Is there a class action lawsuit against Kitec piping?

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

  1. mrsocks

    mrsocks New Member

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    I am hearing that this whole situation is because of the extremely hard water in that area and other components are failing as well: Taco Pumps, fixtures, etc.. anything with brass in them.

    Also supposedly Zurn was one of the pipe suppliers and they are running into the same lawsuits.

    Has anyone gotten any updated info or more reports of this happening to anywhere outside of this NV area?

    Thanks.
  2. Son of Thunder

    Son of Thunder New Member

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    1
    Eeek! Home seller with Kitec

    My home's on the market here in the Vegas Valley, and all indications are that we have Kitec plumbing. Our house was built 4 years ago. Our builder is one of those listed in the class action lawsuit cited in this thread. I've seen comments from those who believe this leakage/blockage problem may be due to the extremely hard water here in Southern Nevada.

    Is there any information on whether this corrosion is mitigated or eliminated by softened water? Any opinions here?

    Our water has been softened from the day we bought the house new from the builder. There are just a couple of lines (cold line to kitchen sink, fridge, and outdoors) where the water isn't softened.

    We found out about this issue earlier this week, and have found this thread very informative. Thanks in advance for any comments.
  3. suecpdx

    suecpdx New Member

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    1
    KITEC Class Action

    YES!
    There is a very large class action lawsuit occurring in Las Vegas, NV right now. Any repairs to plumbing and any houses built in 2002-2003 are involved in this lawsuit. The pipes that were installed during a repair or during initial construction are faulty. Customers have a choice: pay $$$$ to have the plumbing repaired now before pipes break and cause damage or wait until the courts decide when and how much you will receive to make repairs. Not a good situation!
  4. GeorgeA@Repipenow.com

    GeorgeA@Repipenow.com New Member

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    Law suit against Kitec

    Okay, here is the straight dope. I am a plumbing contractor in the Southern California area and have been in the Plumbing industry of over 40 - years. The name of my company is MasterServ and my website is www.repipenow.com. We specialize in copper repiping in Southern California. Over the last several years there has been a problem with Kitec piping in the Las Vegas area. What has occured is that the water conditions in the area react adversly with the type of brass fittings that were used in the construction of appoximately 50,000 - homes in the area. What has been found out is that if the brass has too high of a percentage of zinc in it, it starts to decompose and wear out; causing leaks. The problem that most homeowners are experiencing is that the plumbing contractors in the area are not familar with the repiping industry and are just now coming up to speed as to how to handle this problem. I have seen some of the postings in this forum and most people are just not familar with this type of industry as it is a specialty that started in Southern California and does not ocurr much in other parts of the country. The only solution is to replace the Kitec with PEX or Copper, there is no other solution as the Kitec will just continue to fail. If anyone wants more information, please contract me personally at my office at (800) 806-7374 or (818) 408-4100.

    Sincerely,
    George Anderson
    President
    MasterServ, Inc.
  5. Rancher

    Rancher Guest

    What's the difference between Kitec and PEX?

    Rancher
  6. Zurn --pex Lawsuit

    If it was not already known,
    or If I have already posted this... sorry

    the Zurn brand of PEX
    now has a class action lawsuit against it......

    something to do with the crimp fittings comming agapt....

    Zurn is sold at LOWES, and some supply houses....and I guess it is jsut not holding up well


    the only type of pex that I trust is WIRSBO with the
    plastic expansion clamp rings..... it appers to be about
    the absolute best on the market.


    Rancher.....Ki-tech is considered pex, but it has an allinimum inner core....
    between an outer and innner pex cover.... I have used a little of it,
    and it bends something like soft copper would and stays as you bend it...

    I dont like it...at all..


