In the lead up to winter you must be wary of your boiler and ensure checks are made that will confirm your boiler is in good shape for winter.
So how does the cold weather affect your boiler?
1. Frozen condensate pipe
2. Frozen pipes
3. Radiators not working
4. Loss of boiler pressure
1. How to prevent your condensate pipe freezing?
- Insulate the pipe with lagging to protect it from the cold
- Install a drain cover to protect the pipe end
- Keep heating low all night to keep the pipe warm
- Turn the thermostat up to reduce the amount of condensate
- If it is appropriate, if the condensate pipe is located outside in the cold, relocate internally
What happens if the condensate pipe freezes?
You will initially notice the boiler is no longer working, the heating does not come on or your boiler will display a fault code.
It is possible to thaw out the pipe yourself with hot water bottles or heat pads – then rest the boiler.
If this does not work, you should call for assistance
2. Pipes can and do freeze; however, it is possible to fix this yourself.
Use the mains stopcock to turn off the water supply, turn on the cold taps and use hot water bottles or heat pads on the pipes to help thaw them.
3. For your radiators to keep heat in the house, place foil backing behind all radiators as this helps trap the heat.
This is extremely useful on external walls as it helps prevent loss of heat through the wall.
4. Check the pressure gauge on the boiler, if it is low, it will need fixing.
Fixing your boiler pressure is possible. Firstly, you will need to identify what type of filling system you have e.g. internal loop or external loop filling system. Then proceed to follow the manual. The pressure gauge should be maintained in the middle of the ‘green’ section of your gauge.
It is important to be aware of these potential problems you may face in the winter so that you are able to take the necessary steps to fix them and/or prevent them from happening.
If there are any issues with your boiler you should contact boiler service as a matter of urgency.
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