Kitec Plumbing & Insurance: Guide For Homeowners

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Picture of By <span>Matthew Roberts</span>
By Matthew Roberts

Updated on June 18, 2024

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Picture of By <span>Matthew Roberts</span>
By Matthew Roberts

Updated June 18, 2024

Visit author page

4 minute read

Article Contents

Kitec is a brand of plumbing system introduced in 1995 that was sold as a cost-effective and flexible option for home plumbing. Unfortunately, this type of plumbing was prone to leakage, resulting in many homeowners experiencing flooding and water damage.

What is Kitec plumbing exactly? Does your home insurance policy cover Kitec plumbing? Should you replace your Kitec plumbing system? We’ll help you find out what you need to know in this deep dive into Kitec plumbing in Ontario.

Kitec Plumbing at a Glance

  • Kitec plumbing was introduced in 1995 as a cheaper and more flexible alternative to traditional copper piping.
  • Many homeowners experienced catastrophic issues with their Kitec plumbing systems, leading to leaks and water damage to their homes.
  • In 2005, Kitec issued a recall of all their plumbing systems.
  • In 2011, a class action lawsuit was filed against Kitec in Ontario, Quebec, and the US, resulting in a settlement of USD 125 million.

If your home has Kitec plumbing in Ontario, insurance companies may raise your insurance premiums to cover the risk of water leaks and water damage to your home. If you have a Kitec plumbing system, it’s recommended that you replace it immediately with a higher-quality plumbing system.

What is Kitec Plumbing?

Kitec plumbing was a plumbing system introduced to Canada in 1995 and marketed as a cheaper and easier-to-install option than traditional copper plumbing. This kind of plumbing was made of polyethylene fused with a layer of aluminum, which made it much more flexible than typical copper piping.

Kitec plumbing pipes were typically made in two colors: blue and orange. Blue pipes delivered cold water, while orange pipes carried hot water through a home. Along with the colored pipes, Kitec plumbing also came with brass fittings for joints and connectors.

While this kind of plumbing was most widely sold under the Kitec brand, it was also available under the brand names AQUA, AmbioComfort, KERR Controls, IPEX, Plomberie Amelioree, PlumbBetter, WarmRite, and XPA.

While it was meant to be a more cost-effective option than regular copper plumbing, unfortunately, Kitec plumbing suffered from a lot of issues over time. This led to homeowners having to pay for damaged plumbing systems and concerns from insurance providers over insurance coverage for homes with Kitec plumbing installed.

How to identify Kitec plumbing in your home

Common Kitec Plumbing Issues

Despite its popularity in the late 90s and early 2000s, Kitec plumbing became notorious for the problems that homeowners experienced with their plumbing systems. These issues include:

  • Sensitivity to heat: The orange Kitec pipes were unable to handle higher temperatures, despite being designed to carry hot water. These pipes wore down and deteriorated over time, leading to frequent bursting and leakage.
  • Water pressure problems: While Kitec pipes were flexible, they weren’t very sturdy when up against high water pressure. They often failed catastrophically when exposed to high water pressure systems.
  • Dezincification: Kitec brass fittings were often prone to dezincification, where zinc separates from the brass and leaches into the water. This usually led to pipe blockages and leakage from the fittings.

Because of these issues with Kitec plumbing, many homeowners experienced water damage in their homes from leaks and flooding.

Class Action Lawsuit and Recalls for Kitec Plumbing 

In 2005, Kitec issued a recall for their plumbing products due to the frequent reports of failures and malfunctions of the pipes and fittings, suggesting that the lifespan for Kitec plumbing was a measly 10 years. Many homeowners were forced to replace their plumbing systems, costing them thousands of dollars in addition to money spent dealing with water damage.

In 2011, a class action lawsuit was filed against Kitec, which led to a settlement being approved by courts in the US, Ontario, and Quebec. Ultimately, a USD 125 million settlement was offered to homeowners affected by Kitec plumbing failures.

Settlement claims submissions were closed on January 9, 2020, but claim processing and distribution are still ongoing. Only homeowners who experienced system failures were eligible for compensation, but anyone with a Kitec plumbing system is advised to file a claim and check the settlement administrator’s website for further updates.

Does Home Insurance Cover Kitec Plumbing?

When you’re canvassing for home insurance plans, providers will ask you for information regarding your home’s plumbing system. If you have a Kitec plumbing system, some insurance providers may be reluctant to cover your home, or they may raise your insurance premiums to compensate for the elevated risk of water damage.

Knowing the difference between broad and comprehensive home insurance can help you decide which home insurance provider can give you the best coverage plan, even if you have Kitec plumbing installed. It’s important to discuss the specifics of your insurance policy with your provider to ensure that your Kitec plumbing system is covered.

Should I Tell My Insurance Provider that My Home Has Kitec Plumbing?

Yes, you should inform your insurance provider if you have Kitec plumbing installed in your home. Failing to disclose an installed Kitec plumbing system can lead to your insurance claims being denied in the event of water damage to your home.

If your insurance provider finds out that you withheld information regarding your home when taking out an insurance policy, they’ll have enough justification to raise your future insurance premiums. It’s best to be honest when giving your insurance provider information about your home so that you can get an accurate insurance rate that ensures proper protection for your home.

How Can I Tell if My Home Has Kitec Plumbing?

Here are a few ways you can check to see if your home has Kitec plumbing installed:

  • Your cold water pipes are colored blue and your hot water pipes are colored orange.
  • You can identify Kitec branding or markings from some of the other brands we discussed earlier on your pipes.
  • Your brass fittings are marked with “Kitec” or “KTC”.
  • There is a yellow sticker on the inside of your electrical panel that says “Caution: This building has non-metallic interior water piping.”

If you’re not sure whether or not your home has Kitec plumbing installed, you could hire a licensed plumbing professional or certified home inspector to conduct an inspection of your home’s plumbing system.

Should I Replace My Kitec Plumbing System?

If your home still has Kitec plumbing installed, you should consider replacing it with a more robust and reliable plumbing system ASAP. Not only will this prevent potential water damage from Kitec plumbing leaks, but a good plumbing system can potentially lower your home insurance premiums.

Replacing your Kitec plumbing with a different plumbing system can cost anywhere between $5,000 and $15,000, depending on the size of your home, how much plumbing needs to be replaced, and which plumbing system you choose to replace it with.

Be advised that your home insurance plan may not cover the cost of replacing your plumbing system. If you’re looking to replace your plumbing system, be sure to compare quotes from several different plumbing contractors to find the best option for you.

Key Advice From MyChoice

Now that we know more about Kitec plumbing and the risks associated with it, here are some key pieces of advice:

  • You can identify if your home has Kitec plumbing if you have blue and orange pipes in your plumbing system with “Kitec” or “KTC” markings.
  • Replacing a Kitec plumbing system can help you avoid water damage and lower your insurance premiums.
  • Inform your insurance provider if your home has Kitec plumbing installed. This will prevent claims related to water damage from being denied.
  • If your Kitec plumbing system has failed and resulted in damages to your home, you may be entitled to compensation as part of the 2011 class action lawsuit filed against Kitec.

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