at a residence with Kitec piping, there are a several critical elements that should be mentioned. 

Glance for darkening or blistering of the pipe, especially near to the h2o heater or boiler, as incredibly hot water piping is additional very likely to have a trouble than cold water piping. In addition, a white, chalky material at the fittings can signify brass corrosion and opportunity build-up in just the piping.

Resource: Carson Dunlop

Since the 2011 lawsuit, we have observed quite couple issues with Kitec piping in the countless numbers of inspections we have done in the GTA. Even now, residence inspectors examine these with care and look at for residences with warm h2o recirculating methods, typically delivered in luxurious residences, so occupants never have to hold out for sizzling water when turning on the tap. The regular h2o circulation leads to pipes and fittings to dress in a lot quicker, no subject if the piping is PEX or copper.

H2o heaters and boilers with PEX piping that do not have a tempering valve to manage drinking water temperature are also famous by property inspectors considering that drinking water temperatures higher than 49°C are tougher on PEX pipes.

As a genuine estate experienced, recommend your clients of the existence of Kitec-relatives piping components and make clear the prospective problems (e.g. doable leaks and perhaps the need for pipe alternative), but continue to keep it in standpoint as a small chance. 

One more myth related with Kitec piping is that they normally require substitute. In our belief, this should not be an automatic assumption, even while some plumbers do recommend proactive replacements.

Sellers are typically unaware when they have Kitec piping. A experienced household inspector will identify Kitec piping in houses and condos and deliver an impartial third-occasion viewpoint about the situation of the piping and irrespective of whether any motion is suggested.

A small percentage of condominium units have had troubles because of to unusually substantial temperatures and strain. Since of this, some condominium organizations need device owners to exchange the piping at their individual cost. 


Kitec in condos


Resource: Carson Dunlop

A small share of condominium models have experienced concerns thanks to unusually high temperatures and pressure. For the reason that of this, some condominium firms call for device entrepreneurs to swap the piping at their very own price.

While we disagree with a need for proactive piping substitute when the program is in fantastic working issue, this should be introduced to the awareness of any condominium clients.

Kitec piping has a even worse status than the product or service warrants. With this context, keep your clients knowledgeable when doing the job with qualities with Kitec. 

Benefit from your assets inspector’s report and information to give an accurate analysis. When a constructing substance has a name that precedes it, relying on seasoned gurus who different the myths from the details becomes specially vital.


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