Kitec plumbing was widely used and installed in homes and condominiums between 1995-2007. It was marketed as an alternative to copper pipes and fittings. However, it was recalled around 2005 due to its tendency to corrode and fail prematurely. It is no longer installed and a class action lawsuit was launched because the pipes would eventually leak and burst. If your home or condominium has Kitec plumbing, professionals will likely advise you that it should be replaced.
There are many condominium buildings that were built with Kitec plumbing. To determine if your unit has Kitec plumbing, you can hire a home inspector to do an inspection or you can ask your property manager. The important thing to note about Kitec plumbing is that if your condominium unit has it, you as the owner are responsible for the cost of removing and repairing it, not the condominium corporation. The average cost to remove and replace Kitec plumbing varies, but a one bedroom will cost approximately $5,000-$6,000 and a 2 bedroom unit will cost approximately $10,000-$12,000.
If you are considering the purchase of a condominium you should be careful and make inquiries about the possible existence of Kitec plumbing. As already noted, you can hire a home inspector or make your offer conditional on a satisfactory home inspection. In addition, you should make your offer conditional on your lawyer’s review of the condominium’s status certificate and related condominium documents. By doing this, you will likely be able to determine if there is Kitec plumbing in the unit. Once you have this information, you can then decide if you want to cancel the transaction or proceed with the purchase.
In my experience, condominium corporations faced with the existence of Kitec plumbing in their building adopt different strategies to deal with it. Oftentimes, the condominium board of directors will retain professionals such as engineers to advise them of the best course of action. The condominium board may choose to adopt a “wait and see approach” and not take immediate action. In other cases, where the plumbing is corroding or leaking, the board may decide that the Kitec plumbing must be removed and replaced as soon as possible. They will often hire one company to do the entire building and require the owners to pay for their unit in one lump sum or in instalments. If you are considering the purchase of a condominium, a prudent buyer should investigate whether or not Kitec plumbing is present in the building or the units. If it is determined that it does exist and your offer is conditional, you will have options to deal with it.