It's time to tackle frozen condensate

It's time to tackle frozen condensate

Published: 26-03-2018

  • Unprecedented number of callouts relating to frozen drains and pipework.
  • Internal pipework should be enforced for all new-builds.
  • Property mechanical services not considered properly at the planning stage.
  • Building regulations, standards and policies must be aligned.

Externally-run condensate pipes are to blame for the unprecedented number of callouts relating to frozen drains and pipework earlier this year.

That’s according to Martyn Bridges, our Director of Technical Communication and Product Management, who is now calling on policy-makers to prioritise the mechanical services of both new and existing properties in the UK.

“In Germany, as well as other European countries with severe winters, the installation of externally routed condensate pipework is prohibited,” he says.

“The UK hasn’t experienced a cold period like the one we had at the beginning of March since the winter of 2009/2010, which left many homeowners unprepared. You only have to look at the thousands of homes still relying on deliveries of bottled water to see how serious the effects can be.”

According to Martyn, new-builds are still constructed with external waste water pipework. Energy efficiency measures implemented by Boiler Plus will also increase the boiler’s condensate levels, which could increase the likelihood of freezing.

“Policy-makers need to ensure that building regulations, standards and policies are aligned to prioritising the mechanical services of the home,” Martyn says. “For existing homes, external runs need to be monitored closely by ensuring that the gradient is as vertical as possible, or trace heated to make it more resilient.

“Preventing frozen pipes outright will be difficult, but simple steps like these could go a long way towards ensuring that future winter weather doesn’t leave us out in the cold.”

For more information on condensate pipe routing and terminations, take a look at our supporting technical information.


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