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How do I Check if my Toronto Condo has Kitec Plumbing?

By Nola
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How do I Check if my Toronto Condo has Kitec Plumbing?
 
I’ve heard something about plumbing or water pipe issues in buildings in Toronto due to Kitec plumbing.
 
Do you know anything about this? 
 
How do I avoid buying a condo with this problem? 
 
Is it in every building?

Answers

By Swift Sells Toronto

This is a very timely question. 

 

In North America, this issue began cropping up in the early 2000’s.  And has come to the forefront most recently in Toronto - so much so that the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) has created clauses or conditions to be include in the purchase or sale of any condo in Ontario.

 

The problematic piping is called Kitec. This piping was used extensively in construction (homes, townhouses and condo) from 1998 until 2008, in North America, until it was recalled and the manufacturing of this pipe ceased.  A Class Action lawsuit was undertaken and settled by the manufacturer with claims being accepted in North America until 2020.  This mean anyone who has had damage from faulty water pipes can file a claim against this settlement for reimbursement of costs.  With so many claims from builders and individuals, the amounts returned are minimal at best during the open claim period.

 

Here’s what happens.  The pipe, which has very distinct bright red and blue colouring, is connected with brass fitting.  The plastic pipe is very flexible and lightweight.  It is lined with zinc.  The zinc gets leached by the brass fittings and has, according to the settled lawsuit language, “catastrophic failure” in 8-10 years. 

 

What does this mean to the average consumer?  If you already own a condo built or that had undergone repairs during the time period of 1998-2008, ALWAYS get an inspection prior to selling or conversely, ALWAYS have an inspection clause insert when buying.  It’s “Buyer Beware” in sales.

 

A qualified inspector will know what to look for.  The unqualified one will not.  I have had the experience of an insurance adjuster saying “Oh, at least you don’t have the bad pipes” only to find out (with the assistance of a license plumber), that indeed there was Kitec throughout a unit.

 

Always err on the side of caution when buying any home, townhouse or condo that was build or renovated during the aforementioned time period.  The costs of an inspection (likely under $500) will save you thousands in the long run.  It will also let you rest assured that your plumbing is in good shape.

 

For more questions about Kitec or home inspections, feel free to contact me.  If you want to find out more specifically about the pipe, manufacturer or the lawsuit, go to http://www.kitecsettlement.com/faq.cfm.

4 comments
Level 4 (XP: 1450)
last year
this is such excellent information for first time buyers for sure
Level 6 (XP: 2500)
Same, it such a good thing that information like this is posted and made accessible to everyone
Level 1 (XP: 0)
Thanks for your comment on Kitec Plumbing. This issue is now on the fore-front of every buyer, seller and realtor in the GTA (and beyond). If you don't know what to look for, do get a licensed plumber to come and have a look. This is why I insist on a pre-sale and/or pre-purchase inspection on all units that I handle. My inspector (from my professional referrals on the website) is thorough and understands this concern. She has also written articles of this problem. Buyer beware. Call an inspector and/or a plumber if you have any questions about the plastic pipes in your residence.
Level 4 (XP: 1150)
I had no idea what Kitec plumbing was or that it even existed before today. Thank you for the useful information

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