Homeowners whose properties are fitted with Kitec plumbing are being called on to claim their part of a settlement in a major class-action involving faulty water systems.
Kitec plumbing was originally billed as a more affordable and easier-to-install alternative to copper piping. However, the fittings and pipes were found to be vulnerable to deterioration; metal within the plastic would come into contact with another type of metal at the joints, exacerbating corrosion.
It is estimated that about 292,000 North Americans have Kitec plumbing in their buildings.
Over the past seven years, 4,412 North American property owners have applied for – and received – partial compensation after their Kitec plumbing failed, leading to leaks and/or flooding. CBC News reports that there are another 9,531 building owners in North America who have Kitec plumbing and have yet to experience leaks, but who have filed a claim.
American and Canadian courts approved a $125 million settlement over the Kitec case on 2012, with 25% designated for legal fees. However, less than $3 million has been paid in claims, so far.
Home inspection experts recommend that homeowners who discover that their house has been fitted with Kitec should immediately inform their insurers.
“On a home inspection standpoint, it is a concern,” said AmeriSpec Inspection Services inspector Rob Iseppi. “Some of the insurance companies are now not wanting to insure it, or wanting another inspection by a plumber typically.”
Claims for the settlement are due January 2020, CBC News reported, with claims from people who have yet to experience leaks from the defective piping to be processed after the deadline.