Ideally, you should not buy a house with Kitec plumbing. This is because these pipes are not durable and are prone to leaks, bursts and cracks. They are also expensive to maintain and insurance companies might not be willing to cover them.
In fact, Kitec plumbing only lasted for ten years in the market before being recalled in 2005 due to a class-action lawsuit.
For this reason, it is better to avoid houses with Kitec plumbing and opt for alternatives.
Risks of Kitec Plumbing
There are several reasons why you should not buy a house with Kitec plumbing. You can go through these potential risks below.
Cannot Withstand Heat
Kitec plumbing pipes tend to have separate pipes to transport hot water to the fixtures and heating devices in your house. These hot-water pipes are orange in color.
However, despite being specifically made for hot water, these pipes cannot withstand too much heat, especially if the temperature goes beyond a certain point.
This can be difficult to manage since other heating devices may heat the water to higher temperatures, after which they push this water through the pipes.
If the pipes cannot stand this heat, they will leak or reduce the lifespan of the plumbing system significantly.
Likely to Burst
Kitec plumbing is also more likely to burst as compared to other plumbing materials like copper and PVC. This is because the pipes are not strong enough to withstand and resist pressure.
Made from polyethylene and having brass fittings to keep them in place and connected to each other, these pipes can corrode easily.
A common problem that occurs with brass is dezincification which can lead to reactions and clogs in the pipes, thus increasing the risk of bursting and damage.
Leaks and Cracks
Kitec plumbing can also lead to leaks and cracks. The material and structure of these pipes are too thin and inefficient. This can make them unable to withstand the pressure from the water passing through them at high speeds.
As a result, the pipes can end up cracking and leaking in various parts. This is not only damaging in terms of a break in the system and wastage but can also damage the structure of your house if you do not fix the issue immediately.
It is quite expensive to maintain a Kitec plumbing system. This is because of the fact that there are too many issues that keep arising throughout the time you use these pipes.
While you can keep making these repairs, they will still increase the costs of keeping the pipes intact and effective enough to meet your requirements.
Since this kind of plumbing is no longer sold due to the lawsuit, you might need to spend extra money in finding a way to repair your pipes. Even then, no long-term solution is possible with them.
Therefore, it is best to avoid buying a house with Kitec plumbing in the first place.
You are also likely to face issues when it comes to your insurance companies. Because this kind of plumbing is unpopular and comes with its risks of damage, many insurance companies might not be willing to insure your plumbing system if you have these pipes.
It is quite risky for them to provide insurance for Kitec plumbing. They might either refuse to cover them in their policy or they might ask you to replace the plumbing system entirely.
They could also leave you to cover the costs and damages that take place on your own.
How to Identify a House with Kitec Plumbing
You can go through the following points to identify a house with Kitec plumbing.
- Make sure you check the plumbing system while looking at potential houses. Usually, you will be able to identify these pipes through their blue and orange colors.
- They are made from polyethylene and include bits of aluminum and brass as well.
- There were several companies that sold this kind of piping, including IPEX, XPA, AQUA and more.
- The door to the electric panel in the house will mostly have a yellow sticker that informs you of Kitec plumbing as a warning so that you can either ensure compatibility with other heating systems or avoid it altogether.
- You can ask your realtor or building owner about the plumbing system. You can also call in a plumber and ask them to confirm for you.
- If the house has been inspected properly, the inspector will most likely leave behind a label to indicate the plumbing system. You can also personally ask an inspector to give you clarity.
In case you have already bought a house with Kitec plumbing, there are several solutions that you can access.
- You can sell the house completely and try to look for a new one that does not have this kind of plumbing system.
- You can replace the entire plumbing system. This might be expensive but can end up saving you a lot of money in the long term.
- In case of an emergency, you can simply turn off the supply at the mains for the time being and call a plumber to fix the issue temporarily.
- You can install a system to track and detect leaks and issues for you so that you can take action as soon as possible to prevent further damage.
- You can track the settlement process in case you have already filed a claim.
To sum up, you should not buy a house with Kitec plumbing. You have now seen the reasons for this that include its inability to withstand heat, risks of leaks, cracks and bursts, costly repairs and maintenance, issues with insurance companies and more.
Through this guide, you now also know how you can identify a house with Kitec plumbing so that you can stay alert while looking for houses.
Make sure you do enough research while buying a new house so that you do not face any issues later as you might otherwise need to replace the system or start all over.