Can PEX Pipe Freeze? How to Winterize PEX Pipe?

Have you picked up PEX pipes for the new water system in your house? Or maybe you feel there is something wrong with your plumbing in winter?

Either way, you need to know whether PEX pipe can freeze and how to prepare for the winter. So, let’s get started!

Can PEX Pipes Freeze?

PEX is another name for cross-linked polyethylene pipes. They are advantageous enough but like other pipes, do they also freeze?

While most of the pipes themselves do not freeze but stored water in them does. It makes them more likely to burst and causes an unwanted burden to a homeowner in the busy time of the year.

Moreover, the question here arises that if these pipes freeze, what can be done to winterize them? So, we have a detailed answer for this query as well. Let’s scroll a little and dive into the perfect solution.

pex pipe in winter

When PEX Pipes Freeze?

Water supply system is one of the essentials for a family to stay alive. Any issue like bursting or leakage in there can leave an adverse effect on your daily life. So, it is important to know when do PEX pipes freeze.

No matter what type of pipe it is, all are supposed to freeze when the temperature decreases to 20 degrees Fahrenheit.

Although PEX pipes do freeze, these are flexible enough to prevent bursting. They have a mechanism of expanding during freezing conditions so that they do not rupture. However, in rare situations, PEX can also rupture as well due to extreme cold weather conditions.

The most common reason behind the PEX pipe-freezing problem is that pipes store water even if they are not in use. When the temperature goes below freezing level, the stored water freezes up.

To combat the issue, you should either go with insulated pipes that don’t freeze in regular winter weather or keep the faucet open so that water doesn’t get enough time to freeze inside the pipe.

What Happens if PEX Pipe Freezes?

When the temperature decreases, the stored water tends to freeze in PEX pipes. And when it happens, the pipes expand. While this doesn’t cause harm to the pipe itself generally, sometimes the pipe can burst which can require an expensive fix.

Moreover, the highest pressure that a PEX pipe can handle is from 40 psi to 800 pounds per square inch. If your PEX pipe reaches this pressure, the pipe is on the urge to burst.

So, you need to check the pressure endurance of your pipe and act accordingly to prepare for the winter.

How to Winterize PEX Plumbing to Prevent Freezing

To avoid unnecessary freezing and bursting situations, you can insulate your PEX water lines with the help of these tips given below.

1. Use the foam insulating method for your PEX water line. This is suggested because PEX tubing is flexible so is the foam. The combination makes the work easier and simpler.

2. Before covering the pipe with foam, ensure to clean it with a rug to remove moisture and water stored in it. Leaving moisture on the pipe surface will cause the moisture to freeze up in the winter. You certainly don’t want that to happen.

3. To seal them completely, use the insulating tape on each side of the insulated pipe.

So, these were some of the tips which can be helpful if you are looking to insulate your PEX pipes. Now, let’s dig in and get to know how you can prevent PEX pipes from freezing.

Tips to Prevent PEX from Freezing in Winter without Insulation

So, as mentioned above, a temperature below 20 degrees Fahrenheit can be an alarming situation so follow these steps to get through a critical condition. Let’s check what they are.

  1. Keep the room temperature warm.
  2. If PEX pipes are installed in your garage make sure to close the doors to keep the area retain heat as much as you can.
  3. Let the faucet open to drip water in freezing conditions.
  4. Keep your area warm by covering the vents, windows, and door clean.
  5. If you have a thermostat, maintain the same temperature for day and night.

Conclusion

To sum up the whole thing, PEX is a suitable pipeline to install for the water system. However, if you are concerned about freezing, yes, PEX freezes in lower temperatures.

You can also insulate them if the pipeline is not in use. Moreover, by following the steps mentioned above, you can prevent your pipeline from freezing. I hope this article was helpful for you to know all about the freezing and winterization of PEX pipes.

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