Is there a class action lawsuit against Kitec piping?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by ultimachi, Aug 26, 2006.

  1. Rancher

    Rancher Guest

    This doesn't sound correct, PEX is PEX... correct?

  2. Plumb or Die

    Plumb or Die Plumbing Instructor

    Southern BC Canada
    PEX and Kitec are different. Kitec (PEX/AL/PEX) fittings that I've installed are similar to PEX fittings, but where PEX fittings are just barbed, the Kitec ones have two rubber O-rings seated in the barbs. But hey, I'm in Canada, you guys might have different stuff down there.
    Also, I remember when polybutylene started crapping out and the lawsuits started, that was Nevada too. What's up with that?
  3. Rancher

    Rancher Guest

    I thought all the PEX pipe suppliers supplied both kinds... I know Wirsbo also makes a PEX/AL/PEX pipe...

    And I would assume you use different connectors for each, but does that mean I can't use a Kitec connector on a Wirsbo pipe and visa versa?

  4. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    In reply to the camera inspection post... lawyers doing class action law suits need all the complainants they can get; hence the shotgun approach letter. They also need proof, hence the on site inspection, that each household/person is actually able to be involved in the law suit. The more there are the larger the problem and larger the settlement, if any. And many class action lawyers and/or their staff do not know or understand everything about the products or processes etc. they file law suits against, or gather info on and spread incorrect info in some cases.

    To be fair to class action lawyers, they do all the leg work, and educating themselves about the products etc. and court time all at their expense and it can take many years to reach a decision and then usually there are appeals and they recover all their expenses and hopefully make a profit out of the settlement, if any. That's why they get the lions share of any settlement AND since they win all suits, it's why they charge so much for their services. IOWs they gamble their money, their reputation and future.

    I do not know for sure but I believe most brands of PEX have their own line of fittings (along with some universal type compression fittings) because the ID of the pipe can vary from one brand to another because all PEX is CTS (copper tubing size) meaning only the OD is maintained and the ID varies. Unlike IPS (iron pipe size) that maintains the ID and the OD varies.

    For potable water lines CTS types are PB, PE, PEX, CPVC, copper and IPS is PE and PVC. PE is made in both but for water lines it's IPS while softeners, filters etc. use CTS for drain and brine lines although IPS can be used for drain lines also.

    And then there are the different types of fittings. Some PEX is expanded, the fitting is installed and the tubing shrinks onto the fitting and crimped, or another insert type has a compression nut. I believe at least one manufacturer refuses to sell their PEX to anyone that has not completed their training; is it WIRSBO?

    And there are three types of PEX based on how it is manufactured. So thinking that all PEX is the same is like calling all copper copper, or all plastic plastic, without getting into the differences between M, L and K or PVC, CPVC PE, PB etc. and any of the various specs/applications and/or types...
  5. messboy

    messboy New Member

    gary, you say there three types of pex based on how they're manufactured. can you please explain. Also,can you recommend a brand or two with a great track record{pipe and fittings}. thank you in advance
  6. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    New England
    Not to be a kill-joy, but a little search using google will get you the info you request in far more detail than can be posted here. Then come back with a question. Some of the choices plumbers make in choosing is which brand their local supplier carries, and has little to do with the differences between the types.
  7. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Maybe I should have said there are three ways to manufacture PEX... they are somewhat different and may give one type an edge over the others. I think they PEX-a, b and c but could be wrong. A search will find the info.

    I've used some QEST PEX but I don't know one brands' difference from another.
  8. Downhome

    Downhome New Member

    My original question

    So here is my question - can anyone answer this for me?

    Most of the tubes are run through our attic and dropped through the walls to the bathrooms and kitchen. If only Kitec fittings can be used with Kitec tubing and Aquapex fittings with Aquapex tubing, why can't someone just go into the attic and look at the type of tubing used to determine what type of fitting we have??? Why does there have to be any cutting through the drywall at all???
    I appreciate any insight the pros on this site can give.
    01-19-2007 07:17 AM
  9. the future nightmares we all face

    That is why I still love copper .

    I do use the WIRSBO pex only..with the heavy duty expansion rings...

    but now they are even finding ways to mess up that system
    with shitty wimpy crimp rings instead of the expansion couplings....

    everyone is trying to make things easier and cheaper to use
    without too much concern what might hapen down the road
    and no one is really watching these pipe compnaies too closely

    I might be wrong,
    but I still feel that in about another 10 years from now


    involved in some of these low end pexes...........

