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How to safely thaw a frozen pipe

During the cold winter months, the freezing conditions could have a negative effect on the performance of your boiler. The harsh weather can cause random faults to develop which will prevent your central heating from operating as normal. If this sounds like something that’s happening to you, then it’s worth checking to see if your system is affected by a frozen condensate pipe.

It may sound like a severe issue, but don’t worry we're here to help.

Frozen condensate pipe boiler error

How to check for frozen pipes

Give your boiler a quick inspection. The tell-tale signs of a frozen condensate pipe are flashing lights, a “gurgling” noise from your boiler when it’s switched on, and the front display should read as ‘blocked’.

Frozen condensate pipe locate your pipe fix

Locate your frozen pipe

It’s time to brave the cold and go outside to find your condensate pipe – it’s usually a white or grey plastic pipe coming out from the back of your boiler to the outside wall of your property. When installing a boiler there’s always a large amount of piping that is exposed to outdoor conditions, when the weather turns cold the pipe could get blocked due to the pipe freezing.

The condensate pipe is an important part of your boiler as it discharges wastewater vapour from the system – if the pipe is blocked it will force your boiler to shut down for safety reasons.

Frozen condensate pipe thaw your pipe to fix

Thaw the frozen pipe

The easiest way to deal with a frozen condensate pipe is to put it in contact with warm water. A couple of jugs of warm water poured over the exterior of the pipe will melt the ice within. Make sure you don’t use boiling hot water, as the rapid change of temperature could crack the plastic pipe.

If you don’t have a jug on hand, feel free to use a hot water bottle or warm flannel.

Frozen condensate pipe reset boiler to fix issue

Reset your Boiler

With the frozen blockage now melted, all that needs to be done is for you to reset the boiler. Voila, your central heating system should now be working as intended.

If your boiler still isn’t working

We'd recommend getting in touch with the manufacturer of your boiler and discuss your issue.