Know the facts about Kitec
A green solution to heating has been the use of hydronic forced-air systems for heating. Many eco-friendly communities recently built have them. They combine water heating and space heating in an energy efficient way. Some of these use a type of piping called Kitec, and you should know about the potential defects in this product.
Kitec is made from flexible aluminum pipe between inner and outer layers of plastic pipe. It comes in orange (hot water) and blue (cold water). This type of piping is manufactured by IPEX USA LLC and has been used in many homes across the western US.
The Kitec pipe and fittings fail due to a chemical reaction known as dezincification. This process creates a build up which results in lower water flow and leaks, sometimes in just a few years. In both tests and in real homes, the pipes and fittings have frequently caused damage from bursting and/or leaking. And since they are located in the walls throughout the house, this can be a big wet problem!
Large scale failures of Kitec ended up with the filing of thousands of defective plumbing lawsuits, even a class action suit in Washington State. The one in Nevada in 2006 settled for $90 million.
You could take a chance on it, but it is recommended that the only reliable way to repair and eradicate the risk inherent in Kitec plumbing is to re-pipe the lines in the house. This is a major project and will be somewhat expensive, but by replacing the Kitec you can potentially avoid a much worse issue from leaking water inside your walls.
Check out photos of our PlumbWorks plumbers working in Issaquah Highlands (where many houses have Kitec plumbing).
We want to support homeowners to avoid a Kitec disaster. PlumbWorks by Washington Energy Services is now offering Kitec replacement with discounts for homes, condos, townhome complexes or homeowner associations.
Our plumbers are experienced in this specific issue. If you have questions about this process, call 800 398 HOME.