Apr 13, 2023
Common issues, recalls, and insurance implications for Kitec plumbing
Kitec plumbing was created with good intentions but proved to cause problems inside people's homes. Have you heard about this type of plumbing? Your insurance company certainly has and this type of material may cause problems.
When applying for home insurance your insurer will want to know what type of plumbing is in your home. If you have Kitec, it could result in higher premiums.
Here’s what you need to know about Kitec plumbing, how to identify it, and what to do if you have it in your home.
What is Kitec plumbing?
Kitec plumbing was a popular plumbing system installed in buildings from the late 1990s to the early 2000s. This type of plumbing was used in hot and cold-water supply lines, along radiant heating systems, and under-floor heating systems. The blue pipes carry cold water and the orange carries the hot water throughout a home.
It was marketed as a cheaper and more flexible alternative to copper piping and was a more flexible material making it easier to install. The pipes are made of polyethylene with a thin layer of aluminum and usually have orange and blue flexible piping and brass fittings.
Kitec was the most common brand it was sold under, but the plumbing system was also available under these brands :
- KERR Controls
- Plomberie Amelioree
Unfortunately, Kitec plumbing has since been found to have significant issues, which have led to concerns about coverage for properties with it.
Problems with Kitec plumbing
Kitec plumbing is made up of a type of plastic pipe that is reinforced with aluminum. The system was initially thought to be resistant to corrosion and buildup, and it was marketed as being cheaper and more flexible than copper piping.
However, over time Kitec plumbing is prone to failure. The pipes can deteriorate and leak, and the fittings can break down and crack. In addition, the plastic used in Kitec plumbing has been found to be susceptible to premature aging, which can cause the pipes to become brittle and fail.
Kitec plumbing recalls and class action lawsuit
The issues with Kitec plumbing have led to a significant number of lawsuits and recalls. Homeowners who have installed this type of plumbing in their homes have been forced to replace their plumbing systems at a significant cost.
In 2005, the manufacturer of Kitec plumbing issued a recall due to its tendency to experience leaks and failures. Subsequently, in 2011, courts in Quebec, Ontario, and the United States approved a settlement agreement in a class action lawsuit. As a result of this settlement, homeowners who experienced issues with Kitec plumbing could receive a portion of the $125 million USD compensation.
It's possible that you can still file a claim under the class action settlement for Kitec plumbing. Keep checking the settlement administrator's website for updates as the settlement process progresses. Don't hesitate to take action and explore your options.
Additionally, the presence of Kitec plumbing in a home can create issues if you want to sell your property. Potential buyers are often wary of the risks associated with this type of plumbing.
How to identify Kitec plumbing
Not sure if you have Kitec plumbing? Here are some tips to identify Kitec plumbing in your home :
- Look for the Kitec logo : It is typically marked with a Kitec logo, which consists of the letters "KTC" inside a hexagon. This logo may be visible on the pipes themselves or on the brass fittings.
- Check the colour of the pipes : Kitec plumbing typically has blue and orange pipes, but other colours may also be used. The pipes may be visible in your basement or crawl space, hot water tank, or behind walls or ceilings.
- Consult a plumber : If you are unsure whether your home has Kitec plumbing, you can hire a licensed plumber to inspect your pipes. They can identify the type of plumbing you have and recommend any necessary repairs or replacements.
If you have Kitec in your home, you may want to consider replacing it to avoid costly water damage and repairs.
Does insurance cover Kitec plumbing?
If you have Kitec plumbing in your home, it is important to understand how your policy will cover any damage that may occur.
Your coverage typically covers damage to your home caused by sudden and accidental events, such as burst pipes. However, if your home has Kitec plumbing and fails due to a defect in the plumbing system, the company may deny your home insurance claim.
Most plans exclude coverage for damage caused by faulty workmanship or defective materials. This means that if your plumbing fails due to a defect in the system, the company may argue that the damage is not covered under your policy. Some insurance companies have specifically excluded coverage for Kitec plumbing, while others may limit coverage for this type of plumbing.
If you have Kitec plumbing in your home, it is important to review your documents carefully to understand what is and is not covered. You may need to purchase additional coverage, add a sump pump, or a separate policy to protect your home.
It is also a good idea to have your plumbing system inspected by a professional to identify any potential issues and to make any necessary repairs or replacements.
Kitec plumbing could also be an issue if you want to purchase a home. You could have issues finding an insurer willing to issue you a policy for a home that has Kitec.
Kitec plumbing in Toronto
Kitec plumbing is a significant problem in Toronto. Many homes and buildings in the city were constructed with these plumbing systems between 1995 and 2007, which are now known to have serious issues related to corrosion, leaks, and other damages.
These issues can result in damage from water, mould growth, and other potential hazards. As a result, many homeowners and building owners in Toronto are taking steps to identify and replace Kitec plumbing systems to prevent future problems.
If you suspect that your home or building has Kitec plumbing, it is essential to have it inspected by a qualified plumber to determine the best course of action. Be sure to check with your provider to see if your Toronto home insurance will cover it.
How much does it cost to replace Kitec plumbing?
The cost to replace Kitec plumbing can vary depending on several factors, such as the size of your home, the extent of the plumbing system, and the accessibility of the pipes. Additionally, the cost can be influenced by the location, the contractor, and the market trends.
The cost to replace Kitec plumbing ranges from $5,000 to $15,000 or more, depending on the factors mentioned above. This cost includes the labour and materials required for the replacement, as well as any permits and inspections needed.
It's recommended to get multiple quotes from licensed and experienced plumbing contractors to get an accurate estimate of the cost of the replacement. Some insurers may offer partial or full reimbursement for the replacement of the plumbing, so it's worth checking with your provider to see if you qualify.
Kitec plumbing FAQs
It is highly recommended to replace Kitec plumbing, not only because of the potential problems but also because it can cause problems with your home insurance in Canada. This can also result in a higher deductible which can help you if you need to report a claim.
Although Kitec plumbing was not officially recalled, many experts recommend that homeowners replace this plumbing system to avoid costly water damage and repairs.
The pipes and fittings used in Kitec plumbing systems were made from a type of plastic that was found to be prone to premature failure. It can cause the fittings to corrode and fail, leading to leaks, water damage, and even flooding.
In Toronto, most condo corporations are responsible for repairing pipes. However, even if you have Kitec plumbing, you’ll want to let your Toronto condo insurance provider be aware of it, and it may limit your options.
It’s not a dealbreaker, but it’s important to remember that you need to address the issue before making an offer. It is not recommended to buy a home with Kitec plumbing, and if you are selling a home with it, you need to disclose it.
Kitec plumbing can cost homeowners – don’t leave it to chance – speak with an expert today
If you have Kitec plumbing in your home, review your Ontario home insurance carefully and take steps to protect your home from damage.