WHAT IS A KITEC REPIPE?
A Kitec re-pipe is a complete replacement of the defective KITEC potable water system in a home. All pipe, fittings, stop valves and supply lines are replaced with either Copper or Aquapex (PEX) (Zippy Zebra Recommended). Most re-pipe jobs take around 1-4 days, with minimum interruption of water service (up to 4 hours total), ensuring the livability of the home.
Kitec was manufactured by a Canadian thermoplastics company, Ipex, Inc, and in the U. S., by their subsidiary, Ipex USA LLC. It was first introduced into the U.S. market in 1995. According to the manufacturer Kitec is “an engineered composite pipe made from flexible aluminum tubing -permanently bonded between layers of durable polyethylene – Kitec XPA™ can be installed directly below grade or encased in concrete without additional protection. Its tough cross-linked polyethylene outer and inner layers provide excellent corrosion resistance, while its aluminum core provides a built-in permeation barrier against ground source contaminants such as termiticide. The result is years of reliable service, even in harsh soil and water conditions where the use of copper should be avoided.”
WHAT MAKES IT FAIL?
The alleged construction defect relates to Kitec’s brass fittings, not to the company’s plastic pipe. The issue is a chemical reaction known as dezincification, which accelerates corrosion in brass fittings when they are exposed to oxygen and moisture. Brass is an alloy that is primarily composed of copper and zinc. When fittings experience dezincification, zinc leaches out of the brass fittings, leaving a blockage of zinc oxide that leads to leaks, restricted water flow, and breakage.
HOW TO FIND OUT IF YOU HAVE KITEC PLUMBING?
First, Kitec generally comes in two colors: blue (for cold water use) and orange (for hot water use). Coming in from the outside this pipe will typically be attached to your main shutoff valve located close to your hot water heater.
Second, if you have experience with the location and safe use of your electrical panel box, you may find a yellow sticker inside your electrical panel box stating that you home has a nonmetallic Kitec or PlumbBetter piping systems. If your home includes this sticker, your home MAY have Kitec Fittings.
WHY YOU MUST REPLACE KITEC POTABLE WATER SYSTEM?
- IT ALWAYS FAILS.
- Dezincification of the Kitec brass fittings is imminent and unfortunately it’s a matter of time for your Kitec plumbing system to fail.
- It leads to inevitable leaks and breaks.
- The combination between Kitec plumbing and brass fittings is proven to make Kitec piping fail.
- Reduced water flow.
- Dezincified Kitec Fittings impair the ability of a home’s plumbing system to effectively provide water to appliances and fixtures, due to constriction of original pipe volume.
- Causes severe water damage.
- Dezincified Kitec Fittings have the tendency to burst and leak profusely usually causing severe water damages in a very short time.
- KITEC water systems cannot be repaired – it has to be replaced.
- Leads to decreased property value, high insurance premiums, or even insurance policy cancelations.