As temperatures drop across Yorkshire, and we’re starting to see ice on the roads and the first hints of snow, all of us here at Thompson’s would like to raise awareness of a problem that could be a risk to many homeowners. External condensate pipes are a fixture on most homes, and can be found on the outside of the property attached to your boiler. Typical condensing boilers produce a small amount of waste gas which turns to water as it cools. This pipe ensures that this water drains outside rather than in to the property. In winter, as we approach freezing temperatures, a major problem that some homeowners find is that the water in the pipe can freeze. A frozen condensate pipe can result in your boiler temporarily shutting down and leaving you with a cold house when you need it warm the most. Thankfully, there are a few steps that can be taken to fix this.
  1. Check the Pipe
If you have an external condensate pipe, before things get too cold it is best to go out and measure the diameter. While most condensate pipes will have a diameter of 32mm, if it is anything below it is at a greater risk of freezing. Additionally, longer pipes (typically longer than 3 metres) can also be at risk. If your pipe is smaller than 32mm in diameter, or longer than 3m, consider replacing it with a larger, more suitable one. Alternatively, you may wish to consider;
  1. Insulating the Pipe
Installing lagging (a special type of installation) around the pipe will keep it warm and prevent the water inside from freezing over. While this will work most effectively when paired with a larger pipe, one or the other may suffice if your budget cannot stretch. Finally, the most effective way to reduce freezing;
  1. Reroute the Pipe
Rerouting the pipe to an internal waste pipe would reduce the risk of freezing all together, as all work is kept within the property and not at risk of the cold temperatures outdoors. Thankfully, these are not huge procedures, so a simple fix can save you a big headache. We’d always advise you to fix it before it’s necessary!    

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