PEX and freezing

Old 04-22-05, 03:37 AM
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PEX and freezing

I have a weekend cabin. It's an A-frame on stilts. I never visit it during the winter and it's expensive to heat (electric baseboard), so I turn off the heat for the winter. I bought it two years ago. After the first winter, I found seven burst pipes due to freezing, even though I had drained every pipe. The water pipes just don't run down hill to any spigots. In other words, there was no way to drain all the water from the pipes. I repaired the burst pipes and installed two new spigots, one for hot and one for cold water, at what I thought looked like the lowest point under the house for the pipes.

After the second winter, this past one, I found only one burst pipe. I repaired it.

It's in a position that's extremely difficult to install or open a spigot. Therefore, I'm afraid that length of pipe will freeze and burst again next winter unless I figure something out.

One solution might be to blow air through the pipes after draining them, to get out any remaining water that doesn't drain. Think that would work? Any specific advise on how to do it? Any one ever do this?

The other solution might be to install a material that wouldn't freeze so easily. Currently, my pipes are copper. Would PEX be less likely to freeze? The pipes are kind of open to rodents. I know rodents like to chew things because their teeth keep growing. Would they like to chew PEX? One good thing about the copper is that they DON'T chew it.

Finally, my water is well water. Is it true that copper is a bad material for well water, that it will eat through the copper pipes?

Thanks for any advise anyone can provide.
Old 05-16-05, 06:13 PM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: KY/OH
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Using a air compressor to blow out the lines is the answer to your problems.

Also, you must leave all valves open once you do a drain-down/blowing out.

You have to use high pressure, like 80 pounds plus so an air compressor with a tank will be required.

You just have to keep blowing air through all the faucets till you think you have blown out the majority of water throughout the lines.

From there, keep all valves open, ice expands and the open valves allow for this expansion.

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