A Short Guide to Identifying IPEX Plastic Piping, Connectors and Fittings
"Kitec tubing was sold in Canada and the United States for a range of applications including water supply and distribution piping, and in-floor heating systems. System failures resulting in leaks - and often substantial property damage, led to a class action suit and eventually a settlement agreement."
- On the plastic tubing: PEX type tubing may be labelled with the KITEC brand or other IPEX markings, including the following: PE-AL-PE, PERT-AL-PERT, PEX, Kitec, PlumbBetter, IPEX AQUA, WarmRite, Kitec XPA, AmbioComfort, XPA, KERR Controls, Plomberie Améliorée, IPEX Aqua, IPEX Homerite and under the more generic name "PEX-Al-PEX" meaning PEX (polyethylene cross-linked) - Aluminum - PEX)
- Kitec plastic tubing was sold in orange for hot water piping and also sold in red and blue colours. You can sometimes see plastic water piping at the hot water tank, in unfinished basements and crawl spaces. In some buildings it may be necessary to use a bore scope, or to cut or drill inspection openings to access water supply piping and fittings.
On brass plumbing fittings: Brass KITEC fittings are often marked with oKT, KTC or Kitec and you may find IPEX or XPA on crimp rings.
- Q: What if I see plastic piping and I'm not sure if it's a problem?
A: Call a reputable plumbing or heating contractor in your local area. (Not every plumber in every locale will necessarily have experience with this product, so ask if they are familiar with Kitec and if they have replaced it in any number of homes or other buildings.)
- Q: How much is this going to cost?
A: Replacement costs will vary depending upon the amount of plumbing work required, the degree of difficulty (two-storey homes, finished basements and concrete slab installations, for example can be more difficult and costly.)
- Q: Does all the piping have to be replaced, even if it looks okay?
A: Maybe not, but the choice may be made for homeowners, especially if they are selling and buyers cannot get insurance because of the presence of Kitec piping in the home.
Visit my home inspection website at www.electrospec.ca