Central Heating Boiler - fix frozen pipe.

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daveB
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Central Heating Boiler - fix frozen pipe.

Post by daveB » 01 Mar 2018 12:34

This morning the central heating shut down! I knew what the problem would be - a frozen external condensate pipe - even though the installers had fitted a 32 mm pipe. We attempted to defrost it using a hairdryer, but my best guess is that the horizontal section just below the soil that leads to the soak-away chamber has frozen. Not surprising as two nights ago it dropped to -11.7C and has stayed below freezing ever since. So the executive decision was taken to cut the pipe - which drops vertically from near ceiling height, at about waist level. Sure enough we had defrosted the top part of the pipe - as water started trickling out - but I could the bottom section was full to the brim. The boiler could be re-started immediately. The water should trickle onto the bed of marble chips laid around the pipe - and be neutralised - so is fairly safe in t short-term.
When it gets warmer I will repair the pipe - but put in a T piece with an inspection cover - in case we get a similar problem. I will also install pipe insulation - something the installers did not think would be needed.

If your boiler has stopped working - check whether you have an external condensate pipe - and check out the advice on how to recognise the problem (we had the gurgling water in the boiler symptom ) and defrost the pipe. There are a number of YouTube videos including ones from Worcseter, Ideal, and SSE. None of which, BTW, suggest cutting the pipe! If it freezes again we will have to repeat the trick of defrosting it with a hairdryer (wearing rubber gloves to provide electrical insulation!).

WARNING - boiler condensate is acidic - use rubber gloves and wear eye protection - if you have to do something similar.

I did try ringing the company that services our boiler, but got a message that in effect said their answerphone was full! Hardly surprising - at least I knew what to do - thanks to the original installer being very informative.

David
SDRPlay, AirSpyMini, RTL dongles, SB920s, Yamaha TX930. 5 ele compact yagi on rotator at 18ft agl. FM5 facing east, FM5 facing south, FM3 facing NE, OIRT dipole, 3-ele Moxon vertical facing east.

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John Faulkner, Skegness
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Re: Central Heating Boiler - fix frozen pipe.

Post by John Faulkner, Skegness » 01 Mar 2018 15:41

Very useful information - thank you.

I checked my boiler and it does indeed have an external condensate pipe. Temperatures have not been as severe as were forecast. Yesterday's -5C was more like +3, with a decent 2 inch or so thaw. It's still bitterly cold out there in the wind.

My boiler was fixed last year as it had a leak. My kitchen carpet was drenched for several days as I continued to repair the cat flap. Ah! It wasn't the cat flap! The boiler continues to leak, just the odd drop or two of water, and only occasionally.

I understand that the weather could become even worse next week! Be prepared.

Andrew Webster,Wigan
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Re: Central Heating Boiler - fix frozen pipe.

Post by Andrew Webster,Wigan » 02 Mar 2018 11:19

Got up this morning and it was cold in here hmm boiler flashing error code (flame failure) so went out to check condensate pipe and it was frozen up at the end so a kettle of water solved that first time it has done this in 9 years.

Andy
Receiving equipment: 2 Sony ST-S311, 1 Sony ST-SE520, 1 Sony ST-SE700 2 crossed FM 5s rotatable, 1 homemade FM 3 horizontal beaming S/E, 1 vertical FM 3 fixed beaming at Ireland, 2 element band 1.

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John Faulkner, Skegness
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Location: Skegness, Lincolnshire. JO03dd
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Re: Central Heating Boiler - fix frozen pipe.

Post by John Faulkner, Skegness » 02 Mar 2018 11:58

Skegness is officially cut off from civilisation. Both roads closed. No bus or train services, although I think local buses are running. No bin collection until next week. Main services like the postal system are out of action, although there was a delivery this morning, so something is working. Sea defences almost breached yesterday. Fence panels down on my garden and a tree down in town. Thankfully my bin hasn't blown over and I hope it doesn't as it's full of broken glass and dog shit.

It's been bad here, but I have known much worse back in the 70s. I was in two minds as to weather to post the following image, but it's so true - and there is a radio link in there.

28168219_572327633124307_6825374325964853688_n.jpg

Andrew Webster,Wigan
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Re: Central Heating Boiler - fix frozen pipe.

Post by Andrew Webster,Wigan » 18 Mar 2018 19:44

Noticed ice at bottom of condensate pipe again so I said (oh no you don't ) so poured warm water on it sorted!

Lots of drain pipes also frozen around here again like last cold spell.

Andy
Receiving equipment: 2 Sony ST-S311, 1 Sony ST-SE520, 1 Sony ST-SE700 2 crossed FM 5s rotatable, 1 homemade FM 3 horizontal beaming S/E, 1 vertical FM 3 fixed beaming at Ireland, 2 element band 1.

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