What problems are associated with Kitec fittings?
The Kitec plumbing system is for residential use and has been widely used throughout Clark County. The Kitec plumbing system consists of plastic-coated aluminum pipes and brass fittings. The brass fittings used to connect Kitec pipe are the subject of this lawsuit. This lawsuit alleges that Kitec brass fittings are defective because they dezincify. Dezincification is a process whereby zinc leaches from brass, which is an alloy of copper and zinc, thereby creating a white powdery buildup on the inside of the fitting and a weakening of the brass fitting. Dezincification can lead to, among other things, restricted water flow and an increased likelihood of the brass fitting leaking or breaking.
How do I find out whether I have Kitec in my home?
A home plumbed with a Kitec plumbing system may have a yellow or neon sticker on the inside panel of its electrical box. However, before you check, please be sure that you have experience with the location and safe use of your home’s electrical panel box. The purpose of these stickers is to alert electricians regarding proper electrical grounding procedures for nonmetallic plumbing. Often, homes with Kitec plumbing will have stickers that say "Kitec" or "Plumbetter." Thus, if you find such as sticker in your electrical panel box, it is likely that your home contains Kitec brass fittings.
However, please be aware that stickers were sometimes used indiscriminately to warn of nonmetallic plumbing systems other than Kitec. It is therefore possible that your home does not contain Kitec plumbing even if you find a yellow sticker in the electrical panel box. Similarly, many homes that contain Kitec plumbing do not have stickers in their electrical panel boxes. Thus, if your electrical panel box does not reveal a sticker indicating that Kitec was installed in your home, you may need to have your home inspected to determine whether it was plumbed with Kitec. In order to have a definitive Kitec verification, drywall penetrations must be made.
If my home has Kitec fittings, what are my repair options?
The only adequate repair method is a complete re-plumb of both the hot and cold water lines of your home. Generally, a full re-plumb takes approximately five (5) to seven (7) business days for most homes to be completed and does not require relocation.
What do I do if I have a leak?
Treat it as you would any other leak, including taking steps to minimize any damage and contacting your homeowner’s insurance carrier. If a leak occurs, Turn off the main shut off valve to the home. If you do not know where your main shut off valve is located then immediately notify your plumber to stop the leak and to minimize any damage to your home. If a repair is required, keep all receipts and documentation of the repair. Please make sure to keep any Kitec fittings or pipe that must be removed to carry out the repair. Thereafter, please notify Class Counsel so that we can also keep a record of your leak and repair.
What is the KITEC Fitting class action?
This class action involves homeowners in Clark County who have Kitec fittings in their homes. Class Counsel’s goal is to enable these homeowners to repair their homes with no out-of-pocket expenses. You do not need to do anything to be a member of the class action.
As a member of the class, am I responsible for attorney’s fees and costs?
In a class action, attorney’s fees and costs must be approved as fair and reasonable by the Court, subject to both notice and comment to all class members. Therefore, Class Counsel will not receive their attorney’s fees or their costs in this litigation unless a Court first approves them as fair and reasonable.
Class Counsel are also pursuing claims under Chapter 40 of the Nevada Revised Statutes against certain builders of homes with Kitec® Fittings. Chapter 40 is Nevada’s law regarding construction defects. Under Chapter 40, attorney’s fees for construction defects do not come out of the repair money paid to the homeowners by builders. Therefore, if Class Counsel is successful in obtaining repairs for class members through Chapter 40, their attorney’s fees will be paid directly by the builder that carries out the repair.
Does this class action involve claims for personal injury?
This class action lawsuit does not involve claims for personal injury. If you have any reason to believe that you have suffered any adverse health effects because of Kitec Fittings, you should contact a health professional.
The class action concerns brass plumbing fittings (Kitec Fittings) that have been used within homes in Clark County, Nevada. Kitec Fittings are used to connect composite pipe manufactured by IPEX, Inc., a Canadian company.
IPEX’s composite pipe, which is known as Kitec, consists of flexible aluminum pipe sandwiched between an inner and outer layer of plastic pipe (PEX Pipe). Kitec generally comes in two colors: blue (for cold water use) and orange (for hot water use). Kitec Fittings were used extensively in the construction of residential homes throughout Clark County, Nevada. It is estimated that between thirty-five and fifty thousand (35,000-50,000) homes may contain Kitec fittings within Clark County, Nevada.
This lawsuit was filed on February 15, 2006, was certified as a class action on October 16, 2006, and is currently captioned "IN RE KITEC FITTING LITIGATION." The case number assigned to it is A493302. This class action alleges that Kitec Fittings fail when they are exposed to water because of a chemical reaction known as dezincification, which results in reduced water flow and leaks. De zincified Kitec Fittings therefore cause damage not only when they burst and leak, but also impair the ability of a home’s plumbing system to effectively provide water to appliances and fixtures.