What Is Kitec Plumbing? How Do I Know if I Have Kitec?
Kitec plumbing consists of a flexible aluminum pipe between an inner and outer plastic pipe (PEX PIPE) together with brass fittings. Marketed as a cheaper, corrosion-resistant and easy-to-install alternative to copper, Kitec was sold between 1995 and 2007 for potable water, in-floor, and hot-water baseboard heating systems.
The brand name is stamped on the piping itself, which is easy to identify: coloured orange or red for the hot water and blue for the cold. They can be found in kitchens, laundry areas and bathrooms. If your building was constructed during this time period, there is a very high probability that Kitec plumbing was used in your units.
Kitec system means all of, whether as components, individual parts, or as a system, PEX-AL_PEX, PE_AL_PE, PERT manufactured by on or behalf of IPEX Inc. IPEX USA LLC and its predecessor IPEX USA Inc. and IPEX Distribution Inc.
They were sold under the various names- KITEC, Plumb Better, IPEX, AQUA, Warmrite, KITEC XPA, Ambio Comfort, XPA, KEER Controls, Plomberie, Amelioree, or otherwise. They were all CSA Approved.
What’s the Risk of Not Replacing Kitec Plumbing?
- Mould growth
- Damage to property
- Injury from scalding
- Damage to neighbouring units due to water escape
- Damage to common elements and mechanical systems
In 2004, Ipex recalled the brass fittings in Canada. In the United States, the manufacturer ceased production of the plumbing system in 2007 when problems became known. In 2011, a settlement sum of USD $125 million was set up to compensate homeowners, who are encouraged to claim before the cut off date in 2020. They can access claim forms and up to date information on the website www.kitecsettlement.com
What Should You Replace Kitec With?
Uponor PEX plumbing systems, featuring the Pro PEX expansion fitting system is the first choice for installers, homebuilders, and homeowners looking for a product that will provide consistent reliability and performance. If you are wondering about the reliability of this new generation of piping that is a similar concept to Kitec, you should note that the standards for pipes and fittings have increased dramatically in the last 10 years in Canada.
Kitec materials simply would not be approved for use today as they would not meet current standards. You can feel confident that, while you will still be using a flexible piping material, state of the art expansion fitting system (without brass) uses the natural molecular properties of a cross-linking technology that has been shown to demonstrate a uniform, more flexible product with no weak links in the molecular chain.
At GHI Developments Inc., we will be happy to provide additional information about Uponor product if you request it, as well as a demonstration of how the fitting and tool system work.