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    DJ1: Plumbers/Boiler Experts - Advice needed please

    Banned
    OK…here goes. We have a combi boiler with a condensate pipe that runs outside to a drain. The pipe is 22mm and about 2m long. Over the past week or so in the freezing cold it has been freezing which obviously puts the boiler into reset mode.

    A kettle of warm water later unblocks it, but that’s no good as we’re going away for a few days soon. I have tried lagging the pipe with ThermaWrap but it’s so cold it’s still freezing albeit taking longer to do so.

    My solution is this and I need to know if there are any “experts” who think it may work. If I were to drastically shorten the pipe, say to about 6 inches would this help? My logic thinks that the less cold pipe water trickles through, the less time it has to freeze. I will also fully insulate this section of pipe too.

    32 Comments

    Why is it 2m if you can shorten it to 6 inches?

    Banned

    Could you please put all of the above into a poem please, otherwise I'm not responding.

    Original Poster Banned

    greg_68

    Why is it 2m if you can shorten it to 6 inches?



    2m down to a drain in the back garden. If I shorten it to 6in then the condensate won't drip into a drain, just on to the decking, but I don't care about where it drains to in the short term, I just need to stop the pipe freezing.

    How about piping it inside the house to a bucket, as a temporary measure. Not too sure how much a boiler would dispense but I'd have thought a bucket would be sufficient for a couple of days.

    But yes a 6" pipe would be better but may still freeze.

    I wonder if you sprayed anti freeze into the pipe it would work?


    Edited by: "greg_68" 22nd Dec 2010

    You can get pipe heaters fitted to stop this. They aren't cheap though at about £100 or something. My fathers just had one fitted.

    I don't think you should shorten the pipe personally as from what I know it can be acidic water that comes out. Short term I spose you might be fine but it may well still just freeze anyway.

    Banned

    I always find that if you chop summut, you can't put it back together again.

    Jus sayin

    I think the recommendation is that if your pipe is external it should be 32mm diameter to help prevent blocking - this coupled with lagging might cure the problem....
    Edited by: "gari189" 22nd Dec 2010

    I have this problem and my husband has had to remove one of the pipes from the box inside the house and added a piece of tubing which then is placed into a bucket to catch all the water - if you are leaving it for any length of time you will need to ensure the bucket is a decent size or just ensure you empty it daily. Once the freezing weather is over we will put the pipe back and then arrange for the pipes all to be lagged. When I go home I'll find out exactly what pipe it is if you don't know

    Surely the condensate amount can only be very minimal otherwise your boiler pressure would be forever dropping as they are not self regulating. I would have thought a bucket would last months.

    If you are away then turn the boiler off?

    Ours is completely frozen as well. We were told that to shorten it would me that the water will freeze right into the boiler and thats not good at all.

    The strange thing is, everytime we get someone out to look at it, they all comment on how well lagged it is, the best they have ever seen, but it still freezes up.

    Think we are gonna have to invest in one of those pipe heaters. Anyone know where we can get one from?

    No heating or hot water here since Monday and we are starting to smell, lol

    the pipe is that lenght for a reason, it needs to go to a drain, you can't just discharge it anywhere

    greg_68

    Surely the condensate amount can only be very minimal otherwise your … Surely the condensate amount can only be very minimal otherwise your boiler pressure would be forever dropping as they are not self regulating. I would have thought a bucket would last months.



    the condensate water has nothing to do with the system pressure, it's whats produced in the flue gases

    Original Poster Banned

    Mellow Yellow

    If you are away then turn the boiler off?



    That's what I wondered. When I was younger mum and dad always said "you have to keep the boiler on in winter when you go away otherwise everything freezes!"

    How true is this? We'll be away for 3 nights

    souljacker

    the condensate water has nothing to do with the system pressure, it's … the condensate water has nothing to do with the system pressure, it's whats produced in the flue gases



    Ok I see, but how much do you reckon it discharges then, i can't imagine it's that much, as I said I'd repipe into the house if I was that worried and away.

    DJ1

    That's what I wondered. When I was younger mum and dad always said "you … That's what I wondered. When I was younger mum and dad always said "you have to keep the boiler on in winter when you go away otherwise everything freezes!"How true is this? We'll be away for 3 nights



    What sort of house have you got? if it's terraced/semi-detached then i wouldnt worry.

    DJ1

    That's what I wondered. When I was younger mum and dad always said "you … That's what I wondered. When I was younger mum and dad always said "you have to keep the boiler on in winter when you go away otherwise everything freezes!"How true is this? We'll be away for 3 nights



    You run the risk of your boiler freezing, then when you turn it on when you return, kaboooooom.

