How Do You Know If You Have A Condensing Boiler?
If you have a modern Condensing boiler then your boiler will have a waste pipe (or Condensate Pipe) which will either go into an internal waste pipe or to an external drain; and with the cold weather and windchill factor, the pipes outside can freeze.
This will cause boilers to cut out meaning houses are left with no heating and no hot water.
The condensate pipe is a plastic pipe (black, white or grey), coming from the bottom of the boiler.
If your Condensate Pipe is frozen your boiler may be making a gurgling noise or not working at all and showing a fault code (usually an ignition fault code- every boiler’s code if different).
The Pipe Is Frozen, What Now?
The first, and simplest option is to pour hot water over your pipe externally to thaw the ice. This can sometimes take several attempts.
Try to concentrate on any pipework that is horizontal, such as bends.
You should hear the ice begin to crack and it can sometimes shoot out of the bottom of the pipe like an ice-pop.
Be persistent! It can sometimes take a long time to clear.
Another option if you cannot get to your external pipe is to heat up your condensate internally, this can sometimes work but if the pipe has frozen solid it may not make a difference. But its worth a try.
You can use a hair dryer or a hot water bottle to heat up the pipe and hopefully clear the ice.
Cut The Pipe
As a last resort you may have to cut your condensate pipe externally to allow the water to flow outside with no restriction.
You can see by this photo that this customer’s pipe was frozen solid for the full 3m length so all the kettles in the world would not have thawed it.
Once the weather warms up you will need to make sure your pipe is reconnected as the water from your boiler can be very corrosive and over long periods of time could damage whatever it drips on.
Time to Reset!
Once you have cleared the ice from your pipe you will need to reset you boiler. This can be a button or switch on the front of your boiler. If you get stuck check your boiler’s instructions or try typing your boiler make/model into google or youtube and the word “reset” and there should be some information.
It’s Not Over Yet…
Please keep in mind that if the temperature stays below 0°C then there is always a chance your pipe could re-freeze. So you may have to keep thawing or cut the pipe.
Still No Heating?
If you are unable to try the above steps, or nothing seems to be working please contact your local Gas Engineer. This will unfortunately come with a call-out charge and you will probably be in the same boat as a lot of people in your area so you may have to wait for a visit.
Please try to attempt some of the above steps before paying an expensive call out for an engineer. When we come we will only try the exact same process and we want you to be warm and save money! But if you need us please give us a call on: 01782 811102