    The Wirsbo and other pexes are some sort of cross linked polymer
    just solid plastic pipe....

    goto thier web site if you want the chemical breakdown
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2007
  7. GrumpyPlumber

    GrumpyPlumber Licensed Grump

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    1,404
    Location:
    Licensed Grump

    I've used it extensively on baseboard heat working for other shops, I agree.
    Given a choice of nothing or PEX, I'd take Wirsbo.
  8. toddskoglund

    toddskoglund New Member

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    2
    There is a claas action lawsuit seeking to recover damages from defective piping.
  9. toddskoglund

    toddskoglund New Member

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    IPEX class caction

    My name is Todd Skoglund and I represent a class of individuals seeking to recover damges for failures or bursts in their IPEX hydronic heating tubing in their homes. The tubing at question was installed and/or manufactured between 1999 and 2003. If you have any questions regarding the action filed against IPEX please email me at todd@casey-skoglund.com. SIncerely, Todd K. Skoglund
  10. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

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    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    For george at repipe, thank you for your input. Your company is very well known thanks to the advertisements for Bill Handel's Persian Palace, on KFI.

    We appreciate your in-depth input on this kitec situation. You can see this thread is about to set a world record for # of posts!
  11. LVDon

    LVDon New Member

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    1
    Location:
    Las Vegas
    Kitec Plumbing Problem/Class Action Suit

    Am new to this site. Live in Vegas and have recently learned that our home has Kitec fittings. Having the house re-piped and have joined the litigation. I would like to establish the date in which the fitting failures were initially documented. Can anyone provide that info or tell me where to look? Would appreciate your sending me a private message along with responding to this site.

    Thanks.
  12. rich1534

    rich1534 New Member

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    1
    Location:
    tx
    Hello all,
    I have read this thread, and being a retired pipefitter with 37 years under my belt (not a plumber). When I bought my house on North Padre Island, TX., Dec. of 2003, it was about 40% done. As being an old fitter, the first thing I saw was that dam Red & Blue pipe. At the time I couldn't find anything bad about it. I personaly em just a copper man when it comes to water pipes. In my house I have the allinimum core between the inner and outer pex cover. Has there been a problem with THIS pipe in your area?

    Thanks for your replys ----------Rich


    PS: Keep up the good work
  13. wet!

    wet! New Member

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    Failure of Zurn half inch brass female barbed fitting

    I have just had a failure of the brass nut on a Zurn pipe fitting. I will join the class action suit. This whole problem was avoidable. There is nothing wrong with the plastic. It is just that Zurn have chosen to make the fitting out of substandard material and above all tap the thread too fast.

    Here is my story. This is the letter I sen to Zurn, and it contains a copy of the letter I sent to Todd Snodgrass's firm.

    This is what I sent to Zurn. It has the correct link to the damage pictures.

    This is the link: - http://mdcarter.smugmug.com/gallery/3975792#231080554


    Dear Mr Sauer,
    I sending a copy of the letter I have sent to the lead attorney in the class action suit about your pex plumbing fittings. My property suffered damage last night as a result of the failure of Zurn half inch brass FPT x Barb female adapter.
    Fortunately I was home at the time, otherwise property damage would have been in the tens of thousands of dollars. As stated in my letter this failure is a new low benchmark for me in the current race to the bottom among the world's manufacturers. These fittings are concealed, and the potential for significant harm and property damage enormous. Judging by the fact that the fault rate of the fittings I examined in Bemidji today was 100%, I suspect you will end up causing more property damage than the natural disasters of recent years, including hurricane Katrina.
    I own two lovely vintage John Deere tractors here at Walberwick House Benedict. The model A is 60 years old. The fittings are beautifully machined, by fine American craftsmen and machinists. John Deere have always had a contract with the farmer. On the rare occasions in their long history when they have produced substandard product, they have admitted it, bought them back and made restitution. Now farm machinery is predominantly green in North America and Europe. And I'll tell you another thing, I can go to the John Deere dealer and buy new parts for my 60 and 50 year old tractors. More often than not the parts are in stock, and if not they are there the next day.
    What you need to do, is admit the problem. Don't deny it, That is useless, the problem is blatantly obvious. In fact so obvious the case my well be ripe for summary judgment against you. You need to cut this misery short. Get a well made product in the hands of customers to replace the defective parts. And another thing, lets have them made by good American machine shops. You don't state the country of origin, but I would bet it's China, and I very much doubt America. For Heaven,s sake spare American families the agony of severe water damage to their homes. Get a beautifully machined product in the hands of your customers, and a big ad campaign to make consumers aware of the problem and the solution. If you do that you may yet get to become the worlds best manufacturer of plumbing fittings. At the moment you have to be the bottom of the heap. Here is the letter I sent to Mr Raiter which defines the problem.

