<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=294326554740919&ev=PageView&noscript=1" /> Kitec plumbing – no fun for anyone - Wilson Sisters

Kitec plumbing – no fun for anyone

25 May 2015
Wilson Sisters

Have you ever heard of Kitec plumbing? More and more these days, we are hearing of Kitec showing up in home inspections and causing all kinds of upset.

Here are the details:

  • Installed in homes and condominiums that were built or extensively renovated between 1995-2007
  • Made of flexible aluminum coated in plastic
  • Recalled in 2005 and is no longer manufactured because, though it promised to last longer than copper, it was corroding at a faster rate
  • Typically bright blue and orange, but also came in red, black and grey
  • Known to leak or burst and flood due to high pressure water or water running at a higher than recommended temperature

If you suspect you have Kitec plumbing in your home, but you aren’t sure, you should probably call a plumber or inspector to take a look. A $125M cross-border class action lawsuit was settled in 2011 and it’s recommended that you file a claim, regardless of whether or not you’ve yet experienced a leak. You can find the claim form and a lot of valuable information here. Apparently, though, there are 87,600 or so claims already, and they will be reimbursing for leaks on a per case basis (half the cost of repairs for each leak) before they will consider reimbursing for any replacement costs, so the likelihood of actually seeing any renumeration unless you experience a leak is low. We think it’s still worth a shot though. Payments will be released starting in 2020.

If you live in a condo that has been found to have Kitec, it can be an expensive problem. In Bob Aaron’s column in The Star recently he reported that typically, the unit owners are responsible to replace the plumbing in their individual units, and this can run from $5000-$10,500 or so, depending on the size of the unit and that does not include the cost of replacing drywall and tiles. The money does not come from the reserve fund. Ouch. We heard of a condo building in Mimico that has Kitec plumbing but didn’t know it. When a home inspector found it last year during an inspection for a potential buyer (who subsequently canceled the deal), it was the first they’d heard of it. Most often buyers don’t do home inspections on condos, but as the building is aging it became a worthwhile process. The presence of Kitec was bad news for the home owners, but the buyer dodged a bullet thanks to their Realtor’s recommendation for an inspection.

If you are selling your home, and you have found that you have Kitec plumbing, it’s not the greatest news you’ll ever receive. Because Kitec is visible, it is not required to be disclosed in the Agreement of Purchase and Sale, unless you have experienced problems with it. If you have had leaks though, then you must disclose this to the buyer in the Agreement. You must also disclose the presence of Kitec if the buyer asks about it. If it’s not disclosed up front however, it’s likely, and we have seen this happening, that the buyer is going to ask for either a reduction of the purchase price after the home inspection turns up Kitec, or they will walk away once the inspector explains to them the implications. No matter what, it makes things a little tougher and it will cost you financially. It’s a fairly expensive venture to replace the plumbing system, and the buyer is going to want to be compensated for that risk or eventuality. We recommend that you seek advice from a good lawyer before you begin the selling process.

Buyers, do your due diligence. Educate yourself and make sure you have an experienced team of professionals representing you.