Condensate drain.

Wife came downstairs at 10 pm last night to tell me that there was no hot water. Checked the combi in the garage (2 yr old Worcester Bosch Greenstar) and found it was flashing 'EA' on the display - and gurgling like mad.
I immediately suspected that the condensate drain had frozen up - and this turned out to be the case. When the boiler was installed there was no available internal drain point for the condensate so the drain pipe had to be run out through the garage wall. A channel was cut across the concrete side path, and the plastic 'soakaway' for the condensate sunk into the ground at the edge of the path.
I insulated and boxed-in the the foot or so of pipe on the outside of the wall of the garage. Insulated the run of pipe under the path before cementing it over. But there was about four inches of uninsulated pipe between the edge of the path and the soak-away. Despite it being about four inches below ground - the extreme low temperatures last night (-17 in this area!) obviously did for it.
A few kettles and pans of hot water got it de-iced and I could fire up the boiler again - but I suspect that quite a few condensing boiler owners have been calling in heating engineers for this problem this winter!
After firing up the boiler I thought it still had a problem because the display began flashing -| |- . I had to download a pdf of the engineers' servicing sheets to learn that this just meant that the 'syphon fill programme' was running - and it wasn't an error code. It took about 20 minutes of the boiler running at minimum to refill the syphon and then all was well. All nice and warm this morning thank goodness. Don't know how easy it would have been to get a heating engineer out this close to Christmas. Doesn't bear thinking about - Christmas with no heating or hot water!
--
Kev


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Thanks for the food for thought. I don't yet know when our boiler will need replacing (Halstead Hero) but presumably it will have to be one of these new types so your information regarding the drain will be something I will bear in mind.
Phian
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Subject: Re: I'm fed up Date: 20 December 2010 07:29
On Mon, 20 Dec 2010 03:55:49 +0000, MCC sauntered in and penned :

last cold spell and he advised spending 230 on an addition to the condensate pipe which heats it in cold weather and the pipe gets lagged too. Only trouble is they only had 2000 units in stock and have a 3000 waiting list. Might get it fitted in time for next winter..
--



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If you're getting a new boiler and there is the opportunity to tee the condensate pipe into an existing internal sink drain pipe, my advise is take it, even if its more work and cost. This means the flow of warm water from the sink keeps it free of ice.
My neighbour has a small section of condensate pipe out the wall into a gutter drain pipe. He lagged that pipe thick with everything he could find, and all that happened was the main drain pipe froze and caused the same problem. So even those heating jacket things will only help so far.
Midge.
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Midge wrote:

Sound advice. I was not able to do this because my boiler is on my outer garage wall and there is no drain inside the garage at all. I did ask the heating engineer if I couldn't break through the concrete floor in the garage and sink the condensate 'soak-away' into the earth below the floor. He told me that regulations demand that the soak-away be sunk a specific distance away from any building.
--
Kev


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