Physical properties of PEX Pipes
PEX pipe (cross-linked polyethylene) is resistant to extremely high and low temperatures, which makes it suitable for both hot and cold water plumbing applications. PEX pipe expands and contracts with thermal changes in the system, making it more resistant to freeze damage thank any other rigid pipe, such as copper, brass and galvanized steel. Even if water inside the PEX pipe were to freeze, the tubing would still resist breakage. When water does freeze inside a PEX pipe, it can be thawed using a hair dryer, heat tape, or a warm wet rag. It is important, however, not to overheat the tubing past its recommended temperature of 200 degree Fahrenheit.
Tips to prevent freezing in PEX pipes
- If PEX pipe has not yet been installed, one of the most effective ways to prevent freezing of water would be to run the tubing inside the interior walls rather than exterior.
- Warm the rooms up a bit to keep the pipes in those rooms from freezing.
- Insulate your PEX pipes. Insulated pipes resist freezing significantly more than the non-insulated ones.
- Moving water takes longer to freeze than water that is not moving so allow water to flow from a sink through your plumbing system to keep the pipes from freezing. This option can be very effective, but costly as well. If PEX is already installed, Grundfos Comfort System and Taco D’Mand System can offer a solution, as both allow to recirculate the water in the system, thus preventing it from freezing.
- Cover up the vents to keep cold air away from your PEX piping.