Answers to your most commonly asked questions about Kitec replacement can be found here:
What is Kitec?
Kitec plumbing consists of flexible aluminum pipe between an inner and outer layer of plastic pipe (PEXpipe) with brass fittings. Marketed as a cheaper and easy-to-install alternative to copper piping, Kitec was sold between 1995 and 2007 for potable water, in-floor, and hot-water baseboard heating systems.
Why must Kitec be replaced? What if no problems have occurred?
It is recommended that the best way to prevent leaks and damage is to replace Kitec plumbing in your home or condo unit. There is no certainty that any problems will occur, but for peace of mind, and to protect the value of your property, replacement is a prudent decision.
How can I tell if my plumbing is Kitec?
Kitec piping can be identified by the colour, which is blue for cold water, and either red or orange for hot. Additionally, the name Kitec is stamped along the length of the pipe.
What are the warning signs that failure will occur?
The first sign of failure for the fittings is a buildup of white residue on the outside of the fitting. The first sign of failure for the pipe is a blackening of the pipe and/or a bulging of the pipe. Typically problems occur first near the hot water tank in single family dwellings.
Is there a settlement with the manufacturer? If so, where can I learn more about it?
There is indeed a settlement and the most up-to-date information can be found on the Kitec Settlement Website. You can register to receive a claim package, and see the very latest information, on this page http://www.kitecsettlement.com/casestatus.cfm
Cost and Responsibility
Is replacement cost the responsibility of the Condominium corporation or the unit owner?
Due to the fact that potable water systems using Kitec are only used to deliver water in the units themselves, they do not fall under the common area of the building. The cost responsibility falls on the owner.
Could this expense to the unit owners be funded through the Corporation’s Reserve Fund?
Because this project falls within the unit boundaries and not the common elements, unfortunately it does not qualify as an expenditure from the Reserve Fund. The Reserve Fund can only be utilized for major repair and replacement of the Common Elements only.
For Property Managers and Condominium Corporations
How should the corporation approach this issue?
Miller Thompson Law, in their online legal guide, have outlined 2 scenarios which the Condominium Corporation will fall into:
- The “Imminent Danger” Corporation: While unfortunate, the scenario that is easier to deal with is the corporation in which there has been a KITEC failure or where expert plumbing/engineering advice reveals that there are signs that failure is imminent. For these corporations, there is reasonable evidence to suggest that the KITEC in both the common elements and the units should be replaced, preferably by one contractor retained by the corporation, to ensure consistency. The unit repairs would be billed to the unit owners. The existence of KITEC and replacement efforts should be reflected in paragraph 12 of any status certificates until the replacement project is complete.
- The “Wait-and-See” CorporationWhat about cases where a corporation has learned that its building contains KITEC plumbing but which has no reason to believe it is at imminent risk (beyond the general knowledge of KITEC’s flaws)? This is the more difficult situation. The Board is left to balance the competing interests of protecting the Corporation from liability for an incident arising from a KITEC-related leak versus not causing undue alarm (and the related fear of decreased saleability) by disclosing KITEC on a status certificate even though there has never been a leak.A corporation cannot favour resale prices over complying with the Condominium Act in failing to disclose circumstances which may result in an increase in common expenses. Therefore, in most instances, a building that contains KITEC plumbing ought to disclose this fact in status certificates. Alternatively, if sufficient support can be attained, a building in this situation may opt to replace its KITEC prophylactically so as to remove any mention from its status certificate. There are no easy answers.
What type of piping will CDC install in place of Kitec?
CDC will work install Uponor “Aqua PEX” flexible pipe in place of Kitec. CDC’s plumbers are certified in the proper, engineer-approved installation of Pex piping in the units. To learn more about the features of this brand and its advantages, click here.
Will CDC Kitec be of assistance in communicating the issue to the Corporation’s Board of Directors?
CDC has deep knowledge of the board procedures and meaningful experience communicating with property owners and tenants, as well as collaborating with property managers to help with everything from providing information to getting the procedure started once the decision has been made to move forward with replacement.
Is CDC a member of ACMO?
Yes, Canadian Design and Construction (CDC) is a registered member in good standing of ACMO as well as CCI. We are registered with WSIB and we are certified replacement specialists in the installation of Uponor PEX pipe.
Will residents need to move out during the piping replacement?
Generally speaking, residents will not be required to move out during the piping replacement. Please note that furniture and furnishings will need to be moved away from the work areas that the plumbers require to access the piping. The work areas will consist of bathrooms, laundry room and kitchen, but the plumbers will be going through the entire unit in order to access these areas. The trades working inside the units will cover all flooring with drop sheets to help minimize any damage in the unit.
For Property Owners
Should I file a claim? What is the deadline and other details for the settlement?
The deadline for filing a claim is 2020. Find the latest details here on how to file: http://www.kitecsettlement.com/completingform.cfm
If I am selling my unit, what am I required to disclose to potential buyers and/or the subsequent owner?
The laws regarding the disclosure of information to potential buyers and/or subsequent owners may vary depending on the state or province.
If you have filed a Claim Form, you must advise potential buyers and/or subsequent owners that you have filed a claim and the terms of the release (as disclosed in the Agreement).
Can a condominium association file a claim or does each owner/ unit need to file on an individual basis?
The unit owners would be responsible for the plumbing; therefore an individual claim form must be filed.
Please send us an inquiry to ask any other questions so we can assist you