The House is Only 10 Years Old So What Possibly Could Be Wrong With It?

Pex plumbing toronto

As a full-time realtor I have shown just about every age and type of property.   From century old farm houses, new condominiums, war-time housing, heritage homes, to new construction and the one thing which is consistent in my process is keeping an unjandiced eye.

What do I mean by this? When I look at a home on of my primary fuduciary duties is to identify any latent mechanical or structural issues and immediate inform my findings to my buyers.  And why shouldn’t I?  A buyer will see maybe a dozen homes and buy one, while I must see two dozen a week – times that by 48 weeks out of a year.   It puts me in the unique position of having seen a myriad of potential house issues:

  • Termite infestation
  • Lead water pipes
  • Asbestos insulation
  • Fire damage
  • Load bearing walls unsupported
  • Water damage
  • Knob and tube wiring
  • Aluminum wiring

So while buyers are trying to visualize themselves in the house…me I am trying to get a better vision of what potential issues are less apparent.

What brought me to today’s blog is having looked at a 10-year-old home on the weekend and  we found was PEX plastic plumbing, but specifically that made by IPEX called KITEC.

So what’s up with KITEC and why should it be a concern?

We all know that copper prices have been going through the roof for over two decades, so contractors were looking for new products to lower building costs,  PEX piping seemed perfect solution.   A number of manufactures produced the product, however the Canadian company IPEX distributed theirs under the name KITEC.

KITEC hot and cold lines

 What’s The Scope With KITEC?

 

KITEC was very popular in home construction/renovations from 1996 to 2007.  The easiest way to determine if the plumbing is indeed KITEC is the name should be stenciled on the tubing and most cases the piping should be orange (for the hot water) and blue (for the cold).  The issues to be concerned with are fittings failing and in other cases the actual piping disintegrating due to the inability to handle the hot water temperature.

When I called the seller’s agent to tell him about the KITEC he was unaware of the issue, but his ham-handed rebuttal was, “the owners have never had a problem”.   That is so reassuring to my buyers looking to shell out $700,000 for house with shoddy plumbing.  Sometimes I think I expect too much from other realtors, as the house was listed with one of the big Toronto Beaches real estate teams.  They should have known this is a latent defect as their seller would certainly be looking at future litigation for non-disclosure.

 Insurance Issues?

Most insurers are still willing to offer policies to home owners with KITEC.   However, if there’s an increase in claims from the failure of the piping then expect to see insurance companies starting to denying coverage.  Insurance companies do no like risk and don’t relish paying out claims.

If You Have KITEC Plumbing What To Do?

 

If you have KITEC plumbing a class action suit was approved by the Canadian  courts in November 2011 for a total payout amounting to $125 million.   If your home has KITEC plumbing you should first register as if in future you do have a failure you can receive some reimbursement for the replacement costs – you have until 2020 to register.

Even if you do not have a failure, but have been informed by your insurer or inspector that it must be removed,  you can still be eligible for financial compensation.  Again you must  register, but in this instance any money remaining in the fund in 2020 will be distributed amongst those who were forced to remove the KITEC due to inspection or insurance problems.

To register your home go to www.kitecsettlement.com