Freezing condensing pipe (How to keep your boiler operating)
Each year we are normally exposed to extreme
weather conditions, even if they are only for short
periods of time they can be damaging to your home
and your boiler.
We want to help our customers keep their boiler fully functioning during these times and have provided a few key steps / things to check for you to follow to avoid extensive damage to your boiler and parts during the winter months.
If you are concerned that your boiler's condense trap / discharge pipe has frozen please read on. If the below three statements are correct it is likely that freezing has occurred:
- You notice the outside temperature is currently or has been below zero.
- Your boiler is showing the EA or D5 fault codes, or a flashing blue light (red if you have a 26CDi boiler)
- Your boiler is a Greenstar gas boiler, or a 26 CDi
If you can state yes to all the above statements, then we suggest the following:
- Try and reset your boiler:
- Hold the reset button - usually found on the boiler control panel - for 10 seconds.
- Wait 2-3 minutes to see if the boiler re-fires.
- If your boiler doesn't re-fire but you can hear a gurgling sound, it is more of less certain that your condense pipe is frozen. However we would recommend even if you can't hear this noise you check your condense pipe.
- Your condense pipe (usually black, white or grey) comes out from the bottom of your boiler. If this pipe is less than 32mm in diameter and runs outside of the property or through a non-heated area then it should be fully insulated with waterproof lagging. If it is not fully lagged and the 3 criteria from above apply, then it is likely that it is frozen and needs to be thawed.
How can the condensate pipe be thawed?
Below are some tips on how to thaw the pipe, however, please note you should be extremely careful whenever carrying out such procedures outlined below:
- Firstly, you should only attempt to thaw a condense pipe that is at ground level and is easily accessible for you. You should never attempt to thaw a condense pipe which is at height, without the assistance of a professionally trained engineer.
- A hot water bottle or heat wrap (like the ones that can be used to ease muscle discomfort) would be a suitable and safe way of thawing the condense pipe. Hold the hot water bottle or warmed heat wrap around the condensate pipe to thaw it.
- Once fully thawed, the boiler must be reset. You should hold the reset button in for 10 seconds and then wait 2 to 3 minutes for the boiler to re-fire.