What are the problems with Kitec Plumbing?
Kitec plumbing was a plumbing system widely used for residential use in the ’90s and early 2000s. Over the past several years it has been discovered that these fittings are failing and causing leaks and burst pipes.
Kitec plumbing consists of plastic-coated aluminum pipes and brass fittings. Kitec brass fittings are defective because they dezincify. Dezincification is a process whereby zinc leaches from brass, which is an alloy of copper and zinc, thereby creating a white powdery buildup on the inside of the fitting and a weakening of the brass fitting. Dezincification can lead to, among other things, restricted water flow and an increased likelihood of the brass fitting leaking or breaking.
How do I know if I have a Kitec plumbing system in my home?
The Kitec pipe is typically blue in color for cold water and orange in color for hot water. The pipe is usually marked with one of the following brand names; Kitec, PlumbBetter, IPEX AQUA, WarmRite, Kitec XPA, AmbioComfort, XPA, KERR Controls or Plomberie Améliorée. Where the fittings are visible look for the words Kitec or KTC on them. The terms CSA B137.9/10 or ATSM F1974 could also indicate that you have a Kitec system. Often, the best places to look for the Kitec system is near the hot water tank or in the mechanical room where the pipe is connected to or exits the walls. Also look under kitchen sinks or bathroom vanities, where the pipe and/or fitting exits the wall.
Sometimes a home plumbed with a Kitec plumbing system may have a yellow or neon sticker that says “Kitec” or “Plumbetter” on the inside panel of its electrical box. However, before you check, please be sure that you have experience with the location and safe use of your home's electrical panel box.
The purpose of these stickers is to alert electricians regarding proper electrical grounding procedures for nonmetallic plumbing.
What can I do if I have Kitec plumbing in my home?
If you discover that you have Kitec plumbing in your home, even if you have not experienced a leak yet, it is important that you have a professional replace the pipes in your home. Our staff at NW Mechanical will come to your home, assess your pipes and help you replace any Kitec system.
There is currently a class action settlement to pay for the repair of buildings, residences, homes or other structures plumbed with the Kitec System. To be eligible to receive any money from the Settlement Fund, you must complete and submit the Claim Form accompanying the Notice available on the Case Documents page. The claim filing deadline is January 9, 2020.
We can help.
Contact the experts at Northwest Mechanical and we can help you. We've helped over 150 Seattle-area homeowners solve their Kitec plumbing problems.