Screwed? Investors challenged by Kitec discovery

Some condo investors have been left with the possibility of thousands of dollars in repair bills after discovering the presence of the controversial Kitec plumbing products in their units and building.

Two years ago, IPEX Inc. and IPEX USA LLC, manufacturers of Kitec, settled a $128 million lawsuit because of allegedly faulty pipes, which cause costly leaks for homeowners.  

While the story may be old, the cases of discovering properties fitted with Kitec products are still occurring, especially for those buying “older” houses and condos. Damage and repair affected by pipe malfunction can cost as much as $25,000 per unit or house.

Davelle Morrison from Bosley Real Estate told CREW she knows of one perspective buyer of a Toronto condo who discovered the issue following a house inspection. After the home inspection, the buyer spoke to numerous insurance companies and was told that such buildings are not covered, even by the companies that the condo development is working with.

Many houses – primarily those built between 1995 and 2007 – were affected by Kitec and other branded products. The Kitec plumbing system consists of blue and orange flexible piping and brass fittings, used to carry cold and hot water through a home. Kitec products were also used in radiant heating systems.

While many condo buyers have been advised to get home inspections, some homeowners say such inspectors needlessly scare potential buyers and should get the reports from certified plumbers before raising their concerns. One Halifax homeowner said he lost the sale of his home and had to invest in new plumbing despite his system pipes showing no collateral damage and remaining serviceable.

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