Are you wondering how to keep PEX from freezing in a crawl space? PEX, short for “cross-linked polyethylene,” is a popular choice for plumbing pipes due to its durability and flexibility. However, the water inside the pipes can freeze and expand if exposed to freezing temperatures, causing them to burst. This is why it’s essential to take the right precautions when installing PEX.
If you’re a homeowner, the last thing you want to hear is that your crawl space has frozen pipes. Not only is this an inconvenience for you and your family as plumbing systems are taken offline, but it can also lead to costly repairs if not addressed immediately. Fortunately, you can take some preventive measures to prevent the freezing of the PEX pipe in your crawl space.
In this blog post, we’ll uncover best practices on how to keep PEX from freezing in crawl space.
What Will You Need?
Before we get started, here’s a list of materials you might need:
- Crawl space insulation
- Bubble wrap or foam pipe insulation
- Pipe heat tape and thermostat
- Plumber’s putty
- Hose clamps
- Electrical wiring and connectors
Once you have your materials, here are five steps to follow for how to keep pex from freezing in the crawl space.
10 Easy Steps on How to Keep PEX From Freezing in Crawl Space
1. Insulate the Area:
The first step is to insulate the area around your PEX pipes. This can be done with insulation batting, foam sheets, or rigid foam board insulation. This will help trap heat and prevent the pipes from becoming exposed to freezing temperatures.
2. Wrap Exposed Pipes:
For any exposed pipes, you can use bubble wrap or foam insulation to help trap in heat and keep them warm. You can also wrap pipe heat tape around the pipes, then secure it with a thermostat. This will turn on the heat whenever temperatures drop below a certain point, keeping your PEX pipes above freezing.
3. Use Plumber’s Putty:
To prevent cold air from seeping into your crawl space, use plumber’s putty along the edges of any openings that might let in cold air. This includes windows, doors, and other access points where cold air can enter. Be careful to use the putty sparingly, as too much can cause a mess.
4. Secure Hose Clamps:
To make sure the insulation and pipe heat tape stay in place, you’ll want to secure it with hose clamps. This will help keep the insulation from shifting or displacing, which could lead to cold air entering your crawl space. Don’t forget to check the clamps periodically, as they can become loose over time.
5. Install Electrical Wiring:
Finally, if necessary, you can install electrical wiring and connectors in your crawlspace to provide power for your pipe heat tape and thermostat. This is a great way to ensure that the heat tape activates whenever temperatures drop below freezing, protecting your PEX pipes from bursting. You can also install a timer to ensure the heat tape only turns on when necessary.
6. Clear Away Debris:
Make sure to clear away any debris that could impede airflow in the crawlspace. This includes leaves, dirt, and other items that could block airflow and prevent the insulation from doing its job. Use a shop vacuum or a broom and dustpan to remove any debris.
7. Avoid Water Leaks:
Ensure your PEX pipes are well-sealed, so they don’t leak water into the crawlspace. This can cause humidity to build up, leading to frozen pipes even when insulated correctly. Consider installing a sump pump in your basement or crawlspace to remove any excess water before it becomes a problem.
8. Check Basement Temperature:
Check the temperature of your basement periodically with a thermometer to ensure it isn’t falling below freezing. If it does, immediately warm it up as quickly as possible. You can do this by adding more insulation or turning up the thermostat.
9. Cover vents:
If you have any vents in the crawl space, check them periodically and ensure they are properly covered. This will help keep out cold air while still allowing fresh air in. Be careful not to block off all the vents, as this could cause moisture to build up and damage your pipes.
10. Monitor Temperatures:
Finally, it’s a good idea to monitor temperatures in your crawl space on a regular basis. If you notice any sudden drops or signs of freezing pipes, take action immediately to prevent further damage. It will be worth the effort in the long run!
These steps ensure that your PEX pipes remain protected from freezing temperatures in your crawl space during the winter months. Remember to insulate well, use heat tape and thermostats, secure hose clamps around insulation, install electrical wiring if necessary, clear away debris and cover vents, avoid water leaks, keep an eye on basement temperature, and monitor temperatures regularly. Doing so will help keep your PEX pipes safe from freezing in the crawl space all winter long.
5 Additional Tips and Tricks
- Keep the heat on in the crawl space. Make sure to keep at least a minimum of 55 degrees Fahrenheit in your crawlspace, as anything below that could cause your pipes to freeze.
- Insulate the PEX tubing. Wrapping insulation around your PEX plumbing can help prevent freezing and conserve energy in other areas of the home.
- Seal any gaps or cracks around windows and doors leading into crawl spaces with caulk or spray foam to create an airtight seal. This will keep cold air from entering the space, protecting your pipes in the process.
- Use hot water bottles or electric heating cables on exposed pipes during extreme cold snaps to ensure they don’t freeze.
- Install a dehumidifier if you have moisture issues in your crawl space, as this can reduce condensation that could lead to frozen pipes due to evaporative cooling.
Following these tips and tricks will help keep your PEX plumbing from freezing in the crawl space, no matter how cold it gets outside. Be sure to check your pipes regularly for any signs of potential freezing, and take action immediately if you see any trouble. With a little extra precaution, you can protect your home’s plumbing system from costly damage resulting from frozen pipes.
5 Things You Should Avoid
- Insufficient Insulation: Make sure that you have proper insulation of the PEX pipes in your crawl space. This will help to keep them from freezing by reducing the amount of cold air they are exposed to.
- Open Vents: Make sure that vents in your crawl space are closed off and not allowing cold air into the area.
- Poorly Sealed Windows: If any windows are in your crawl space, ensure they’re properly sealed so no cold drafts can get through.
- Exposed Areas: Another way to keep pex from freezing in the crawl space is to cover up any exposed areas with a waterproof tarp, such as polyethylene or plastic sheeting, to prevent moisture from entering the area.
- Lack of Active Heating: Ensure your crawl space is heated properly with an active heating system, such as a furnace or baseboard heater, to prevent the pipes from freezing.
By following these tips on keeping pex from freezing in crawl space, you can ensure that your pipes stay safe and operational all year round!
Can PEX Freeze and Crack?
Yes, PEX pipes can freeze and crack if not insulated properly. When exposed to cold temperatures, PEX will contract, which can cause it to become brittle and crack. This is why it’s vital that you take steps to protect your PEX pipe from freezing in the crawl space.
Insulating well, using heat tape and thermostats, securing hose clamps around insulation, installing electrical wiring if necessary, clearing away debris and covering vents, avoiding water leaks, and keeping an eye on basement temperature are all important measures you should take to prevent your PEX pipes from freezing in the crawl space during winter months.
With a little bit of extra precaution, you can rest assured knowing that your plumbing system is secure against potential damage caused by frozen pipes.
PEX pipe is reliable and affordable, but when it’s exposed to cold temperatures, it can freeze and rupture. If you have PEX piping in your crawl space, there are a few things you can do to keep it from freezing.
Some people may be content with stopping their leaky pipes from dripping and causing their Pex pipes to freeze in the crawl space. But for those who want a more lasting solution, products on the market can help you insulate your Pex pipe so it won’t freeze again.
You can find these products at most hardware stores or online retailers. By taking some time to research your options and invest in a quality product, you can keep your Pex pipe from freezing in the crawl space and save yourself money and hassle in the long run.
Hopefully, the article on how to keep pex from freezing in crawl space was of great help to you and provided some useful information. By following the tips outlined in this article, you can be sure to protect your pipes from freezing this winter and keep them running smoothly for years to come.