A frozen condense pipe is a very common boiler problem for Uk home owner in the colder months of the year. In most cases it is advised that you call out a heating engineer to your property to thaw out you condense pipe however you can try this yourself in the first instance.
What is a condense pipe?
If you have a relatively new style of boiler this will more than likely be a condensing boiler. A condensing boiler will carry water out of the boiler via a pipe usually to drain. Some modern boilers have a combined condense and flue system which saves on space when installing your new boiler. Condensing boilers expel gases through the flue. This waste gas cools and condenses into water. A condense pipe takes this water and removes it into a drain. To locate your condense pipe look for a white plastic pipe which will easily be visible because most other pipes will be copper. This plastic pipe will usually lead to the exterior of your property down to a drain.
Why do condense pipes freeze?
Where the pipe is taken to the exterior of the property in cold winter months the condense water is likely to freeze due to the outside temperature. This frozen water will create a block in the pipe which will cause the water to build up behind the blocakage and eventually reach back to the boiler causing it to shut down to prevent the water flooding the system.
How do I clear a frozen condense pipe?
If you are at all unsure about what to do or how to do it we always recommend that you call out a heating engineer instead of attempting this yourself. If you feel confident in locating your condense pipe then follow the instructions below.
You will need to heat some water. Make sure that the water is not boiling as this will cause damage to the pipe. You can use a kettle for this but be sure that the water has had sufficient time to cool. You can then gently (avoiding any splashes onto yourself) pour the water over the external section of the condense pipe. If successful you will notice a steady stream of water being expelled into the connecting drain. If this has not been successful you may wish to attempt this agin till the block has been cleared. Never attempt to disconnect the condense pipe yourself. Always leave this to a trained heating engineer.
Again if you are at all unsure about doing this yourself, please call us on 0800 311 8140 and we will be happy to sort this problem out for you.