How to Winterize Pex

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Pex pipe flexibility makes it easier to winterize than copper or plastic piping.
Pex pipe flexibility makes it easier to winterize than copper or plastic piping. (Image: water pipes image by jeancliclac from Fotolia.com)

Pex is the generic name given to crosslinked polyethylene pipe, which is an HDPE plastic-like tubing that remains flexible yet strong. Pex is almost exclusively used as a replacement for various others types of water pipes, including copper, iron and lead. It never rusts or corrodes, and is naturally resistant to lime scale build-up. Because it is a plastic polymer, it has the tendency to stretch rather than break, when water freezes inside. And also because of its flexibility, if installed correctly, it is much easier to winterize than any other type of water pipe.

Things You'll Need

  • Zip or ties
  • Air compressor
  • Environmentally friendly anti freeze

Turn off your main water supply valve.

Open all the faucets connected to Pex plumbing. This allows all the water to drain out of the piping which will prevent freezing in the winter.

Locate the approximate center of the Pex piping, and attach the Pex to the highest point possible with a zip tie. Because of its flexibility, Pex can be easily manipulated into an arch held up by a zip tie. At the highest point, all water will flow out and away while draining through an open faucet.

Blow out any Pex piping with an air compressor. Push any standard air compressor nozzle into the nearest available faucet, make sure all of the other faucets are wide open, seal the nozzle into the pipe by wrapping your hand around it, and turn the compressor on. The air will force all the remaining water out of the Pex, and you'll not have to worry about frozen piping.

Pour environmentally safe anti-freeze down any Pex drain pipes. Any water in drain traps will be diluted with anti-freeze, and be safe from freezing in sub-zero temperatures.

References

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