How to: Thaw your boiler’s condensate pipe

(Posted: 16/03/2018)

If your boiler has broken down during freezing weather conditions, it’s possible this has been caused by a frozen condensate pipe.

What is a condensate pipe? This pipe transports waste water away from the boiler, usually outside to a drain.

What does it look like? A condensate pipe can be identified simply by looking at the boiler. Underneath the boiler there will be pipes entering and exiting – if there is a plastic pipe (usually white and roughly 2cm wide) and the rest are metal then this is likely the condensate pipe. It should lead outside of the property, likely into a drain.

How do I know if this is the issue? The boiler will often have a fault code or warning notification if the condensate pipe has become frozen.

How do I fix it? Follow these steps:

  • Locate your frozen condensate pipe outside.
  • Ensure you are at ground level. Don’t climb heights to reach your condensate pipe – if your condensate pipe is located at height, contact Liberty.
  • Pour warm water (not boiling) over the condensate pipe from a container such as a watering can.
  • Depending on the positioning of the pipe, you may while hold a bucket underneath to prevent the water freezing on the path below and causing a slip hazard.
  • With your boiler out of action, heat the water using a kettle or microwave, but DO NOT use 'boiling' water.
  • Never disconnect the pipe.
  • Please only attempt this if you feel happy and safe to do so. If in doubt, contact Liberty.

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