You’ve probably heard of PEX pipes if you’re constructing a new plumbing system or having an existing one updated. It is a well-liked option for plumbing systems because of its adaptability, toughness, and durability against corrosion.
Now come to the question, can PEX pipe freeze? Yes. PEX pipes can freeze. Cold temperatures may cause havoc on your PEX plumbing network. The expansion and probable rupture of PEX pipes brought on by frozen water can result in costly losses and fixes. But there are certain measures that you can follow to prevent PEX pipes from freezing.
If you want to know how to prevent PEX pipes from freezing, you need to go deeper. You can get detailed information about this topic below.
Can PEX Pipe Freeze?
Yes. PEX pipe can freeze. However, it can resist expansion brought on by freezing temperatures better than stiff components like steel and copper. But if the temperature drops far enough, pipes could burst.
Despite not freezing as quickly as copper pipes, PEX pipes begin to lose their ability to bend after several cycles of freezing and thawing.
One of the most significant difficulties with PEX plumbing is freezing. When it gets colder, the water rises as it freezes. The outcome is that the pressure within the pipes begins to increase, which might lead to a pipe break. When this occurs, water pours from the pipes.
What are the Signs that PEX Pipe is Frozen?
Determining if PEX piping is frozen can be challenging, particularly if the pipes are situated in difficult-to-reach locations. However, the following symptoms could point to frozen PEX pipes:
- Insufficient water flow: If you turn on a faucet but nothing comes out, the PEX pipes may have been frozen.
- Poor water pressure: If you see a notable drop in the flow of water, this may indicate that the PEX pipes are slightly frozen.
- Weird sounds: Gurgling or pounding sounds emanating from your pipes may indicate that there is frozen water within.
- Cracking: In severe circumstances, freezing water may lead PEX pipes to swell or break, which can result in expensive damage and repairs.
Acting soon is essential to prevent more harm if you believe that your PEX pipes may be frozen.
How to Prevent PEX Pipe from Freezing?
Here are some preventive measures that you can follow to prevent PEX pipes from freezing.
- Insulating the pipe: Using insulation made from foam or pipe sleeves can assist in keeping PEX pipes from freezing in freezing temperatures.
- Maintain the pipe’s temperature: Keep the PEX pipes in a heated section of the home or building. By doing this, you can guarantee that the pipes don’t freeze.
- Circulate water: To keep the PEX pipes from freezing, run a small amount of water through them. Because flowing water is more unlikely to freeze than still water, even a small flow can have a significant impact.
- Install heat tape: To keep PEX pipes warm and avoid freezing, heat tape is a wire that has been electrically heated. For pipelines that are situated in hard-to-insulate places, this might be a suitable alternative.
- Emptying the pipes: Draining the pipes might be a useful strategy to protect the PEX pipes from freezing if you know they will be exposed to extremely cold weather.
To do this, you must switch off the source of water and then turn on all taps and valves so that water may drain from the pipes.
By taking the necessary precautions to stop PEX pipes from freezing, you may save money on plumbing system damage and fixes. Even with the right measures, PEX pipes may still freeze in extremely cold temperatures.
So it is recommended that you track the condition of your plumbing and take immediate action if you observe any damage or freezing signals.
How Should You Handle a Frozen PEX Pipe?
The following actions can be taken step by step if you find that your PEX pipe is frozen:
Step 1: Disconnect the water supply
To stop any further water from getting into the frozen pipes, first cut off the water supply.
Step 2: Seek Out The Frozen Section
Find the frozen PEX pipe portion as best you can. If the water lines are inaccessible or concealed behind walls, this could be challenging.
Step 3: Defrost The Pipes
You can defrost the frozen pipes by warming the region next to the frozen part using a space heating element, warm light bulb, or dryer. You may also try flushing the pipes with warm water. Never defrost PEX pipes over a hot stove or with a propane torch as this might damage the pipes or perhaps start a fire.
Step 4: Observe The Pipes
After the pipes have defrosted, keep a close eye on them for any indications of harm or leaks. It is preferable to contact a licensed plumber to conduct any essential repairs if you discover any problems.
Step 5: Utilize Safeguards
The pipes could benefit from insulation, a small amount of water running through them, or the use of thermal tape to maintain them moist to avoid freezing in the future.
However, it is preferable to hire a licensed plumber to inspect the problem and perform any required repairs. That’s recommended if you are failing to defrost the frozen lines by yourself or if you discover any symptoms of damage.
Besides, it is crucial to take precautions to prevent pipe freezing since it may be a significant problem that results in expensive damage and fixes.
Here are some frequently asked questions by people about PEX pipes freezing.
No. PEX pipe won’t rust, corrode, or discolor as it ages like other types of pipe. Due to its non-reactive construction and lack of chemicals that may leak into the water supply, PEX pipelines are secure to use in your house.
The flexibility of PEX pipe over rigid pipe is one of its key advantages. PEX may frequently be curved without the aid of joints or other supplemental fittings. This minimizes possible leaks, saves material costs, and decreases the total amount of connecting points.
In harsh environments, PEX pipes have been employed as radiant heat and electrical insulators. They need lesser connections and fittings and are simple to install. Since heat is scarce, PEX pipes are more effective, but they shouldn’t be used outside.
When putting pipes outside, PEX tubing is an excellent choice since it won’t freeze as quickly and if it does, it expands and compresses to avoid a ruptured pipe. These developments have caused a large number of individuals to switch from copper to PEX.
It is preferable to hire a licensed plumber to do any required repairs if you are unsuccessful in defrosting the pipes yourself or if you see any evidence of damage. By following these instructions, you can make certain that your PEX pipes don’t freeze and continue to work as intended for many years.