Kitec pipes were used across the city a decade ago, but they quickly corrode and can cause flooding
Kitec plumbing — a plastic pipe with an aluminium lining — was introduced to the market in 1995.
Back in 1995, Kitec was considered an innovation and used in condominiums, homes and commercial buildings in Toronto and across Canada. The pipes were touted as durable, easy to install and cheaper than the popular copper alternative. But soon, homeowners and contractors realized the pipes corroded at an accelerated rate.
Class action lawsuit against Kitec
The product’s failure rate sparked lawsuits, including a class action lawsuit in Canada and America. The problem is, even though the plastic tubing was recalled around 2005, plumbing expert Anton Cronin says it was used in the Greater Toronto Area until 2011.
“We’ve seen some serious issues created by [Kitec],” said Mr. Cronin, owner of Southern Cross Plumbing in Toronto. “Imagine you’re on the top floor and it fails. There’s a lot of floors that are going to be damaged below you. From a half inch pipe, there’s a lot of water coming very fast.”
Homeowners don’t know they have it
“We’ve done roughly 800 to 1000 suites a year… for the last four years and there’s more buildings,” said Mr. Cronin. “Liberty Village has an extensive amount of it. Yonge and Sheppard has a really high quantity of it too.”
Real Estate Broker Mr. Ipekian says most condo boards and property management companies don’t know it’s lurking behind the drywall, and when you don’t know something exists, you can’t inform a new buyer.
“That’s the problem with Kitec plumbing, there’s no issue whatsoever until a pipe bursts,” said Ipekian.
Some experts say Kitec has a 15-year life span, but Mr. Cronin believes it’s closer to 10 years.
Condo owners can get own contractor
Depending on the size of the unit, replacing Kitec pipes can cost anywhere from $4,000 to $15,000. Mr. Cronin says people who discover Kitec pipes should inform their condo board and property manager immediately.
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