Funny thing happened during a home inspection on a townhouse in LaSalle recently. This townhouse is on the water and features many upgrades. With the monthly maintenance fees and the high asking price, this townhouse is suited for a relatively narrow group of home buyers.
The buyer's realtor decided to follow the home-buyer and I around as I was doing the home inspection. As I checked under the sinks and noted that copper and ABS plumbing was present, this was the moment that the realtor felt confident to make the statement that the buyer was very lucky that there was no Kitec plumbing in this meticulous townhouse. She then went on to elaborate how Kitec plumbing was very BAD!
I chuckled under my breath and continued with the inspection. Then, lo and behold, we entered the furnace room and I announced that Kitec plumbing was the primary water supply plumbing in this townhouse. I proceeded to educate the home-buyer on this type of plumbing and how some (maybe even most) home insurance companies will not insure a home that has Kitec, they'll charge a premium for homes with this type of piping, they will exclude coverage of water leaks or they will insist on having all the Kitec removed and replaced with approved piping. Needless to say, the realtor had surely regretted her previous comments. When I discover Kitec plumbing, a realtor usually tries to down-play it but due to her previous comments, that was now impossible.
Kitec plumbing was introduced in 1995 and by 2005, it was recalled by the manufacturer due to leaks that occurred due to material failure. Plumbers liked Kitec because it was cheaper and more flexible compared to traditional piping. However, the drawbacks became apparent when these pipes began to fail under high water pressure and under high water temperatures. These leaks resulted in thousands of dollars in damage to the interior finishes of the homes.
Although the $125 million dollar settlement to the Kitec class action lawsuit was approved in 2011 and ended in 2020, it may not be too late to submit a claim to www.kitecsettlement.com/.
Once again, Home Inspection Consultants Inc. saved the day for this home-buyer and for the realtor for that matter. Had the home-buyer relied on the realtor's comment that there was no Kitec present, that may have become a sticky situation when it was time to obtain house insurance. Whether they go ahead with the purchase or not, at least they are now well-informed on what they are purchasing and that is how We Provide Peace of Mind!
I've come across a lot of interesting tidbits of information during my 29 year career as a home inspector. I've been told that I'm pretty meticulous and a good 'teacher', so hopefully you'll find some interesting information here..