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How to prevent condensing boilers breaking down in cold weather

Modern condensing boilers are both an efficient and reliable way to heat your home but they are more vulnerable to a break down in very cold weather. This is due to the condensate pipe that often runs outside the property to expel moisture created in the system. When the temperature outside turns very cold, the condensate pipe can freeze and potentially even burst and this can leave you without heating or hot water – ironically, when you need it most!

How to prevent your condensate pipe freezing

Fortunately there are a few things you can do to prevent your condensate pipe freezing:

  • Insulate your condensate pipe with lagging to protect it from the cold. You can get this from any DIY store
  • Keep your heating on low all night to keep the pipe warm
  • Turn the thermostat up to reduce the amount of condensate (but be careful with the radiators as they will very hot
  • If appropriate, you could relocate the condensate pipe internally so it’s not exposed to the cold

What to do if your condensate pipe does freeze?

If your condensate pipe does freeze, there are things that you can do. Often the first sign that this has happened is that the heating doesn’t come on or there’s no hot water. Your boiler itself may also display a fault code (check your boiler manual to identify the code). It should be straightforward to visually check the pipe and see that it’s frozen up. If this is the case you can usually thaw it out yourself. Use a hot water bottle, heat pads or warm water to gradually thaw it out. Once you’ve done that, reset your boiler (again, refer to your boiler manual) and it should come back on.

If this doesn’t work, or the pipe has burst, you may need assistance from a plumber. We can help you with this, just give us a call on 0880 032 6478 and we’ll advise you on what to do next.

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