    Dear Mr Raiter,
    I understand that you are the lead attorney, in the class action lawsuit against Zurn for failure of their PEX plastic plumbing system. Denise and Terry Cox are the plaintiffs.
    We have a beautiful lake home on Benedict Lake Minnesota. It was extensively remodeled Between January and April of 2006.
    Last night at 11.00 PM I went into the main level bathroom. There was water coming through the ceiling, at a fast rate. I shut off the water. I ascertained that the leak was coming from the wall space between the shower and the tub bath, by taking off the inspection cover on the tub. My builder Mr. Stuart Wick of Guthrie came first thing this morning. We had to cut out tile from the shower. We ascertained that there was a large jet of water coming out of the side of the brass fitting connecting the hot water to the shower control. Now I'm a retired MD but I have a large workshop and do a lot of machine work and welding. I have never heard of, nor seen a half inch brass fitting fail in this way. It appeared to me and Mr. Wick and I that it was a defect of manufacture in the thread tapping.
    We went to Lindy's plumbing of Benedict who had supplied the part to get a replacement, but they did no have any. Their Master plumber Mr Tim Johnson, did tell us that they had recently replaced one of these fittings in a local home that had failed in the same way, and done over $80,000 in damages. It thought this was unlikely coincidence. I found out beyond a doubt that Zurn was the manufacturer of my defective brass connector.
    I then went on the Internet and found out about the class action suit.
    I went to Bemidji to get a replacement and found every single one in the store had defective thread tapping! They all had cracks at four spacings of the thread tapper. There happened to be a machinist in the store who over heard my conversation. He examined my defective part and the other items in the store and agreed with my conclusion, that the thread tapper was rotating at far too fast a rate. He also felt that the brass was substandard and likely had too much zinc compared to copper. I was suspicious of that also. In his words, the product was "junk". I took the fitting where the stress lines lined up perfectly with the shoulders of the nut. I thought that was the one least likely to fail. That has been installed and the tile put back tomorrow. The ceiling in the bathroom below needs repair. Total bill for this episode, will be a little over $1000.00.
    State Farm are well aware of this problem with Zurn plumbing fittings. The cost of this repair is about my deductible. They suggest getting the money from Zurn. I have been in contact with their industry rep. He has been conciliatory and has sent me a claim form. However they want me to send them the defective fitting. This I'm reluctant to do. Also on the Internet I have found that Zurn have stopped paying for home repairs due to failure of this product. The other issue is that our home is not safe. This Zurn Q-PEX system needs taking out and replacing with standard copper plumbing. To do this the shower in the master bath needs to be substantially dismantled. In the main level bathroom the tub would have to come out. This will be a big bill. Like Denise and Terry Cox I believe Zurn should pay. What I would like from you is whether or not by joining this suit or suing Zurn individually, I have any chance of getting these needed repairs paid for? I would certainly value your honest opinion in this matter.
    Unfortunately substandard goods, especially from China are far too common. The county of origin of this part is not stated on the part or packaging. Zurn refused to disclose to me the country of origin. However what I have seen today represents for me a new low benchmark in this modern world's race to the bottom. A failure of a half inch brass nut would have been unthinkable in eighteenth century England, but not apparently in the 21st century world manufacturing.
    I'm not an individual who rushes to lawyers and have never sued any one. However Zurn need severe punishment, and need to make proper restitution to their customers. One Minnesota plumbing firm alone has had to deal with 150 of these failures. Apparently 130 million of these have been sold. It seems many are destined to fail over the next year or two, in fact it may well be the majority. This one outfit will likely rack up more in property damage than the last few years natural disasters, including hurricane Katrina. Everybody pays for this gross malfeasance, in increased property insurance. So the damage caused to society by this one $3 item is potentially immense. And that is the other problem, the item ought to cost about $8 to $12 if made properly. A good deal of the responsibility for all of this sort of egregious malfeasance goes right to the front doors of the major big box retailers.
    Here is a link to the pictures I took today.

    http://mdcarter.smugmug.com/gallery/3975792#231080704

    Here are pictures of the home.

    http://mdcarter.smugmug.com/gallery/2467814#P-1-12

    We really can do without Zurn's negligence ruining these nice spaces.

