Does PEX Pipes Freeze at Low Temperatures?

If you are replacing pipes professionally or planning to renovate your home, expect the challenge of low temperatures over the winter. You probably considered PEX material. But does PEX pipes freeze at low temperatures?

This text should offer an answer to the main question and solve your headache, at least when it comes to the situation with PEX pipes, the planned renovation of your home.

Is the Crawl Space Good for Installing PEX Pipes?


If you are planning to install water pipes, apart from the fact that it should be hidden, ie it is not recommended to be in a visible place, another type of dilemma that may bother you is: “will PEX freeze in crawl space”?

We believe that as a homeowner, you don’t care if you worry about your pipes freezing and bursting in the winter, thus giving you a new headache when you have to chase masters and change pipes, joints, or everything together at low temperatures in the worst period of the year?

Depending on the type of pipe in the home, an extremely cold day may not necessarily be a cause for this type of concern. This is because PEX pipes are primarily more elastic in their composition than the usual ones – made of PVC or copper.

The basic ingredient of PEX pipes that distinguishes them from the other two mentioned types is in “cross-linked polyethylene” [1] which is slightly softer and more flexible than rigid long pipes made of plastic.

According to Illinois research [2], which involved the bursting of pipes in residential areas, pipes can burst at extremely low temperatures. The possibility of this happening inside a house is however much smaller due to heated surfaces. Although they are in a narrow space, the pipes can freeze.

Depending on their location in the house and their composition, such as whether they are PEX A, B, or C, the chance of them freezing is reduced.

The Expansion of PEX Pipes

This is certainly an advantage in the choice when buying. In terms of the composition of PEX pipes, their advantage is their ability to expand, i.e. to mount when using heat guns to spread the pipe at the joints and to shrink when the pipe is cooled.

So, in answer to your question “Does PEX pipe expand?”, Our answer is unequivocal – yes, PEX pipes can expand. They have some disadvantages too.

Does the Insulation Prevent the Pipes from Freezing?


Surely. When equipping your house, take care to insulate all the parts that are exposed such as:

  • Basement,
  • Attic,
  • Garage

In this way, you primarily keep the heat inside the walls of the house during the cold, winter months. However, the pipes are protected and are not exposed to low temperatures so they do not freeze and crack.

They also serve their purpose more efficiently and effectively. PEX pipe insulation will prevent freezing and bursting of the pipes in your household.

Selection of the Best Water Pipes that Don’t Freeze


When buying pipes for your home, the choice is great. It depends on the capacity of the house, the size of the pipes, the number of taps that you will connect to these pipes.

What is one of the important conditions when buying a pipe that you must pay attention to is what type of water pipe does not freeze?

We have already mentioned the advantage of elasticity which is an integral part of PEX pipes, this is important also because these water pipes do not freeze.

It is possible to prevent the pipes from bursting by letting the water constantly leak, at least a few drops. Then the flow of water [3] guarantees that the water in the pipes will not freeze and will prevent any possible bursting.

Does PEX Pipes Freeze at Low Temperatures and How to Prevent It?


Earlier, the pipes had far more plastic and copper in their composition, which led to freezing and cracking. Homeowners have had to use many tricks to prevent this damage and save themselves additional costs during the cold winter months.

Even though PEX pipes are softer and more flexible, you shouldn’t test their durability on purpose. There are a few general tips you can use to extend the life of your pipes.

First of all, one of the dangers during the winter months is the water that stays in your pipes. Make sure that it is either not there at all (by turning the valve) or that the tap leaks water so that the flow is present through the pipes.

There are a few tips [4] that can Uponor PEX freezing:

  • If PEX pipes are located in ancillary facilities such as a garage, take care to keep the door closed and keep the temperature in over zero as much as possible
  • If you have elements in the kitchen and bathroom, keep them open to heat from the inside, which can prevent the pipes from freezing inside the walls.
  • If the temperature is lower than 20F, keep the faucet leaking, even if it drips – this way the water does not stand and cannot freeze.
  • Cover and thermally insulate all exposed valves to warm them.
  • The thermometer in your home must be at the same level during the day and night

As we have already written, it is important to insulate the walls, wrap the pipes, insulate the windows, close all the holes in the door. In this way, we protect the pipes from bursting and prevent additional costs but also clutter, ie work that cracking can cause.

What is the Black Poly Pipe?


A special type of pipe, made of black polyethylene, is increasingly being used as it is even more durable than classic PEX pipes. That is why it is important to find out the answer to the question: “does black poly pipe freeze?”

The answer is that black polyethylene pipes come in long rolls and are used for a system of sprinklers and sprinklers, which are brought from the house to the yard. Although it is much more resistant, this type of pipe also does not last forever and can start to leak over time and with the help of tree roots if it is located in the yard of your household.

Regarding does black poly pipe freeze, studies over time indicate different results which helps to improve the technology of making these polyethylene pipes with flexible cross-links, which says that black poly is somewhat more resistant, but not indestructible and durable. [5]

How to Prevent Pipe Freezing – Recapitulation

In preparation for work on your household, one of the most difficult projects is to choose quality materials that are durable for a longer period, can meet your needs, and are affordable and affordable when it comes to price.

One of the main dilemmas is also whether PEX is better than copper for freezing? Of course, it is, you could already read that in earlier posts on our site. In addition to being soft and easy to work with, copper [6] can be useful in plumbing work.


Is PEX better than copper for freezing?

It certainly is, since it has elasticities in the composition of the pipe. Although copper is more useful on assemblies because of the softness of the material that plumbers are used to working with, experience shows that PEX pipes are more durable when it comes to low temperatures.

How Much Can PEX expand?

Since it has elasticities in its composition, it is now easier to work with PEX pipes due to their possibility of expansion. However, how much PEX can expand depends on how it works and several other factors: how long the pipes you install are, which joints you use, and in how many places?

The point is that by working with a heat gun you can expand your PEX pipes and thus make joints.

Because PEX pipes can be expanded to 1 – 2.5 inches at 100 feet in length, as well as at every 10F water temperature. If the temperature is higher than 60F, the length of a 100-foot PEX pipe can be extended up to 15 inches.

How Cold Can PEX Withstand?

The highest possible temperature that PEX pipes can withstand is 200F. However, you do not have to test the durability of your pipes this way. Avoid directing the hair dryer or oven towards the pipes, to check if this information is correct. Also, although PEX water pipes are not frozen, do not test this theory. They can serve you long and well if you use them in the usual way.

Does PEX Pipes Freeze at Low Temperatures

Contrary to the information on the highest temperature that PEX pipes can withstand, the lowest at which they can withstand a minus without freezing is -40 degrees F.

However, PEX tubing remains flexible even at these temperatures and can bend at such low temperatures.