The Problems With Kitec

Kitec was used in the early 2000’s as both potable (drinking, showers, toilets, etc.), and radiant heating applications (baseboard registers, in-floor, and staple-up hydronic heating).

The trade term for Kitec is PEX-AL-PEX, which indicates the 3 layers in the pipe. The very outer and inner layers are made of PEX, and the middle layer is made of aluminum. Kitec is currently in production under different names/labels and is still used in some potable hydronic heating applications. Potable Kitec is typically red, blue, or orange – while Kitec used in radiant heating is typically orange only.

Similar to Polybutylene, builders embraced Kitec because it was an inexpensive alternative to copper, and easy to install. It was sold under a number of brand names including: Ambio Comfort, Aqua, IPEX, KERR Controls, Kitec, Plomberie Amelioree, Plumb Better, WarmRite and XPA.

How Kitec Fails

The brass compression and crimp fittings that connect Kitec contain high amounts of zinc. Because of this they break down when exposed to water and oxygen. This is called dezincification – Zinc oxide forms within the fitting and causes a ‘Bird Boning’ effect, leaving the brass weak and brittle. Zinc oxide can also cause blockages in the fitting and attached copper components.

The third failure method we see relates to handling during installation. If the pipe was ever kinked by bending into a tight radius or crushed by weight, the aluminum layer will tear or perforate, and eventually penetrate the inner or outer layer of PEX – or both. Also, the aluminum layer is slightly overlapped to form the circumference, and we have seen this overlapped area separate time and time again. We see such perforations, tears and overlap separations leak behind walls, in ceilings, concrete hydronic heated floors, heated driveways, and sidewalk slabs ruining foundations and caissons.

Kitec Pipe Lawsuit

In 2005 Kitec pipe was recalled and a class-action lawsuit was filed.  IPEX, agreed to $125,000,000 to pay for repairs in buildings, residences, homes or other structures with a Kitec System. The claim filing deadline was Jan 9th, 2020.

How To Identify Kitec

Kitec pipe can be identified by its blue, orange, or red color. The plastic pipe is connected to brass fittings that are stamped be stamped with:

  • Pe – Al – Pe
  • IPEX
  • Kitec
  • Kitec XPA

Buying A House With Kitec Piping?

We recommend negotiating the Kitec replacement with the seller during the home inspection. This mitigates risk of water damage and increases the value of the home. Your real estate agent should be able to walk you through the necessary steps.

How We Can Help You Replace Your
Kitec Piping

The Team at Replumb Specialties Inc. has replaced Kitec, Polybutylene, Copper, Galvanized, Entran, and other failing plumbing systems across the United States Since 1992. We are the original pipe replacement contractor for the Polybutylene Class Action Settlement. We’ve successfully replaced systems in 20,000+ residencies.

EXPERIENCE THAT COUNTS

7500 +
Occupied Units Repiped
0 +
Years Of Expertise
0 Million+
Feet Of Pipe Replaced