Pipes materials vary from time to time, and area to area. Copper pipes are the most commonly used in the water supply in the past over 45 years, but when acidic water runs through the soldered joints, the copper pipes can wear out and cause leakage; Galvanized steel pipes were once very popular prior to 1955, but most of them have ran out their 30-year to 50-year lifespan, and need to be replaced; plastic pipes can be found in a lot of newer homes, in which the Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) is the most widely used plastic material for many advantages with the longer lifespan, lower cost, and stronger corrosion-resistance.
The distribution pipes for the systems are normally located inside walls, under the ground or behind panels, so leaks - mainly caused by corroded pipes or worn out joints - may not be reasonably observed. The plumbing issues therefore are defined as material latent defects, which means that the seller must report when deciding to sell the property.
For both home owners and buyers, there is a need of extra prudence to Kitec aluminum pipes, manufactured by IPEX and sold between 1995 and 2007. They were perfect alternatives to copper pipes because of their low-priced and flexible nature. But unfortunately, their brass fittings made from zinc can react with the chemical composition of pipes, cause corrosion, and eventually flooding. Replacing these pipes can be very costly as you have to open up walls. In 1995, IPEX recalled all their brass fittings nationwide both in Canada and United State, a $125 million settlement fund was rewarded.
Kitec was sold under various brand names, including Kitec, PlumbBetter, IPEX, AQUA, WARMRITE, Kitec XPA, AmbioComfort, XPA, KERR Controls and Plomberie Amelioree. If you are a homeowner with Kitec pipes, register with the class action suit before 2020 in case you have a failure and need to repair. For more information, go to www.kitecsettlement.com