Skip navigation

Tag Archives: emergency plumber

WHAT IS KITEC

Kitec is a plumbing system  that was manufactured by a Canadian corporation named IPEX sold in the  United States until IPEX discontinued the product line in 2007.   Kitec became a popular alternative to copper in the mid-1990’s due  to its inexpensive cost and simple installation. IPEX marketed Kitec  as a rugged, corrosion-resistant alternative to copper that would hold  up under aggressive water conditions.

The Kitec plumbing system consists  of both pipe and fittings. Kitec water pipe was manufactured as a composite  cross-linked polyethylene (“PEX”) and aluminum (“AL”) pipe,  whereby a thin, flexible aluminum layer was “sandwiched” between  inner and outer layers of PEX plastic.  Thus, Kitec water pipe  was commonly referred to as “PEX-AL-PEX” pipe. Kitec pipe and fittings  were connected together using either a crimped aluminum or copper ring  or a compression fitting using a locking nut and split ring.

THE PROBLEM WITH KITEC

In 2005, Kitec fittings became  the subject of a state class action lawsuit filed against IPEX in Clark  County, Nevada. Kitec fittings were for the most part made of brass,  which is mainly composed of copper and zinc. The Clark County lawsuit  alleged that Kitec fittings failed because of a chemical reaction called  dezincification. As alleged in the Clark County lawsuit, when hot and/or  “aggressive” water flowed through the brass fittings, the zinc leached  out of the fittings, thereby weakening the structural integrity of the  brass and, ultimately, causing failure in the fittings.

The Clark County lawsuit only  concerned Kitec fitting failures occurring in that jurisdiction, and  did not concern Kitec piping product, or Kitec fitting failures occurring  outside of Clark County, Nevada.  However, failures of Kitec hot  water pipe and fittings have been reported across the United States,  prompting the filing of multiple federal nationwide class action lawsuits  and investigations concerning the manufacturing process and composition  of Kitec hot water pipe. During the Kitec hot water pipe manufacturing  process, IPEX added an “antioxidant” to the PEX, which is a product  intended to prevent the PEX from quickly corroding under the effects  of light, oxygen, heat, and water exposure. In the case of Kitec hot  water pipe, it appears that the antioxidant is rapidly depleting from  the PEX, resulting in separation of the PEX-AL-PEX layers, corrosion  of the PEX and the aluminum core and, ultimately, premature failure  of the pipe.

WILL KITEC REALLY FAIL

A flood is one of the most  disastrous events that can occur to a home, given the damage that invasive  water can do to a home’s structure, appliances and furniture.   There have been numerous failures of Kitec fittings and piping components  reported across the United States, often resulting in severe damages  to homeowners (see map of affected states, below). Given the available  failure data, it is perhaps not a matter of if your Kitec Plumbing  System will fail, but when.

HOW DO I KNOW IF MY HOME  HAS KITEC

Identification of Kitec plumbing  should be performed by a qualified plumber.

IPEX manufactured Kitec pipe  in two primary colors for the interior of a home: blue for the cold  water side and orange for the hot water side. A typical sample length  of Kitec pipe prominently displays that it was manufactured by IPEX  in Canada, along with its pressure rating and other information (see  sample photographs of Kitec hot water pipe, below). Kitec fittings are  likewise prominently stamped with “Kitec” and the place of manufacture  on the obverse side of the fitting, (often Taiwan, as shown in the sample  photographs, below) and rating agency information on the inverse side.

Contractors who plumbed homes  with nonmetallic plumbing systems often affixed yellow stickers to warn  electricians not to ground the electricity near the nonmetallic plumbing  system. Homes that were plumbed with Kitec may have a yellow sticker  inside the electrical panel box or on their boiler (see sample photograph,  below). If you find this sticker in your electrical panel box or on  your boiler, it is likely that your home is plumbed with Kitec  or another nonmetallic plumbing system. You should only open your electrical  panel box if you have experience with its safe use.

The proper way to determine  whether your home has a Kitec plumbing system is to have a qualified  plumber inspect your home. In many cases it may be necessary to make  drywall penetrations to determine what type of plumbing is installed.

By Natalia on April 2, 2010 |

Everybody knows it: it’s ‘conventional wisdom,’ passed down generation to generation. It applies to anything and everything and unfortunately, in many cases, it’s oversimplified or just plain wrong. The conventional wisdom in plumbing is no different; there are many myths. Freshen your drain with lemon? Run water with the garbage disposal? Good ideas? Find out as we explore the top 10 plumbing myths that cost you money!

