According to the lawsuit filed by the law firm of Kasdan Simonds Weber & Vaughan LLP, an estimated 70,000 residences in California alone have been built since Jan. 1, 2003, with plumbing systems incorporating the defective yellow brass fixtures made by EZ-Flo and BrassCraft.
Ken Kasdan, Senior Partner of Kasdan Simonds Weber & Vaughan, said the plumbing line fittings made by EZ-Flo, BrassCraft and other plumbing manufacturers have been used extensively in the construction of residential homes in many areas of the southwest and throughout the U.S. from Washington to Maine.
It is believed there are tens of thousands of homes in the southwest region including California, Arizona, Nevada, and New Mexico that may contain these suspect brass fittings, which were very popular with plumbers working as subcontractors to many of the nation’s largest homebuilders because of the low cost and ease of use.
The lawsuit states that yellow brass fixtures including angle stop shutoff valves, water stops, and flex lines can suffer from “dezincification”
”Although dezincification may sound at first like a technical plumbing problem, when you magnify it by 70,000 or more homes in California alone, including sinks, faucets and toilets, it becomes a huge construction defect issue that needs to be addressed as a class for all California homeowners who are affected by the same problem,” said Kasdan. “If a home has these yellow brass fittings as a part of the plumbing lines, some experts believe the only effective solution is to replace all of the defective parts before catastrophic failure occurs that will cost thousands of dollars to repair.”
Yellow brass fixtures susceptible to dezincification such as those made by EZ-Flo and BrassCraft appear to have a high concentration of zinc in the brass formulation, and less copper. “Zinc is cheaper than copper,” Kasdan noted. According to product investigations, the fixtures fail when they are exposed to potable water because of a chemical reaction (i.e. dezincification)
“Plumbing in a home may be suffering silently from dezincification, which is akin to occlusion of coronary arteries,” Kasdan explained. “It can create a terrible mess in a home if not treated in a timely manner because it could result in undetected water leaks inside the home and possibly bursting of pipes.”