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Someone holding a hot water bottle on a frozen pipe

Be prepared for frozen boiler pipes this winter

Gas boilers can stop working in very cold weather due to frozen condensate pipes.

A condensate pipe carries condensation from your boiler to an outside drain. It’s usually a white or grey plastic pipe that travels from your boiler through the wall directly outside where your boiler is located.

During cold weather the condensation in this pipe may freeze, causing a blockage, and the boiler to shut down.

Depending on the make and model of your boiler, a frozen condensate pipe may be indicated by a ‘fault code’ or warning light on the boiler’s display. Gurgling or bubbling sounds coming from the boiler or the condensate pipe are other signs that the pipe has frozen.

You may be able to fix this problem yourself which can be quicker than calling out an engineer!

If you’re able, try these simple steps:

  • Using a jug or watering can, pour warm water along the length of the pipe, repeating the process until the pipe has thawed – don’t use boiling water as this can crack or damage the pipe, or you may spill it and risk scalding yourself.
  • Alternatively, hold a hot water bottle against the pipe.
  • Once the frozen section has been melted and cleared, you can then try to restart the boiler. It may take several attempts before the boiler restarts – if it does not work, call Cottsway and we will arrange for a Heating Engineer to come out.
  • Be careful to sweep away any water left standing under the pipe on a paved area as it could freeze and become a slip hazard.

Take a look at this useful video on YouTube from Ideal Boilers, one of the manufacturers we use, for step-by-step guidance.

Please be reassured that we are here to help if you experience problems: Contact us

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