Kitec Plumbing Replacement
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
Over the last 10-15 years when many green homes were built in the Seattle area, residences were plumbed with hydronic forced-air systems for heating. For example, you can find this type of heating in the beautiful neighborhood of Issaquah Highlands plus many other modern homes in Seattle and the Eastside. Hydronic heating is a great idea, however homeowners have discovered some disturbing news about some of the piping that was used to plumb the heating systems. (Not systems done by PlumbWorks!) The product is called Kitec, and it brings an alarming issue.
Kitec consists of flexible aluminum pipe sandwiched between an inner and outer layer of plastic pipe (polyethylene or PEX pipe). Kitec pipe generally comes in two colors: orange (for hot water use) and blue (for cold water use). Kitec pipes were manufactured by IPEX USA LLC and have been used in homes across many western states, i.e., Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Nevada, California and Washington.
The hot water pipes are typically orange. Kitec pipe and fittings fail due to a chemical reaction known as dezincification, which results in reduced water flow and leaks. In both tests and in real homes, the compromised pipes and fittings have frequently caused damage from bursting and/or leaking. As these pipes are run through the walls, damage can be especially severe.
Large scale failures of Kitec piping prompted the filing of thousands of defective plumbing lawsuits, including many in Canada and a class action lawsuit initiated in Nevada in 2006 that settled for $90 million. Several lawsuits have now been filed in Washington State. There is plenty of Kitec information online including Plumbing Inspectors Journal.
Based on the research, it is recommended that the only reliable way to repair and eradicate the risk inherent with the defective Kitec plumbing system is to re-pipe the lines in the house. This is an extensive re-piping in your house but can save you in the long run.
We want to support homeowners to avoid a Kitec disaster. PlumbWorks is now offering excellent pricing on Kitec replacement and group pricing discounts for condos, townhome complexes or homeowner associations. Our licensed and bonded plumbers are experienced in this specific issue.
Call 800-590-4969 or click for a free estimate.
Here are some photos of the Kitec replacement work done at the Home of Maria Cole, Issaquah Highlands.
Our family had a great experience with Washington Energy’s Plumbing division. After a home energy audit, we ended up buying a heat pump and a tankless water heater. It’s the best thing we’ve ever done. Unlimited hot water! I wish we would have gotten a tankless water heater a long time ago.” More
- TB Bothell, WA
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