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Boiler Tips for Winter

by Adam Howarth, Editor

Don’t let a frozen boiler condensate pipe leave you in the cold – read our boiler tips for winter to keep your central heating going this winter.

Did you know that a frozen boiler condensate pipe is the most common boiler problem in winter? Luckily it’s easy to get your boiler working again without spending a penny.

What Is a Boiler Condensate Pipe?

Modern oil and gas boilers feature special, energy-saving technology that captures heat in the flue gases and recycles it back into the boiler. A by-product of this process is condensation, which drains out of the boiler and into your household wastewater.

Where Is My Boiler Condensate Pipe?

Image from Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

An external boiler condensate pipe usually emerges near the bottom of the boiler (typically about the same height as a ground floor window sill) and connects to a drain. It is the only plastic pipe connected to your boiler. In some cases, there may be a small gap between the end of the pipe and the drain.

How Can I Tell if My Condensate Pipe Is Frozen?

If your boiler has suddenly stopped working during a cold snap or is making an unusual gurgling sound, it may have a frozen condensate pipe. Before you call an engineer, try the following:

How to Fix a Frozen Condensate Pipe Yourself

Image from Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
  1. Locate your boiler condensate pipe.
  2. If there is ice blocking the exit of the pipe, use hot water to melt the blockage. Once you see a flow of water, you should be able to reset your boiler. Refer to your boiler handbook if necessary.
  3. Check if the pipe sounds hollow. If not, it could be frozen inside. Pour hot water over the frozen sections until you see water flow out of the pipe, then try resetting your boiler.
  4. If pouring hot water doesn’t seem to be working, use a hot water bottle to heat the pipe for longer.

Important Safety Advice

Don’t use boiling water – it is dangerous and may damage the pipe. Use a container that is easy to carry and pour.

Do not attempt to cut or remove the boiler condensate pipe – by law, only a Gas Safe engineer is legally authorised to perform physical work on the pipe itself.

How to stop your boiler condensate pipe from freezing

Boiler tips for winter

Prevention is always better than cure. We recommend insulating your condensate pipe with high quality, waterproof cladding. It is easy to do and will cost next to nothing.

If you have tried the above and your boiler is still not working, call D. R. Plumbing & Heating on 01978 291 923 or 01352 620 125 to speak to a Worcester Bosch accredited heating engineer today.

The cover photo at the top of the article is taken from Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

We hope you enjoyed our guide on “Boiler Tips For Winter”. For more of our articles about local business, click here.

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