We’ve have been installing high efficiency condensing boilers since 2002. Unfortunately, it isn’t always possible to install the condensing discharge pipe work internally and where it has had to be installed externally it can sometimes freeze in very cold weather.

Reporting a problem

If you need an emergency repair, you should report it immediately to us.

How can I tell if my boilers condense trap/discharge pipe has frozen?

Read the following steps to work out if the external pipe of your condensing boiler has frozen, and what steps to take if it has.

Step 1: It’s possible that your boilers condense trap/discharge pipe has frozen if all three of these statements are correct...

  • your boiler is a condensing boiler
  • the outside temperature is or has been below freezing
  • your boiler is displaying either a fault code, or simply fails to fire up

Always refer to your manufactures instructions if you have them.

Step 2: If all three statements above are true, you can try to reset your boiler, providing it has a reset button.
This can be done by holding in the ‘reset’ button (found on the boiler control panel). Once you’ve released the button you should wait two to three minutes to see if the boiler refires.

Step 3: If the boiler doesn’t refire, and is emitting a gurgling sound, it’s very likely your condense pipe work is frozen. If you can’t hear a gurgling noise you should still check your condense pipe.

Step 4: The condensate pipe will be a plastic pipe (black, white or grey), coming from the bottom of your boiler. This pipe work may be installed under your floor boards. The main problem is the location of this pipe when it terminates externally into a drain, soil stack or gulley.

How can the condensate pipe be thawed?

As a tenant with us you can report the problem, we’ll then contact our gas servicing and maintenance contractor. The contractor will arrive as quickly as possible to try and fix the fault.

If you’re unable to wait until the contractor arrives then you can attempt to thaw the pipe yourself. However you should be very cautious when identifying and trying to thaw a condensate pipe yourself, make sure you...

  • Only attempt to thaw a condense pipe that’s at ground level and is easily accessible to you - never  attempt to thaw a condense pipe which is at height without the help of a professionally trained engineer
  • Use a safe and suitable method to thaw the pipe - you can hold a hot water bottle, a thick cloth soaked in hot water or a warmed heat wrap around the condensate pipe to thaw it (never use a naked flame)
  • Start at the end of the pipe nearest the tap and work away from it when thawing
  • Reset the boiler once thawed - this can be done by holding the reset button and waiting for the boiler to refire

Preventing burst and frozen pipes

As well as frozen pipes, cold weather can cause burst pipes.

You can help reduce the risk of frozen or burst pipes by...

  • keeping the home as warm as possible even if you are out
  • lagging (i.e. insulating) pipes that are in exposed or draughty places
  • making sure taps are turned off properly, especially last thing at night
  • becoming familiar with your water supply system, and finding the main stopcock which turns off the water supply to your property

What should I do if a pipe bursts?

If a pipe bursts you should...

  • turn off the main stopcock
  • turn off the stop valve in the storage tank if the burst is on a pipe from the storage tank, turn on all the hot taps to drain the system, allow the fire to burn out or turn the heating off until the burst pipe has been fixed by a plumber
  • open all the cold taps to drain the system if the flow of water can’t be stopped