Which Type of Pipe is Less Prone to Freezing? Copper, PVC, or PEX?
Flexible pipelines outperform stiff pipelines in freezing temperatures, decreasing the probability of frozen pipelines rupturing.
One of the greatest winter season difficulties for property owners is making sure their pipelines don’t freeze and rupture, causing a headache and undesirable damage during a particularly busy time of the year. But depending on the type of pipe in their home, an extremely cold day may not cause the exact same quantity of concern. That’s because a flexible pipe is more likely to carry out better in freezing conditions than a stiff one. Copper, PVC, and CPVC are more in danger of rupturing if water freezes in them than PEX is. We’re having a look at how PEX performs in cold weather and how to reduce the amount of stress put on the pipes system throughout the season.
Why PEX Has an Advantage in the Winter
Its chemical structure enables greater flexibility and pressure abilities. And the plastic pipe’s strength doesn’t change in winter except in severe temperature levels. When there’s more pressure, PEX expands, meaning it will make it through a high-pressure circumstance, like water freezing, longer than stiff pipelines.
The Difference Between Freeze Resistant and Freeze Proof
Even if it can endure the cold much better than a stiff pipe, that doesn’t indicate it will not freeze or break.
At what temperature level will it freeze? It depends. While pipes themselves don’t freeze, the water within them does when the location around the pipes reaches the freezing point. So even if the temperature exterior is at 32 degrees, pipelines underground, for instance, may not reach that exact same temperature unless it’s lower than 32 exteriors.
Each case varies, however the Structure Research Council at the University of Illinois specifies the “temperature level alert threshold” as 20 F for uninsulated pipelines, particularly for Southern states that would experience unexpected dips in temperature levels throughout the winter season.
Ways to Keep PEX from Freezing
PEX pipe will stretch if frozen and return to its initial shape when defrosted. But putting regular stress on the system compromises it, increasing opportunities for failure and leakages. So, to maintain the strength of your pipelines, you ought to utilize the very same standard insulation precautions with PEX to keep it from freezing.
A couple of suggestions for avoiding frozen PEX pipes:
- Include insulation in especially cold locations such as attics, garages, and basements
- Set up frost-free sillcocks
- Set up a water temp alarm that notifies you when the temperature level in a space gets to the point where a pipe could freeze
- Drip faucets to keep water moving in the pipelines
- Turn off the water to the outside hose bibbs (spigots) & drain or disconnect the garden hose
- Keep the room temperature above 55 F
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