The Thing About Kitec Piping

Excerpts from Kitec: What you need to know By Martin Rumack for REM October, 2019

Kitec piping was sold and used between 1995 and 2007 in new home construction and some renovations as a piping system for carrying water throughout the house and in some cases to supply water to radiant heating systems.  The exterior is prominently stamped with "Kitec" and is made of plastic (cross-lined polyethylene or PEX), while the inside is lined with aluminum.  It is usually orange in colour but may be blue, grey or white.

The thing about Kitec piping is that there have been instances where there has been deterioration of the fittings and in some cases, disintegration of the pipes.  The manufacturer, IPEX, was sued in a class action lawsuit.  As a result, there is now a stigma affecting homes that contain Kitec pipes.  Further, some insurance companies are now refusing to provide insurance for properties containing Kitec based upon the insurers' liability risk assessment.  As well, some financial institutions require confirmation that the property does not contain Kitec.

This issue affects single-family homes as well as some condominium buildings requiring some condominiums to levy special assessments against the owners to fund the removal of the piping.  Owners and property managers must disclose the presence of Kitec if it is contained in the common elements and/or in the units.

If you have a home with PEX piping for the plumbing lines and/or radiant heating and a water heating system that was installed between 1995 and 2007, have a qualified plumber do an inspection to determine if Kitec was used and if there is any deterioration of the fittings or piping.

If your home contains Kitec and you decide to sell, the existence of the Kitec should be disclosed as part of the general disclosure obligations to any potential buyers.  It may also be worthwhile to have a quote from a reputable professional for the cost of replacement of the piping.  This quote will likely play a role in the sale negotiations.

If you have any questions about Kitec plumbing, please call, text or e-mail and I'll happily find you your answers!