Myth #1: Putting Lemons in Your Disposal to Make It Smell Fresh Is a Good Idea When life gives you lemons, don’t put them down your disposal! You might succeed in briefly creating a fresher aroma, but the citric acid from lemons corrodes the metal inside your disposal. The Better Alternative: Use ice to polish your disposal up inside, which works just like a rock tumbler polishing rocks; it’s noisy, but it works. Power wash the scum causing the odor from the drain without ruining your disposal.

Myth #2: “In Tank” Cleaners Will Keep Your Toilet Sparkling and Smelling Like Roses Spending money on “in tank” cleaners marketed to make your chores easier and decrease the time you spend scrubbing your toilet is one cost you can cut. These products bleach smelly build-up white, but don’t get rid of it. Eventually, the build-up can ruin your toilet. The Better Alternative: Use vinegar down the overflow tube. Vinegar removes smelly build-up that can damage the flow of your toilet for a fraction of the cost.

Myth #3: Lifetime Warranties on Bad Products Are Really Useful When you buy something cheap and it breaks, don’t expect to get it replaced with the latest and greatest product on the market. What you buy is what you’re stuck with. Plus, you’ll be spending time and money to keep reinstalling it. The Better Alternative: Buy good quality products the first time around and avoid trading in junk for junk.

Myth #4: Running Water While Using the Garbage Disposal Helps the Waste Travel Smoothly Sure, it seems like the perfect combo: letting the faucet run while using the garbage disposal to help wash waste down the drain. It’s something we’ve all done. And inevitably, we’ve all had to reach our hands down the drain to unblock whatever leftovers got jammed in the pipes. Following waste with water doesn’t help if the blockage has already happened before the water shows up. The Better Alternative: Fill the sink basin with a 4:1 ratio of water to waste so that the waste is separated and flows with ease down the drain.

Myth #5: As Long as Stuff Is Going Down the Drain, Everything Is Working Correctly Out of sight, out of mind doesn’t really apply to the plumbing world. Even if you can’t see it, food like pasta and rice will bloat in pipes causing clogs, blocking the passage for other waste to peacefully pass through the pipes. Without the proper amount of water to rinse it down, waste builds up in the pipes and makes drainage inefficient. The Better Alternative: Prevent blockage and clogging problems by using sinks, toilets, and showers correctly. Make sure to fill basins with water before draining. For showers, place a hair screen in the drain to reduce the human hairballs that rival anything your cat coughs up.

Myth #6: Water Pressure Regulators Are Always Dependable Water pressure regulators do give important information about water pressure, but don’t place all of your trust in the readings they provide. The Better Alternative: Personally check your water pressure! Doing so can save you a ton of hassle and money. How? Well, high water pressure is a major cause of floods, leaks, and that annoying sound your toilet makes as it continuously runs to relieve pressure.

Myth #7: Water and Soap on Bathroom Fixtures Makes Them Just as Sparkly and Clean as Your Hands You wash your hands at the sink and when you turn off the faucet, you leave a bit of soapy water on it. No big deal, right? Wrong! Water and soap cause faucets and fixtures to corrode, making them peel and bubble. The Better Alternative: Wipe the fixtures off after use. This takes an extra second, but it will help prevent your fixtures from corroding. This will also protect your lifetime warranties on products, which are void when soap has rotted the finish.

Myth #8: Users Manuals Are Only For People Who Don’t Know What They Are Doing User manuals aren’t just full of fancy labeled pictures and lists of parts. They actually contain some useful information as well. While they may not be the most entertaining read in the world, they can save you money and time in the long run. The Better Alternative: Read the manual. Twice. User manuals contain information on warranties and proper usage that will increase the lifespan of the product.

Myth #9: Plumbing Fixtures Are Low Maintenance Ignoring plumbing fixtures because they are hard as stone and cold as steel is not only mean, it’s detrimental to their performance. Lack of use allows a p-trap to evaporate, allowing dangerous sewer gas to smell up the house. If an electric water heater sits unused, it can create highly explosive hydrogen gas. In this case, you definitely want less bang for your buck. The Better Alternative: Don’t let your plumbing fixtures and equipment sit for long periods of time. Use them periodically to ensure health risks aren’t created. The time it takes to turn them on every once in awhile could save you a fortune if you prevent your home from exploding.

