How To Defrost Your Condensate Pipe

18-06-2018

A frozen condensate pipe could cause your boiler to breakdown in cold weather conditions.

Defrosting your boiler's condensate pipe is a task that can be completed without the need for a Gas Safe registered heating engineer. However, if you're unsure about something, encounter any issues or have any questions, contact our friendly team on 01295 224844 today, or email hello@mnheating.co.uk and we'd be happy to assist you.

Modern boilers are extremely efficient and condensation is created as a by-product when heating water. A condensate pipe carries this condensation from your boiler to the drain outside your property. In cold weather conditions where the air temperature drops below 0ºC the condensate pipe can freeze, causing your boiler to breakdown.

Firstly, you'll need to locate your condensate pipe. It's usually a white or grey plastic pipe running from the underside of your boiler through the wall directly behind, then along the external wall to your outside drain.

Your condensate pipe is likely to be frozen at its most exposed point, this may be the open end of the pipe above your drain, or at a bend or elbow in the pipework. Run your hand over the pipe until you find a section that is colder than the rest.

There are several methods to defrost your condensate pipe:

  • Poor warm water over the affected areas of the pipework. Do not use boiling water as this could damage or crack the pipes.
  • Alternatively you could fill a hot water bottle, or a microwaveable heat pad, and apply to affected areas.

Once the frozen condensate pipe has been defrosted, switch your boiler back on and reset the fault code (if necessary). To avoid your condensate pipe freezing in the future, it may be worthwhile to consider the following preventative measures:

  • Insulate the external pipework with foam insulation.
  • Install a larger diameter condensate pipe and an increased gradient to prevent sitting water.
  • Install a condensate pump.
  • Rerun as much of the pipework as possible internally.

Whilst insulating your external pipework doesn't require you to be Gas Safe registered, the other preventative measures will need to be carried out by a qualified heating engineer.

If you're having difficulty defrosting your condensate pipe or your boiler still isn't working, contact our friendly team on 01295 224844 today.

Recap

  1. Locate your condensate pipe. It's usually a white or grey plastic pipe running from the underside of your boiler directly through the wall behind and along the external wall to your outside drain.
  2. Determine where the condensate pipe is frozen. It's likely to be the most exposed point, either the open end of the pipe above your drain, or a bend or elbow in the pipework.
  3. Poor warm water (not boiling water as this will crack the pipework) over the affected areas of the pipework.
  4. Once your condensate pipe is defrosted, switch your boiler back on and reset the fault code (if necessary).
  5. Take preventative measures to prevent your condensate pipe freezing in the future.

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