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Installing PEX in sub-zero temperatures

steveg Member Posts: 16
I am being asked by a contractor to write a note to his GC about the ambient temperature requirements for installing PEX tubing. The contractor is in Northern Canada and last winter the GC provided a heated space (0-5F) for the contractor. This year the GC said it was too expensive to provide the heat. I know the tubing can be installed in cold temperatures but how cold is cold.


  • meplumber
    meplumber Member Posts: 678
    Below zero PEX is awfully stiff.

    What kind of installation is it? They can't pour concrete with it that cold.

    As far as just working with it, it gets pretty difficult below zero. I am in Maine. We have tried doing aluminum transfer plate installations in new houses with the inside temp hovering around 10 deg. We kinked more pex than we installed. We finally put salamanders in the areas we were working and went to lunch. When we came back the pex was flexible enough to work with and so were we.

    As far as a hard number, contact the manufacturer.
  • Bob Vennerbeck
    Bob Vennerbeck Member Posts: 105
    run hot water through it!

    I've run some fussy bits of PEX in tight places in existing buildings by connecting one end of the coil to the DHW draincock with a hodge-podge of junkbox fittings and a sharkbite - first time kept a trickle running and caught most of it in a bucket held by my wife running ahead...

    Second time, got it nice and hot in the coil, then capped with sharkbite and pulled until it chilled up again - ran some more into bucket, and off we go again.

    If I had a lot to do in new construction, I'd think of cobbling up a harebrain rig of propane fired old turkey fryer, salvaged circulator, etc... if you've got a glycol filling setup, you're halfway there already.

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