With plumbers reporting thousands of calls relating to frozen condensate pipes, HHIC has published an advice guide for homeowners.

The Heating & Hot Water Industry Council (HHIC) has issued advice that plumbers can give homeowners in order to keep their heating running until the plumber is able to reach them.

Shutdown due to freezing and blockage of the condensate discharge pipe will usually be indicated by a fault code on the boiler’s digital display, or by some other alarm signal (check the boiler's operating manual for advice on this).

It is important to confirm that freezing is the cause of the problem before taking any of the remedial action suggested below, and HHIC noted that homeowners should only follow the steps below if they feel competent to do so.

British Standards, Building Regulations and boiler manufacturers’ installation instructions allow condensate discharge pipes to run either internally or externally (or a combination of these). All the above documents give recommendations on how to run the pipe and how/when use insulation in order to reduce the possibility of freezing. However this may not have been sufficient to prevent freezing in extreme conditions of the type recently experienced.

More information and advice on frozen condensate pipes can be found here. The HHIC's full advice leaflet can be downloaded from their website.