PEX pipe is a popular choice for residential plumbing because it’s flexible and easy to install. PEX pipe is made from cross-linked polyethylene.
But every winter, PEX pipe owners worry about their pipes freezing. The cold water running through the pipes during the winter months will actually freeze.
And form ice inside of your pipes, which can cause a lot of damage if it isn't dealt with quickly. According to plexplumberblog, it is necessary to take precautions in order to avoid PEX pipes freezing. Therefore, we discuss how to prevent PEX pipe from freezing that can prove helpful for you.
When Do PEX Pipes Freeze?
The temperature range for PEX plumbing is up to 180 degrees Fahrenheit. PEX pipes can freeze during extremely cold winter.
When the water running through them drops on 20 degrees Fahrenheit, your pipes can freeze. Thus, the PEX piping in your home needs to receive extra protection during winter.
How to Prevent PEX Pipe from Freezing - Some Solutions
If you see any ice forming inside of your pipes or if your water is freezing in the outdoor lines, you should immediately do something about it. At this point, there are several things to do:
1. Consider Insulating Your Pipes
Insulating your PEX pipe is the most effective and permanent solution for preventing PEX pipes from freezing.
The process of insulating your pipes involves wrapping them in tubes. For insulating your PEX pipe, you can use special foam insulation products. These are easy to install, and they can help you prevent PEX pipe from freezing.
2. Keep Your Rooms Warm
Another thing you can do is keep your rooms warm. Just make sure the temperature doesn’t drop below 55 degrees. Try to maintain a temperature above 55° in your house by using a thermostat.
3. Consider Installing a Freeze-Proof Sillcock
A freeze-proof sillcock is another solution for preventing PEX pipe from freezing. These sillcocks can be installed indoors and outdoors. And, they work by replacing the current exterior faucets on your house.
They help to regulate the water pressure in your lines, which is important for preventing frozen PEX pipes.
4. Drip Your Indoor Faucets
Therefore, you should also consider dripping your indoor faucets because this can make a significant difference.
The water is continuously flowing through the faucet, which prevents it from freezing. But make sure you don’t leave it dripping overnight because this can waste your water.
5. Shut-off Water to Unused Taps
Another option is to shut off the water supply to any rooms you aren't using. This will prevent them from freezing because there won’t be any water running through those pipes. Also, make sure that the faucets in those rooms are dripping as well.
6. Consider PEX Pipe Heat Tape
PEX pipe heat tape can also be used to prevent PEX pipe from freezing. It is an electrical system that uses low-voltage wires to provide heat for your plumbing. You can install it around the areas where your pipes are located.
How to Thaw Frozen PEX Pipes
In the event that your PEX pipes are already frozen, there are also some things you can do. Here are the step-by-step instructions you can follow to thaw out your frozen PEX pipes:
Step 01: Shut Off the Water Supply
For safety reasons, it is very important that you shut off the water supply before attempting to thaw out your pipes. If there is a fire in the process or if something goes wrong, you don’t want water spilling everywhere.
Step 02: Use Hot Air to Thaw the Frozen Pipe
You can use a blow dryer to thaw a frozen PEX pipe. A blow dryer works well because it emits hot air that can melt the ice.
However, it is important that you do not use a propane torch or something similar for this purpose as these devices generate very high temperatures.
Step 03: Check the Pipe
Finally, you need to verify that the frozen pipe is thawing. If there is still ice in the pipe after this procedure, repeat it until the ice is gone.
You now understand the importance of preventing PEX pipes from freezing. Furthermore, you also know how to prevent PEX pipe from freezing and what steps you should take to prevent this from occurring. If this does happen to you, just follow these simple methods, and your pipe will be free of ice soon.