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Preparing for Winter: How to defrost a frozen condensate pipe

With the colder Autumn months quickly approaching, SJL Plumbing and  Heating are here to provide you with our tips and advice on how to ensure that you have your household prepared for winter, while explaining what to do if you were to wake up on a cold morning with a frozen condensate pipe... Make sure that you book your annual boiler service today to get ahead of the curve Get in touch with our heating engineers on 07772 028 424 and we will schedule in a booking! 

As heating engineers like us at SJL Plumbing enter their busiest period of the year, we urge all customers to ensure that you get your boiler serviced if you have not yet done so this year.  Each year, as the temperature suddenly drops heading into October, hundreds of people experience boiler breakdown either due to frozen pipes, or having long periods with their central heating turned off over the summer. 

We don't want it to be too late for you if you wake up to no heating in your home if you have a frozen pipe or a broken boiler at home, so make sure that you're prepared for the worst-case-scenario by booking your boiler service with us today.

How to fix a frozen condensate pipe?

If you are unfortunate enough to have encountered a frozen condensate pipe, then don't panic! SJL Plumbing have outlined a few steps that you can take to attempt to fix any damage and get your boiler working again!


If your boiler is no longer turning on, or you are getting no hot water or heating in your home, then one of the first things that you should be is to establish if the issue actually isolated to your condensate pipe. If your condensate pipe is frozen then your boiler will most likely have a flashing amber light on the front and display a fault code. The fault code will be model-specific, so look the code up on the internet or manufacturer's guide to find out what the problem is.

Turn Boiler off then on again:

The next step you should take is to reset your boiler to check if the fault code still displays. If the pipe was frozen but has since thawed then the errors present on your boilers dashboard may no longer be applicable. Try resetting your boiler, but if the fault indicators are still present then you will have to try an alternative method.

Check external pipe

The purpose of your condensate pipe is to remove water from the boiler and dispose of it outside. There will be a plastic pipe coming from where your boiler is located, running to the outside wall of your property. 

It is possible that the pipe that is exposed to the elements has frozen over, and therefore, the pipe could be blocked as any water inside has become ice. 

Solution: Thawing

The easiest way to deal with a frozen condensate pipe is to thaw it so that it defrosts. 

In the same way that you defrost your windscreen on a frosty morning, you should get a few jugs of warm (not boiling) water, and pour it over the pipework that is outside your property.

Prevention: Lagging

We advise that you avoid freezing pipes by purchasing some pipe lagging from your local DIY shop at a minimal cost in order to insulate your pipes in preparation for Winter!

Contact us today to book a boiler service!

We are getting into the worst time of year to experience any kind of issues with your boiler. With colder temperatures, heating engineers' schedules become more and more hectic, and there is generally much less availability for emergency plumbing and heating repairs. So, don't miss out on booking your boiler service today, by calling SJL Plumbing on 07772 028 424 today.