Overview of the Kitec Piping Issue in Halifax Home Selling
Sandy and Judy Hines
The term Kitec refers to a brand of piping that had a design flaw with fittings and as a result a $125 million dollar lawsuit was settled out of court by the manufacturer. Details of the lawsuit can be found at www.kitecsettlement.com.
Kitec was installed in homes between 1995 and 2007. In Nova Scotia it was mostly installed in oil hot water baseboard or in floor heating systems. It is usually orange in color for hot water and blue in color for cold water but can also be white or grey. It will usually have “Kitec” prominently stamped on it. It may say made in Canada by IPEX.
It is important to understand that NOT ALL brands that were made by Kitec are defective. You may have Kitec piping but it may not be one of the specific brands that had the issue. In Nova Scotia, the most common terms on the piping are: PEX-AL-PEX, PE-AL-PE. You may also see Kitec XPA and/or KERR Controls. The pipe is usually marked with one of the following brand names; Kitec, PlumbBetter, IPEX AQUA, WarmRite, Kitec XPA, AmbioComfort, XPA, KERR Controls or Plomberie Améliorée.
Where the fittings are visible look for the words Kitec or KTC on them. The terms CSA B137.9/10 or ATSM F1974 could also indicate that you have a Kitec system. Often, the best places to look for the Kitec system is near the furnace and/or hot water tank or in the mechanical room where the pipe is connected to or exits the walls. Also look under kitchen sinks or bathroom vanities, where the pipe and/or fitting exits the wall. If you think you have Kitec you should have a plumber confirm it.
If you have Kitec you should register right away online at www.kitecsettlement.com. You do have until 2020 but you should do it right away in case you have a failure. If you do have a failure funds may be available to you right away. If you don’t have a failure, but have to take the Kitec piping out as a result of an inspection or insurance, you may still receive some funds if you are registered with the class action suit. IPEX will wait until 2020 and if there is any money left in the fund, it will be divided among those who had to remove the system due to insurance or inspection issues.
How Do You Remove Kitec
The most common way to remove the Kitec is to hire a plumber to remove it. Some plumbers specialize in Kitec removal. What a plumber typically does is physically remove any visible piping and cut off and drain all piping that can`t be removed because they are inside walls or ceilings. New piping will have to be run to the replace the Kitec. Approximately 6 inch square holes will have to cut at each end of a hot water baseboard and almost always some homes have to cut holes in the ceilings. The holes will then have to be repaired and some painting will be needed. Some of the removal companies will provide you with the names of people who can repair the damage caused by removal. If you hire us as your agent we can provide you with names and walk you through the process since we have dealt with it many times.
The cost to remove the Kitec varies from home to home but on average a small to medium sized home will cost between $5000 and $6000 and a large executive home could cost up to or over $10,000 depending on the individual system.
Selling Your Home with Kitec
Most agents and house inspectors and many buyers are aware of Kitec. It is very common for listing agents to be asked if a property has Kitec before the agent will even show the property. Some buyers will not look at homes with Kitec. The main reason they are concerned about Kitec is many insurance companies will not insure homes with Kitec. It has also become a resale issue.
If you are selling your home you basically have three options. 1) Do nothing and deal with the issue if the buyer brings it up during negotiation. This would be the easiest for you as a seller but the worst option for getting your home sold. Many buyers won't deal with Kitec so you need a plan. 2) Get an estimate to remove the Kitec and agree to give the buyer a credit equal to the cost of removal. This is better than doing nothing but it still puts the buyer in a position of having to do work which most will not agree to 3) Remove the Kitec and repair the damage left from the removal. This is the option that is the most expensive and the most work for you as the seller but in the end usually your best option for getting your home sold. You may also be able to recover some of the costs from the Kitec settlement.
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