Are the pipes in your home a ticking time-bomb?
In recent years, homeowners have become increasingly aware of plumbing systems that may pose potential risks. One such system is KITEC plumbing, which was commonly used in residential properties from the late 1990s to the early 2000s. Due to concerns about blockages and burst pipes, it is crucial for homeowners to identify if their property contains KITEC piping. Below, we will provide you with essential information and guidelines on how to determine if you have KITEC pipe in your home.
Understand What KITEC Piping Is:
KITEC is a brand name for a plumbing system that consists of a flexible aluminum pipe lined with cross-linked polyethylene (PEX). The distinctive feature of KITEC plumbing is its bright orange or blue color, which can help identify it more easily.
What's the Science?
KITEC pipes and fittings are made from brass that contain a high level of zinc. When exposed to moisture and oxygen, zinc undergoes a chemical reaction called dezincification. The corroding pipes become blocked with zinc oxide, resulting in catastrophic failure of the pipe when it becomes so blocked that it explodes. With KITEC pipe, the question isn't "Will my pipes explode?", it's "When will my pipes explode?"
Locate the Plumbing System Components:
To determine if your home has KITEC piping, start by identifying the plumbing system components:
a. Hot Water Tank: Inspect the pipes connected to your hot water tank. KITEC pipes are often found leading into and out of the tank, typically near the top.
b. Water Meter and Main Valve: Check the area where your water meter is located. KITEC pipes may be visible near the meter or the main water shut-off valve.
c. Plumbing Access Points: Look for exposed pipes in accessible areas, such as utility rooms, basements, crawlspaces, or mechanical rooms. Examine the pipes leading to faucets, showers, toilets, and other fixtures.
Identify the Color and Markings:
KITEC plumbing pipes are usually distinguishable by their orange or blue color. While not all pipes in these colors are KITEC, it is an important visual clue. Look for words such as "KITEC" or "KTC" imprinted on the pipes or fittings. Manufacturers also used various brand names, including "PlumbBetter" and "WarmRite," which could be present on the pipes.
Consult EAMS Plumbing:
If you are still uncertain about the presence of KITEC piping in your home, consider seeking professional assistance. We are a CA licensed and bonded company with over 20 years of experience in repipe plumbing!
Consider the Age of Your Property:
KITEC plumbing was commonly installed between 1995 and 2007. If your home was built or underwent renovations during this period, there is a higher likelihood of KITEC pipes being used.
Identifying whether your home contains KITEC piping is crucial for ensuring the integrity and safety of your plumbing system. By understanding the visual characteristics, inspecting plumbing components, and consulting professionals when needed, you can determine whether your home has KITEC pipe and prevent a disaster in your home. Remember, if your home has KITEC, it's not if the pipe will fail, but when. If KITEC plumbing is present, it is advisable to consult a qualified plumber like EAMS Plumbing to assess the potential risks and discuss appropriate replacement options to safeguard your home's plumbing system.