Myth #10: Every Plumber Knows Exactly What to Do and How to Do It Just because a plumber holds that title doesn’t mean that they are educated in their field and licensed. Every plumber has opportunities to get continued plumbing education, certificates, and special cards to install some products. If a plumber installs something poorly or chooses the wrong fixture, you’ll just have to spend more calling another plumber. The Better Alternative: Use state boards and the BBB to ensure the plumber you are hiring is well qualified and well educated in the field.

by Greg Chick

He has been a water professional for over 30 years.

Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions

  1. Spend more time with the family.
  2. Take more exercise – Get fit.
  3. Lose (loose!) weight.
  4. Give up smoking (again).
  5. Get out of dept.
  6. Learn a new skill, take up a new hobby.
  7. Put something into the community -help others.
  8. Get organized.  Else buy shares in diary, or companies selling electronic planners!
  9. Become more security conscious.
  10. Give up drinking, at least for the first week of January!

Politician in Action

A Senator in the USA was once asked about his attitude toward whisky.

‘If you mean the demon drink that poisons the mind, pollutes the body, desecrates family life, and inflames sinners, then I’m  against it.  But if you mean the elixir of a New Year toast, the shield against winter chill, the taxable potion that puts needed funds into public coffers to comfort little crippled children, then I’m for it.  This is my position, and I will not compromise.’

Lecture Tour with A Difference

On New Year’s Eve, Daniel was in no shape to drive, so he sensibly left   his van in the car park and walked home.  As he was wobbling along,   he was stopped by a policeman.  ‘What are you doing out here at four   o’clock in the morning?’ asked the police officer.

‘I’m on my way to a lecture,’ answered Roger.

‘And who on earth, in their right mind, is going to give a lecture at   this time on New Year’s Eve?’ enquired the constable sarcastically.

‘My wife,’ slurred Daniel grimly.

Mark Twain Said

New Year’s Day: Now is the accepted time to make your regular   annual good resolutions.  Next week you can begin paving hell with them   as usual.

‘Twas the night before Christmas when just north of town

Santa’s sleigh dropped a runner.  Santa’s sleigh broke down.

St. Nick landed safely and walked all round his sleigh.

“Why now,” he thought, “On the night before Christmas Day?”

Claus dialed up the Elfnet where calls are never dropped.

“Get some mechanics here fast.  Christmas can’t be stopped.”

“Don’t worry we’ll be there in a second or two,”

Said the Chief Elf Mechanic.  “We know what to do.”

A dozen elves arrived and swarmed over the sleigh.

“Well,” said Santa.  “Tell me.  Tell me.  What do you say?”

“Uh boss, I don’t want to put you in a panic,”

“But we’re done tonight,” said the Chief Elf Mechanic.

“But,” said Claus, “If this isn’t fixed on the double,”

“There will be no Christmas presents.  This is trouble!”

“You think I can just snap my fingers more or less?”

Asked the Chief Elf Mechanic and Santa said, “Yes!”

“Repairs like this aren’t easy, even with magic,”

Said the elf.  And Claus said, “No gifts would be tragic.”

“Think of children with no presents under the tree.”

“Wait-a-sec,” said the elf, “You can’t blame this on me!”

“Then come up with an answer to get us on task,”

“And hurry,” pleaded Santa, “That’s all that I ask.”

“We need a service truck with studded tires and such,”

“With room for lots of stuff.  That’s not asking too much.”

“A plumbing contractor would have these by the fleet.”

“We could load the truck and hook up the deer quite neat.”

“I don’t know,” said Santa.  “It doesn’t seem quite right.”

“But then, I can’t be choosy.  It’s Christmas Eve night.”

“Yes, do it,” said Santa.  “Go find someone on call,”

“With a truck that’s got room for the gifts we must haul.”

They called and they called, but no one answered the phone,

Except for me.  I answered.  I answered alone.

They’re crazy, I thought, if you really want to know.

Still, I left to find them, north of town in the snow.

This is a practical joke, I thought to myself.

A call from a sleigh phone by Kris Kringle’s chief elf?

But I was curious and I wanted to see

If the story was true.  If it really could be.

So I drove the back roads, following GPS

As the snow started to fall; the roads were a mess.

I couldn’t believe it when I saw Santa’s sleigh.

It really is true and I thought there was no way.