    just have an decent 2 millioin dollar umbrella policy on your company

    so when you get named along with the builders
    and the bankrupt pex companies in all the many lawsuits,

    at least your defence will be for free

    and I am trying to stick to only one brand that I feel is best
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2007
  10. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    downhome... looking at the car/PU/SUV doesn't tell you what engine is in it and looking at your tubing isn't going to tell you the type or brand of fittings used.
  11. f.2

    f.2 New Member

    Las Vegas Review Journal article

    Homeowners sue installers, who blame manufacturer for faulty fixtures

  12. Steve Hawley, owner of Classic Plumbing, said the Kitec problem cost him his business and he's pursuing legal action against IPEX, the Canadian-based manufacturer of Kitec.
    "I'm basically out of business," he said. "I have no employees. I'm the only employee now just to handle the lawsuit. Here I had one of the largest residential plumbing companies in the valley for 25 years and had to shut it down."
    Hawley said he put Kitec fittings in about 5,000 homes in the valley, many of them for Richmond American. When the fittings started having problems, he called Kitec and company officials said it was "no big deal." They paid for product and labor to repair a few homes and then "pulled up stakes" in Colorado and moved to Canada, he said.



    a failed brass connection, fancy that.[​IMG]

    "Oh but it's fast and easy, stuff is going to take over the world because Europe been using it for years without failure"

    About 35,000 to 50,000 homes in the Las Vegas Valley have Kitec brass fixtures. A class action lawsuit claims the fixtures are faulty.

    Thanks for the latest documented evidence.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2007
  13. would that not make you want to hurl

    Have a good business, do over 5,000 homes

    be rolling in good money and service work....

    and have it all taken away from you, or you have to

    go bankrupt --restart your bsiness under another name.
    and go underground just to save your assets.....

    I wonder how it all shakes out with his insurance????

    I would think it would be their problem to deal with....not his.

    No Umbreall Policy???

    wouldent it be their problem to insure this plumber????

    I would like to hear more about this mess....

    sounds like the dip tube fiasco of the mid 90s to me...
  14. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Had he used plastic fittings, he wouldn't have the problem...:D
  15. Rancher

    Rancher Guest

    Wait a minute....

    "Extensive corrosion and crystallization caused by chemical reaction occurs where Kitec is coupled with polyurethene-based tubing, resulting in plumbing problems such as leaks, reduced water flow and breaks, the lawsuit alleges."

    Huh? Polyurethene-based tubing... everbody know you can't mix polyethylene and polyurethene products.

    Oh and where in this picture is the polyurethene.


  16. serge

    serge New Member

    Terrible Pex-sky stories....

    Living in the Pacific NW, I had heard about the supposed PEX issue with the Blueberry development. However, even in the article, they admit that the systems were basically hickedly-piggeldy mix of different pipes connections, water heaters etc.

    In Vancouver BC, thousands of condos there have PEX pipe. I've heard about the leaky condo issue there, but that was due to siding (DryVit) issues and not PEX. Many of those condos have been around for >10-15 years and not one peep about the PEX.

    And I'm not really sure what the issue is in the Las Vegas houses is, but from reading the posts (and especially Gary's posts) it seems to be the fittings and using the PEX-al-PEX for potable water.

    It'll be interesting to see how this all turns out, especially since I have PEX in some areas in my house. Luckily, most of it is accessible....
  17. serge

    serge New Member

    From the homeowner web site....12-2006

    "Due to the unique quality of water in the area, chemical reactions may occur that cause these brass fittings to clog over time. In recent months, some homeowners in Sun City Anthem have reported decreased water flow in their homes, believed to have resulted from corrosion of Kitec brass fittings. To date, corrosion of Kitec fittings has not been found to have caused leaks or any problems other than reduced water flow in any homes in Sun City Anthem." kitec lawsuit&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=15&gl=us
  18. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    The other day when Rancher posted the picture, I was going to say that I suspect the water quality may be responsible rather than the fittings. I suspected the water when I first saw the pictures on the class action lawsuit web site. That is because of what I see inside the fittings and tubing. It's just too much 'corrosion' (actually material) to come from the aluminium/brass contact corrosion. Someone should do an analysis on it, possibly it's caused by high velocity and erosion corrosion that caused the leaking fittings.

    Another thing I thought about... I wonder how tight the compression nuts were tightened, in those instances where the fittings leaked/broke, and if they weren't overtightened (to prevent leaks) and if they weren't stressed. I also wonder if that were done if it might cause the aluminum to deform enough to touch the brass and cause corrosion. Since I don't know the construction of the fittings or how they go together, my theory may not be possible.

    And isn't it strange that no leaks are present in the case discussed in the linked web site, just loss of pressure/low flow complaints?
  19. Phil H2

    Phil H2 New Member

    Tujunga, CA
    My guess is the fittings are made from poor quality free-machining brass that is rich in zinc, coupled with a thin spot located in a turbulent area. The fitting was thus subject to rapid dezincification and being in contact with the copper water pipe doesn't help.

    The aluminum is not in contact with water, so any contact between the Aluminum and brass wouldn't have an electrolyte to accelerate the corrosion.
  20. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Then it must be a bad batch of fittings, all used in only one location in NV, which sounds highly unlikely to me but it's possible.
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