Last year during a home inspection in Port Dover, the inspector told our buyer clients that they would not be able to get insurance for the house of their dreams. The problem: the house had Kitec plumbing. This issue resurfaced again recently when Toronto REALTOR® Richard Silver wrote about it in his blog “Don’t Make the $20,000 Mistake of Installing Kitec in Your Home.”
Kitec plumbing was a popular choice for new home plumbing between 1995 and 2007. The problem: a design flaw with the fittings. In addition to problems with fittings, there have also been some problems with the actual pipe disintegrating. Some believe this is caused by running the hot water system at too high of a temperature.
What should you do if you’re selling a home now with Kitec plumbing? Disclose to your REALTOR® that your home has Kitec plumbing.
Sellers have a duty to disclose material defects, whether latent or patent, and the existence of Kitec in your home may be considered a defect. Failure to disclose the existence of Kitec could result in a legal proceeding against you should the buyer not be made aware of its existence when buying your home.
Additionally, a buyer’s home inspector will point out the presence of Kitec plumbing in your home to the buyers. Don’t risk overlooking to inform your REALTOR® and therefore potential buyers that your home has Kitec plumbing should the home not be inspected or the inspector fails to see it.
Be proactive and contact a plumber to get a quote on replacing the Kitec piping in case it comes up in offer negotiations.
What should you do if you have Kitec plumbing in your home? As reported by the Nova Scotia Association of REALTORS® in The Chronicle Herald:
“There was a class action suit launched and approved by the courts on November 29, 2011 in Canada. IPEX and their insurance company settled out of court, setting up a $125 million fund that could give those that have had a Kitec failure some relief. Because this matter was settled out of court, the science of why Kitec fails was never presented.
If you have a property with Kitec piping, you should register in case you have a failure in the future. You have until 2020 to register. If you have a failure, document it and send the bill for repairs. You will get some relief, although you will not likely receive full reimbursement for the costs.
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. Visit www.kitecsettlement.com for more information.”