Condensate Pipe FAQ

Experiencing you boiler shutting off on one of the coldest days of the years can be a very frightening experience, especially for the more vunerable homeowners, and those with families. if your boiler automatically switches off on a very cold day, and it has been working perfectly fine up until that day then it is highly likely it is the condensate pipe that has frozen outside. Below we have highlighted some of the main questions about frozen condensate pipes. We aim to help you to identify a frozen condensate pipe and rectify the problem quickly and efficiently.

How Do I Know My Condensate Pipe Has Frozen?
If you contact a heating company it is likely they will ask you if it is a frozen condensate pipe, some boiler maintenance plans do not cover the condensate pipe therefore the heating company would charge you extra for this call out. Therefore it is important that you have a very good idea what the problem is that caused your boiler to shut off. If your boiler has automatically shut off on a very cold day and it has been working perfectly fine up until that point, it is likely that the condensate pipe outside has frozen. Consequently if you can feel bubbling in the pipes or coming from the boiler it is likely to be a frozen condensate pipe. Some condensing boilers have a frozen pipe warning light that appears on the boiler itself to alert you to a frozen condensate pipe.

What Should I Do If I have A Frozen Condensate Pipe?
If you condensate waste pipe has frozen the first thing you should do is contact your heating maintenance company for some further advise, they may have an engineer in the area who could attend to rectify the problem. If you are left with no option but to attempt to rectify the problem yourself there are a few methods you can choose.

Pour warm water over the condensate pipe in order to thaw the waste pipe
Wrap towels or blankets over the condensate pipe to protect the pipe from the cold temperatures
Visit your local plumbing merchant to purchase some material to insulate the pipe

You should never pour boiling water over the condensate pipe as this could potentially scald you and damage the condensate pipe. Consequently if the condensate pipe is located high above ground level you should seek professional advice, it is never a good idea to be climbing ladders in very cold, wet and windy weather.

What Will Happen Once The Condensate Pipe Has Defrosted?
Once the condensate pipe has thawed you will have to press the reset button or the fire up button located on your boiler.

Is It Best To Keep The Boiler On?
Yes - Keeping the boiler on a low heat especially over the extreamly cold winter days, it is best to keep the boiler on day and night to help prevent the condensate pipe from freezing again. Maintaining a warm house constantly is actually cheeper then keep turning the boiler on and off and turning it up high then low.