What can go wrong with a boiler?

There are different types of boiler, but the most common on the market is known as a condensing boiler. This means that, rather than the waste gases evaporating into the atmosphere, they are condensed into a liquid, which allows the boiler to extract more heat from the fuel, and less is lost in the flue.

This condensed liquid is removed via a condensate pipe, which can freeze in colder temperatures. If your boiler isn’t working, and the temperature outside is below freezing, it may be that the condensate pipe is frozen.

The best thing to do is to place a hot water bottle on the pipe until the ice thaws – hopefully this will allow the boiler to resume its duties. You can also pour warm (not boiling) water over the pipe, but if the weather is still cold, watch out for ice forming once the water cools.

Ideally, you should insulate the pipe so it has less chance to freeze in the first place.

Another option is to replace a narrow pipe with a wider one, where the temperature would have to be lower for ice to form in the pipe to the extent that it became blocked.

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