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Phil
Phil, Mechanical Engineer.
Category: Plumbing
Satisfied Customers: 5752
Experience:  Retired mech. contractor, shop owner, 51 yrs experience.
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I inadvertently punctured a hole in my kitec in-floor radiant

Resolved Question:

I inadvertently punctured a hole in my kitec in-floor radiant heating plumbing system (completely my fault, not the kitec's fault)

Well, in researching how to make a repair to it, I stumbled upon all of this information about the issues regarding kitec and the class-action lawsuit. So, my heart just sank. I just bought my house, it has in-floor radiant heating (concrete floors) through the WHOLE HOUSE - from the basement to the top floor. Somebody please tell me that the issue with kitec are to due with the fittings and not in-floor systems... I feel sick. Thank you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Plumbing
Expert:  Rick Mather replied 1 year ago.

Rick Mather :

If you drill hole in floor that would not be fitting problem, and would require you to dig up damage tubing to make repair with coupling ans short piece of tubing

Rick Mather :

Do you know what brand PEX tubing is in floor ?

Rick Mather :

With date of manufacturing?

Customer:

Thanks for the reply. Perhaps my question was a little vague. I'm not actually concerned about the puncture I made in the floor. It was in my researching on how to repair it is when I became concerned. I've come to find my entire radiant heating system is done with KITEC tubing, which I know now is faulty. KITEC was successfully sued in a class action lawsuit.


From what I've been reading, most of the issues with kitec is with the brass/copper fittings corroding with the aluminum core of the kitec tubbing. I'm taking that as a positive since I have to assume there are no fittings anywhere within the concrete floors for the radiant system. There are, however, brass/copper fittings at the manifolds. And I understand that crimp connections are better than compression connections. So

Customer:

So my question essentially is: are the legitimate concerns about kitec as relevant to in-floor radiant heating systems? Do I need to have my entire radiant heating system replaced?

Expert:  Phil replied 1 year ago.
Hello, I am assisting Rick here... the problem is fitting related, not tubing related.

Phil


















p
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Ok. So to be clear, the problem with kitec is fitting related and not tubing related, correct? Either way, the tubing does have fittings - at the point where it starts/terminates into each pump for each zone of the in-floor radiant heating system. Please see attached picture. It looks as though said fittings are compression type. And there may indeed be fittings somewhere in the radiant system as well, as I cannot be 100% certain that each zone is one continuos kitec tube. So I can I assume I still face a potential issue with the kitec? How do I determine if there's a potential problem lurking? Right now, each fitting seems fine - no visible signs of a problemkitec fittings

Expert:  Phil replied 1 year ago.
Hello again, you can't at all be sure that the fittings won't fail or that there are not some in the floor tubing that will fail. The class action compensation expires in 2020.

CLICK HERE for an array of articles on various aspects of the Kitec class action. It *appears to me* that you have to show a failure of the product and submit a claim before you can be compensated... and then only for the cost of repairs.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you. One more thing if you do not mind... Perhaps I could glean something from those articles, but do you happen to know what I should be looking for at those fittings in the picture I attached earlier? Are there visible warning signs? And I believe my fittings are compression style, correct? Is it 'easy', relatively speaking, to change from compression to crimp fittings? Thanks again for your time.

Expert:  Phil replied 1 year ago.
Hello again,

Here are a dozen or more articles with pictures showing Kitec fittings, including a link on page one to an attorney representing home owners on this issue.

CLICK HERE

However in light of the class action settlement your options might be limited, I am not an attorney and cannot advise you on that aspect.

There are companies in the business of replacing the entire Kitec system tubing and all. This is too big an issue to discuss just one aspect at time, you will need to come up to speed on the wide range of issues related to Kitec...looking those links over will be the most complete approach.

Notice these fittings, apparently both types have been termed 'ticking time bombs' You will not know if they are going to fail until they leak...

If I were in your position, I would leave the underflow tubing in place. and replace all of the other Kitec tubing and fittings in the house.

If by chance there were a coupling in the underfloor Kitec tubing I would cap that circuit off and install hydronic base board heat in that room.

CLICK HERE to read about the actual tube construction... continuous lengths should be good under the floor for a very long time.


Phil

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thanks again. As you suggest, I'll continue to do research. So last but not least... As you say, the underfloor tubing should be fine for a long while. And it is this underfloor where I have the kitec, the rest of the house (ie domestic water use) is not on kitec. So in summary, it sounds like my most likely point of failure will be at the fittings into the manifolds/pumps. Are you aware of a product that I can replace said fittings that will not corrode with the kitec? I'll await your answer the close off this discussion. Your time has been greatly appreciated.

Expert:  Phil replied 1 year ago.
Hello again,

I do not see any replacement fittings on the web nor mention of any.

If I were to try something it would be inserting a stainless steel barb x 3/8" male thread thread adapter, and then use regular brass pipe fittings to adapt to the pump.
I would use a stainless steel clamp fitting to secure the barb inside the tube. I would not use brass inside the kitec tube.

I think that would have a 90% or better chance of lasting long term.
but DO read the bulk of the links I have given you to get a broader view of what all of the issues are.

Phil
Phil, Mechanical Engineer.
Category: Plumbing
Satisfied Customers: 5752
Experience: Retired mech. contractor, shop owner, 51 yrs experience.
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