Kitec Composite Pipe | Advantages, Problems And Options

Kitec composite pipe was once praised as an innovative plumbing material. Builders and plumbers liked it because it was flexible and strong, especially in the late 1990s and early 2000s. But, as time passed, problems with Kitec pipes started showing up, causing big worries and costly fixes for homeowners. This blog aims to help you understand Kitec composite pipe better by talking about its good sides, common issues, and what you can do about them.

What is Kitec Composite Pipe?

Kitec composite pipe is a type of plumbing pipe made by mixing polyethylene and aluminum. It has an aluminum tube wrapped in layers of plastic (polyethylene). This makes it a mix of plastic’s flexibility and corrosion resistance with metal’s strength.

Benefits of Kitec Composite Pipe

When it first came out, Kitec composite pipe had some great things going for it:

  • Flexibility: Kitec pipes are super flexible, making them easy to install. They can bend around corners without needing lots of extra fittings.
  • Corrosion Resistance: The plastic layers in Kitec pipes don’t rust like metal pipes do. This is especially helpful in places with hard or acidic water that can wreck metal pipes.
  • Lightweight: Kitec pipes are lighter than traditional copper or steel pipes, making them easier to handle and cheaper to transport.
  • Thermal Efficiency: Kitec pipes are good at keeping heat in, so hot water stays hot for longer. This helps save energy and keeps your water warm when you need it.

Because of the problems with Kitec pipes, there have been lawsuits. Homeowners got money from these lawsuits to replace their pipes, but it often didn’t cover the whole cost.

Alternatives to Kitec Composite Pipe

Because of the issues, people are looking for other options:

  • PEX (Cross-Linked Polyethylene): Flexible plastic pipes that resist corrosion and can handle high temps.
  • Copper Pipes: Strong and reliable, but more expensive and harder to install.
  • CPVC (Chlorinated Polyvinyl Chloride): Can handle hot water, but can get brittle over time.
  • Stainless Steel Pipes: Expensive but strong and last a long time.

What to Do if You Have Kitec Pipes

If your home has Kitec pipes, take these steps:

  • Get Them Checked: Have a plumber look at your Kitec pipes for any problems.
  • Lower Water Pressure: If your water pressure is high, install a regulator to avoid pipe failure.
  • Think About Replacing Them: Planning to replace your pipes might be pricey but less stressful than dealing with leaks later.
  • Check Legal Options: See if you can get help from the lawsuits to cover the costs of replacing your pipes.

The Rise and Fall of Kitec Composite Pipe

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Kitec composite pipe was all the rage in the plumbing world. It promised a blend of flexibility and durability that seemed too good to be true. Builders and plumbers quickly embraced it for its ease of installation and resistance to corrosion. However, as time went on, the shine began to fade.

The Troubles Begin

Homeowners started reporting issues with their Kitec pipes. Leaks were cropping up, and in some cases, entire sections of piping were bursting. Upon inspection, it became apparent that corrosion was eating away at the aluminum layer within the pipes, leading to their premature failure. Additionally, the brass fittings used with Kitec pipes were prone to dezincification, making them weak and susceptible to leaks.

The problems with Kitec pipes were so widespread that they sparked numerous class-action lawsuits. While these lawsuits resulted in settlements for affected homeowners, the money received often fell short of covering the full cost of replacing the faulty pipes. This left many homeowners facing significant financial burdens.

Steps for Homeowners

For homeowners still grappling with Kitec pipes, there are several steps they can take to mitigate the risks. Getting their pipes inspected by a licensed plumber is crucial to identify any existing issues. Installing a pressure regulator can help prevent pipe failure in homes with high water pressure. Planning for the eventual replacement of Kitec pipes, while costly, can ultimately save homeowners from dealing with the headache of frequent leaks and water damage down the line. Additionally, exploring legal options for financial compensation from class-action settlements can help alleviate some of the financial burdens associated with pipe replacement.

Final Thoughts

While Kitec composite pipe may have fallen from grace, the lessons learned from its shortcomings are invaluable. By understanding the risks associated with plumbing materials and taking proactive steps to address them, homeowners can ensure the long-term reliability and safety of their plumbing systems. Whether opting for alternative materials or planning for pipe replacement, staying informed and proactive is key to protecting one’s home investment.


Kitec pipes were once seen as a smart choice, but they’ve caused headaches for many homeowners. If you have them, it’s important to act to avoid problems. By understanding the risks and exploring your options, you can keep your home safe and your plumbing reliable for years to come.

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