Plumbing experts and homeowners with Kitec plumbing experience would agree that the said plumbing brand is bad.
Kitec plumbing is a brand marketed by Kitec Plumbing Products, Inc., and it is the leading manufacturer of copper plumbers in the United States. Kitec plumbing has been one of the most popular systems, especially during the mid-90s to early 2000s.
Unfortunately, the plumbing brand gained its negative reputation due to a lawsuit stating its high failure rate, which led to a product recall. If you are a realtor or a property owner, you should know whether you have a Kitec plumbing system to avoid future headaches and potential dangers in your home and your household.
But first, we need to understand what Kitec plumbing is, how to detect if you have it in your home, and what to do next.
Facts About Kitec Plumbing
Kitec plumbing systems are known for their distinct blue or orange/red colored, lightweight, and cheap pipes. The pipes are made of two plastic layers and a layer of aluminum and come with brass fitting. The blue pipes are made for cold water, while the orange/red pipes are for hot water.
They offer copper, brass, stainless steel, or plastic fittings plumbing products. These fittings can be used for any residential or commercial plumbing installation.
You would immediately know it’s a Kitec pipe when you see its print. However, it also has alternative names such as KERR Controls, KitecXPA, PlumbBetter, and WarmRite, among a few. Meanwhile, the brass fittings are also labeled as “Kitec” but can also be known as XPA, KTC, or ATSM F1974, among other names.
So, what’s the issue with Kitec plumbing? One of its major issues is its failure rate. Not only is it high, but it is said to be at a 100% failure rate. Wear and tear are normal on plumbing fixtures and most things in general. However, it is also noted that Kitec plumbing deteriorates faster and can only last for 10 years.
Some factors that contribute to its short lifespan and poor quality include:
Brass reacts with moisture and oxygen. Brass fittings, an alloy of zinc and copper, rust over time, leading to pipe blockages that restrict water flow. It causes the water pressure to go up and causes pipes to burst.
The orange/red Kitec pipes carrying hot water can only take up to 82 degrees Celsius. On the other hand, many water heaters can handle temperatures beyond that. Kitec pipes will eventually deteriorate and burst easily due to excessive heat.
Plumbing experts believe water chemistry plays a major role in the faster deterioration of Kitec pipes.
What to Do If You Have Kitec Pipes at Home
Here are ways to identify whether you have a Kitec plumbing system at home and what to do about it:
Check the label.
You would know if it’s Kitec with its label. However, it also has alternative names, as mentioned above. Check the pipes near the water heater, the sinks, or the mechanical room.
You can check sites containing lists of properties with Kitec plumbing. If you do not have immediate access to the real estate property, you can check the websites first.
Call in the experts.
If you indeed have Kitec pipes at home, you should check the following and determine your next steps:
- Usage and age of the pipes
- Physical signs (ex., Green and white formations)
- Reduction in water pressure
Once you have confirmed that you have Kitec plumbing, you should have them replaced by a professional plumbing service in Spring Hill, TN, immediately!