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Kitec Plumbing What All Buyers and Sellers Should Know

Kevin Yu

Kevin might be a real estate fanatic and expert, but his love of the housing market in Toronto and the people that are intermingled within it is just ...

Kevin might be a real estate fanatic and expert, but his love of the housing market in Toronto and the people that are intermingled within it is just ...

Apr 5 5 minutes read

Kitec Plumbing What All Buyers and Sellers Should Know

Out of all things to think about before buying a condo or townhouse, plumbing should be one of them.

Sounds strange, but the type of plumbing in the unit you purchase can either give you many years of enjoyment or cause you nothing but problems. Expensive, burdensome problems.

One issue in particular that all condo and townhouse buyers should be aware of is Kitec plumbing. If the place you're planning to buy was built anytime between 1995 and 2007, there's a good chance that there's Kitec plumbing within the dwelling.

So, what is Kitec plumbing and why should you care?

What is Kitec Plumbing?

Kitec is a specific type of plastic piping that was used extensively in the construction of condos, townhouses and detached homes in Ontario from 1995 to 2007. "Kitec” is actually the brand name that this specific type of plastic plumbing was sold under, though there are a number of other brands that also supplied such piping.

What's the Problem With Kitec Plumbing?

Since that time frame when Kitec plumbing was widely used on home and condo construction, many homeowners have continued to have problems. Things such as leaks, poor water pressure, and clogs have been common complaints. Such issues have lead to severe water damage in homes, which can have dire consequences, such as mold buildup and expensive repairs.

So, what was the issue with Kitec plumbing that caused such a mess? Well, it's believed that the fittings of the pipes contain high levels of zinc, which, over time, corrodes and weakens.

Although not all Kitec plumbing pipes have suffered these results, it's still important for buyers to be made aware of the presence of Kitec plumbing piping in a home or condo they plan to purchase. In fact, many insurance providers are refusing to cover properties that have Kitec plumbing in them. That means it can be difficult to secure a mortgage, as property insurance is a necessity to obtain financing to purchase a home.

In the situation with condos, many buildings have been forced to completely replace all piping as a result of continued issues and the chances of flooding occurring some time in the future. That's a huge expense, and if the condo corporation doesn't have the funds needed to cover that massive cost in their reserve fund, the owners of the building end up having to flip the bill.

That's why it's so important for buyers who are looking at buying a condo look into the major systems of the complex and identify what type of plumbing the building is outfitted with.

Even if you're on the selling end of the equation, you'd be well-advised to find out what type of plumbing is in your building. In some situations, sellers have had a tough time commanding the high price that they may have thought they'd be able to get.

Ideally, sellers should be discussing this type of information so it’s made known and buyers are not able to come back to the seller and threaten litigation for failure to disclose. It's also the ethical thing to do so that all parties of a real estate deal are fully informed before making any decisions.

Image Credit: www.wentworthplumbing.ca

If You're a Buyer...

Before you buy a condo, be sure to take some time to ask the seller or condo corporation if there is any Kitec plumbing in the unit or building. Check out the plumbing fittings under sinks or near hot water tanks. You might also notice that the electrical panel states that Kitec is used in the home as a warning to electricians to avoid grounding the electrical system to it.

In addition, have a home inspection conducted to verify for sure whether or not Kitec plumbing is present anywhere.

If You're a Seller... 

If you're the seller of a home or condo with Kitec plumbing, disclose the fact that there is Kitec plumbing in your home or condo. And if you notice any issues stemming from the plumbing system, have them rectified right away. That said, there may not be a need to replace the pipes if there are no issues.

Also, be aware that a class action lawsuit was filed in 2011 against IPEX Inc, which manufactured Kitec pipes. A settlement was eventually reached, and as such, there is currently a $125 million fund that is designed to compensate homeowners who have experienced flooding as a result of this faulty plumbing pipe system.

Even though the lawsuit was settled years ago, sellers and homeowners have until 2020 to be a part of this lawsuit. If you notice issues with your place a result of Kitec plumbing, consider registering with the class action website (www.kitecsettlement.com) to get a claim in just in case.

To best protect you when buying or selling, be sure to team up with an agency who's well aware of Kitec plumbing and any other issue that could compromise your deal. Call The Kevin Yu Team today - we've got you covered!

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