What is Kitec Plumbing? Why does it matter?
Kitec Plumbing is a type of plastic tubing used in construction from approximately 1995 to 2007. Kitec Plumbing, also known as Kitec Pipes were common within Square One condos during some of those years. The common issue with Kitec Plumbing is the use of zinc within the connector pieces. Due to the zinc content, corrosion occurs and after some time, the connectors are prone to bursting and therefore causing severe leakage. As you can imagine, this can have serious implications within condominium towers.
Kitec Plumbing once identified needs to be replaced as the failure of the connectors will happen, just the exact timing is unknown. Within the Square One condos, many towers have identified the existence of the issue and are now working on rectifying it. This information is tricky to come by and many real estate representatives are not educated on this issue. In some cases, the building will have confirmed Kitec Plumbing listed within their Status Certificate document as well as the plans on how to fix it and how the costs will be approached. There are two general options, one is for the building to hire contractors and issue a special assessment to the unit owners to cover the cost. The second option is to mandate unit owners to replace the plumbing at their own expense.
We’ve typically seen the costs range from $5000-$8000 for 1 Bedroom and 1 Bedroom + Den units and $8000-$15,000 for 2 Bedroom or larger units. Not all buildings utilized Kitec Plumbing during that timeframe and rather stuck with copper. Therefore, visually confirming the existence within the units is a great starting point; working with an experienced Broker who is aware of the issue and which buildings it affects is a key advantage you can use. Actually replacing the plumbing is somewhat tricky as the unit may require renovation work through the drywall or tiles. Kitec Plumbing is a reality within the Greater Toronto Area and although it is a costly replacement, it’s something we can always work with. One option is to consider the replacement costs when negotiating the purchase price of a unit or avoiding affected buildings altogether. If you’re competing in a multiple offer scenario and removing the Status Certificate Review condition, then the risk is much higher of not catching this important item. We maintain a list of Square One condos with Kitec Plumbing and connect with management to stay up to date on the cost + replacement analysis and process.
Although Kitec Plumbing is the most common name, the actual connectors and pipes were produced by numerous other brand names. This means the identifying factors will vary and the use of experienced home inspectors is also advised. Feel free to connect with us should you have additional questions regarding this form of plumbing or if you’re currently looking into one of the Square One condos and are unsure if the building is affected.