The big freeze and condensate pipes

Hands up if you were busy on call outs to frozen condensate pipes recently? For many of us the double misery of the Beast from the East and Storm Emma was compounded by boiler breakdowns, and so many of them were due to frozen condensate pipes. While prevention is better than cure, you can’t always site these pipes internally, but there are steps you can take to minimise the risk. Here’s what David Stanley, UK Technical Service Manager at Intergas Heating, advises:

· Make sure the condensate pipe is one and a quarter inches in diameter (32mm OD) before it passes through the wall

· The pipe should be one and a half inches if outside, and suitable waterproof and weather insulation, like Class O Armaflex pipe insulation, used

· Keep the run as short as possible, have a good fall on the pipework and minimise the horizontal sections

But, when temperatures are consistently below minus, as we’ve just experienced, water will freeze and there’s very little you can do about it.