There was Santa and reindeer and elves I suppose,

And one of the reindeer had a bright red shiny nose.

When Saint Nicholas saw me emerge from the snow,

He grabbed his stomach, leaned back, and laughed, “Ho, ho, ho!”

“Your truck will do.  I think it will do quite nice.”

“It’s even bigger than my sleigh, bigger by twice.”

When I opened the door, I was swarmed by the elves.

They emptied my inventory, emptied my shelves.

And stuffed them with games, dolls, and every sort of toy.

They really had something for every girl and boy.

Now my truck holds a lot of parts, this much is true,

And it’s clean and well maintained.  It’s practically new.

Yet there are limits to how much stuff it can hold,

But the chief elf said the elves use a space time fold.

“You humans think of dimensions X, Y and Z,”

“But we add a fourth.  We aren’t limited to three.”

“We load it full for an instant of time, and then,”

“We advance an instant and we do it again.”

Next, they hooked up the deer to the front of my truck.

“It works,” said the Chief Elf Mechanic, “Finally some luck!”

“Your truck’s quite toasty,” claimed Claus, as he climbed inside.

“So much warmer than a supersonic sleigh ride.”

“I want you to know,” said Saint Nicholas to me,

“That you will find something special under your tree.”

“But now its time for you to sleep until the dawn.”

And Despite myself, I found I started to yawn.

“The elves will see to it that you’re safe in your bed,”

“Though I know you would rather ride along instead.”

“And when you wake up this will all seem like a dream.”

My eyelids felt heavy as Santa called his team.

And the next morning my truck was covered with snow.

I doubt it had moved and there were no tracks to show.

It must have been a dream, was my sad little thought,

Until I looked under the tree.  Guess what I got!

It was the tool of my dreams, the tool of my life!

It was an Elvish space time folding pocket knife!

Don’t believe me?  Think I’m just having a yuck?

Wait until you see all of the stuff in my truck.

For all of your plumbing, we can take care of you,

What’s more, we’ll even take calls on Christmas Eve too!

 

 

One of the most surefire ways on how to get the most of your real estate
investment is through doing the necessary repair and fixtures as soon as you
possibly can. This will protect your home from further damage which could
potentially worsen the problem. At the same time, it is also necessary in order
to maintain the condition and functionality of that particular room in the
house.

Replacing, repairing and fixing the bathroom faucet are definitely great and
wise investments which you must venture into. Bear in mind that this room is one
of the selling points of the house which means that fixing potential problems in
it means boosting the market value of your home as well. Furthermore, since it
is one of the frequently-used and hardest-working venues in the house, most
repairs and fixture concerns happen more often than you expect.

Replacement of bathroom faucet is typically an easy task to do especially if
you decide to do the task without help from contractors. Following the
instructional guides in the kit will significantly help you and avoid damage
that would cost you a lot. It will also save you money, time and effort in the
long run and come up with neater and more satisfactory installation output.

Here are some of the basic points you need to learn when venturing into this
home project and gaining viable and satisfactory results.

Purchasing the Right Faucet

This is necessary since there are many types of bathroom faucets which vary
in terms of types, styles and size. Make sure that you find the right and
appropriate replacement for an existing item since most bathroom faucets are no
amenable to interchange. Measure the holes and get the exact measurement center
to center before buying one. Most importantly, carefully read the instructions
in the manufacturer guide to correctly install the item.

Use the Appropriate Tools

Just as there are innumerable types of faucets for your bathroom, it is also
important that you explore the varying types of tools used to replace faucets.
For instance, the proper tools to remove and replace plumbing fixtures have
myriads of types and purpose. In replacing bathroom faucets, you need two pipe
wrenches for holding and turning the pipe. Open-end or adjustable wrenches on
the other hand are ideally used for interior parts of the valves or faucets.

Replacing the Faucet

Ordinary faucets in the bathroom have soldered ends and this must be first
removed through application of heating or cutting. After removing the old
faucet, thoroughly clean the end of the pipe to avoid contamination of the water
that passes through it. Removal of the faucet stem is necessary for the
protection of the seat washer. Use an ordinary propane heat torch to the pipe
and apply the solder to reassemble and replace the faucet. Make sure that you
use a solder without lead content for safety precautions.

Bathroom faucets are absolutely necessary components of this salient area of
the house. It will help in the proper functioning of the bathroom as well as
maintenance of a smooth household system.