    I await your thoughtful and honest reply with interest.
    Yours Faithfully, Mark Carter MD

    I certainly hope you handle this matter honorably and correctly. If you don't your name will be raked through the mud and I will do more than my share. I think without an honest and fair attempt to make restitution you likely will be put out of business.
  14. you should start another thread about ----ZURN---

    jump out of this Kitech thread and start your own
    thread .....

    This is a NEW HOT TOPIC and you should

    repost this whole comment you made
    so that others will know about this new ZURN fiasco....

    Its everywhere in indianapolis ....literally millions of miles
    of the crap is out there ..sold by major plumbing supply
    houses and also by the knowledgeble fellows at LOWES...

    I am going to be a busy beaver once this really hits the fan..




    You would be wise to just change it all out before other
    damages begin...

    the pic of the actual
    pipe that blew apart ....is that an adaptor that is
    attached to a brass faucet?????

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I really liked your comment

    However what I have seen today represents for me a new low benchmark in this modern world's race to the bottom. A failure of a half inch brass nut would have been unthinkable in eighteenth century England, but not apparently in the 21st century world manufacturing.......


    We the USA have sold our souls to the devil---
    its called Nafta or the new world order....
    or whatever you want to call
    all the cheap crappy junk flooding our shores.
    including the people too.

    as long as the stock market just goes
    upwards into infinity that is all that matters in life.
    cheap goods and slave albor..


    we give our blue collar jobs away to the mexicans and chinese
    and we get poor quality dog crap shipped
    back to us in return.


    Zurn will most likely go bankrupt and or leave the
    country and re-incorporate in Canada just like Kitech did

    Zurn might actually have more of this product out in the
    market than kitech has..

    So I doubt that they will do the honorable thing


    once they realize that their goose is cooked they
    will take theri lawyers advice and they will bail .








    I also liked that photo gallery that you have your pictures on....and I wonder how many can be uploaded to that siet and how quickly
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2007
  15. wet!

    wet! New Member

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    Thanks for the tip, and advice. Here is a link to the new thread.

    http://www.terrylove.com/forums/showthread.php?p=111629#post111629
  16. wet!

    wet! New Member

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    12
    By the way yes, that brass fitting was connected to the hot side of the master bath shower control. The control has a quality brass thread. Never ever expected to see anything like it!
  17. chipperman

    chipperman New Member

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    3
    The Kitec is not the problem, it is the fittings. With the new plastic replacements, the problem is solved. And with the exception of the drop ells in the walls, most of the systems were on some kind of mainifold in an area easy to access. Sorry, repipe guys, but the piping is not problematic, and the cost to fix not all that bad.
  18. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    Seems like if they had spent another 25 cents on the fittings they wouldn't be having the problems and everyone would be happy today and they might even have more $$$ in their company coffers. With the low cost of the piping no one would have flinched to spend a little more for fittings.

    I would say greed somewhere along the line was the culprit.
  19. wet!

    wet! New Member

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    12
    This was a ZURN fitting. It was lousy brass and very poorly machined. I bet this is the first generation in three hundred years, that has managed to make brass nuts that fail!
  20. chipperman

    chipperman New Member

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    3
    I understand the Zurn fittings were bad. I didn't mean to mislead. I haven't had experience with Zurn, only Kitec. The brass fittings were expensive, I'm sure, and the ones I used were well made. But, that doesn't overcome a bad chemical reaction. Brass is strong, machines well, and makes a strong fitting. I think they were forced into the plastic. It seems to work well, and is just as easy to use, but they only make it in a crimp fitting. Trying to fight the various code requirements makes it difficult. I have heard plumbers say the plastic fittings are a fire hazard. By the time they melt in the wall, you will have other problems of a much greater concern.

    And, of course, everyone went to Taiwan or China for the manufacture because of cost, not always equivalent quality. But as any contractor can tell you, the low bidder always does the best work!
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