Boiler Condensate Pipes

Boiler Condensate Pipes

Protect your Boiler from Freezing

As we approach the end of Autumn the air of late is definitely feeling chilly! Jack Frost had well and truly put his stamp on the grass this Saturday morning at my local park.

With this change in the weather most of us will by now been getting used to putting the heating on. Now is the time to get your boiler serviced as it approaches its most hard working period of the year to check everything is in tip top condition when you need it most. Before we get too close to the festivities get your boiler service booked with a reliable Gas-Safe registered engineer.


There is something YOU can do…… 

……… particularly if you have any crazy pipework like that shown in the picture above.

Most modern combi boilers have a small plastic pipe that carries waste water away from the boiler. Ideally, this should terminate internally, but if it does run outside, there are 3 things which should be done:

  • The pipework needs to be lagged
  • The pipe diameter needs to be upgraded by at least one size. (i.e the  condensate pipe needs to be upgraded to at least 32mm waste pipe)
  • The overall pipe run should be as short as possible.

If this pipework freezes and your boiler can’t get rid of this water it will stop working probably at the most inconvenient time.

Limit the chances of this happening by getting busy with some lagging and plastic cable ties.

Armaflex (black coloured) lagging is recommended as it is designed for outdoor installations.

What to do if your Condensate Pipe freezes

1. Pour Warm water over the Pipe

This is easier to do, if the pipe is outside.
Be careful that the water which lands on the ground doesn’t freeze and cause a dangerous slip hazard

2. Use a Hot Water Bottle or Hairdryer (on low heat)

This is easier to do, if the pipe is inside.

So, before you suddenly discover that your boiler isn’t working properly, and your home is getting very cold, go and check that your condensate pipe is Cold Weather Ready

How to re-pressurise a Boiler

How to re-pressurise a Boiler

How do I know my Boiler needs re-pressurising?

In most cases, you will suddenly discover that you have no hot water or heating, and your boiler is not working.

There are many things that cause a Boiler to stop working. Many of them will require an engineer to come out and repair the fault. However, by far the most common issue to stop a boiler working is a drop in boiler pressure. This is something that you can rectify yourself. (If there has been a suddent drop in temperature outside and the weather is freezing, check out our advice on Freezing Condensate Pipes as well)

In fact the pressure on your boiler is something that you really should be aware of and check on a regular basis. If the pressure is constantly dropping and you are regularly having to re-pressurise your boiler, that indicates that there is an underlying problem, and you should call in a Gas-Safe Engineer to investigate and rectify the problem.

Most Boilers have some kind of pressure gauge on them, which gives you an indication of the boiler pressure. They usually have a helpful Green section which indicates a safe operating pressure, and a  Red section, which indicates that the pressure is too high or too low.

They also often have some lines, to indicate a normal pressure. The needle should be slightly above this normal level, or, on some dials, between 1 & 2.

If the needle has fallen below 1, (or the line),  then the boiler pressure is too low and needs to be increased.


If the needle is in the high Red section, your pressure is too high. The boiler should rectify this problem itself by dumping (usually very hot) water out of the system through a Pressure Relief Valve. You may see this happening on an outside wall of your house. If this does happen, turn the boiler off and call an engineer.

How do I re-pressurise my Boiler?

If you’re lucky (organised) enough to still have the manual that came with your boiler, the instructions will be found there.

Failing that, there is a lot of information on the web to help with re-pressurising your boiler. Each make (and sometimes model) of boiler is different, so it is not possible to give a one-size-fits-all explanation.