    That's why they are fitted with stats by the boiler to kick in at low temperatures.

    Original Poster Banned

    Mellow Yellow

    What sort of house have you got? if it's terraced/semi-detached then i … What sort of house have you got? if it's terraced/semi-detached then i wouldnt worry.



    It's an end terrace. So there's neighbours to one side of us but the boiler is on the side of the house that has no neighbours attached (if that makes sense)

    greg_68

    Ok I see, but how much do you reckon it discharges then, i can't imagine … Ok I see, but how much do you reckon it discharges then, i can't imagine it's that much, as I said I'd repipe into the house if I was that worried and away.



    no it's not much at all really but unless it's in a garge i wouldn't pipe it into the house

    Mellow Yellow

    What sort of house have you got? if it's terraced/semi-detached then i … What sort of house have you got? if it's terraced/semi-detached then i wouldnt worry.



    I would, mines in the garage and is liable to freeze, it kicks in on and off all night long at the moment even though it's set to off.
    Edited by: "greg_68" 22nd Dec 2010

    Original Poster Banned

    greg_68

    You run the risk of your boiler freezing, then when you turn it on when … You run the risk of your boiler freezing, then when you turn it on when you return, kaboooooom.That's why they are fitted with stats by the boiler to kick in at low temperatures.



    So it's OK to just turn the Cent heating off and as long as the boiler stays switched on it should just kick in for a few minutes every now and then?

    DJ1

    So it's OK to just turn the Cent heating off and as long as the boiler … So it's OK to just turn the Cent heating off and as long as the boiler stays switched on it should just kick in for a few minutes every now and then?



    it will only do that if you have a frost stat fitted, most boilers don't have these as standard


    Edited by: "souljacker" 22nd Dec 2010

    i would shorten the pipe and run it into a plastic dustbin, theres something wrong if you fill a dustbin in a couple of days, i've just had similar probs with my boiler but it wasn't a condensor boiler, mine had a faulty pressure release valve, so every so often water would run outof the outlet pipe then it would freeze thus making boiler pressure too high so then had to pour hot water on it to release pressure, but heating man came today to fitnew pressure release valve so hopefully all fixed now, hope you sort it out
    Edited by: "waycash" 22nd Dec 2010

    souljacker

    the pipe is that lenght for a reason, it needs to go to a drain, you … the pipe is that lenght for a reason, it needs to go to a drain, you can't just discharge it anywhere


    Nah, As anyone who did physics at school knows warm water freezes faster than cold so you need to get rid of it quickly. The shorter the external pipe the better as with a long pipe condensate has much more time to ice up before it exits the pipe. Also it should be aimed as close to vertical as possible so the water doesn't collect in the pipe.

    Edited by: "trog0" 23rd Dec 2010

    What do you mean nah??? It's called regulations and law , what I said is true the pipe has to be discharged into a drain, you can't just go aroundcutting the pipe short to stop it freezing

    souljacker

    What do you mean nah??? It's called regulations and law , what I said is … What do you mean nah??? It's called regulations and law , what I said is true the pipe has to be discharged into a drain, you can't just go aroundcutting the pipe short to stop it freezing


    Should tell our council that they fitted quite a few with the drainage pipe just hanging
    Edited by: "trog0" 23rd Dec 2010

    if you have a frost setting once the boiler gets to 5degrees it will boot in and help prevent pipe freezing inside and getting any trapped air, however it will not prevent ice forming form the outlet to the drain and only thing that can prevent this is dont have a condensing boiler lol... or get a heater for the pipe.

    You will find that most boilers on max would release about 1 litre of water per 24hrs approx, so a decent 5 gallon bucket under a shortened outlet may work in the short term. Though dont qoute me on that or file any claims what you do to your pipe work is your own responsibility... lol

    Good luck...

    However you can not help the weather can you.... it is just too cold....

    trog0

    Should tell our council that they fitted they fitted quite a few with the … Should tell our council that they fitted they fitted quite a few with the drainage pipe just hanging



    quite laughable it was on the tv and radio that some councils are shortening the drain out let and using a bucket to catch the excess water as a temporary measure until they come up with a better solution...lol

    trog0

    Should tell our council that they fitted they fitted quite a few with the … Should tell our council that they fitted they fitted quite a few with the drainage pipe just hanging



    your council are obviously a bunch of cowboys (_;)

    Banned

    I would use 100 mm kingspan or cellotex and box it in, could be done quickly using dowels to hold it together

    souljacker

    your council are obviously a bunch of cowboys (_;)



    That's actually true. I live in Texas
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