How to insulate your condense pipe?

Following my last blog helping our good clients of Wembley and of course, London, this blog is aimed to help you insulate your old and new boilers condense pipe and stop your boiler breaking down this winter.

If your boilers condensate pipe runs external to a drain pipe and does not have insulation, your boiler is at risk of breaking down this winter!

What is a condensate pipe? The condensate pipe is the white pipe exiting your new boiler from the bottom and runs to another drain pipe. Its job is to take the acidic water, produced from your new boilers flue pipe, to a foul water drain.

This means that throughout the day, whilst your boiler is running, a slow trickle of water runs through this white pipe completely exposed to the elements. Naturally, this water begins to freeze and over a period of hours or days (depending on how cold it is and how often your boiler is running) this begins to form an ice block. The acidic water produced from the boiler operating can no longer escape to the drain and therefore starts to back up into the boiler. Your new boiler begins to fill up and activates a safety switch to shut itself down to avoid overflow and further damage to the boiler.

This is when we usually get a call...

Turn back time to 1 week before...

Having read this blog and checked your own condense pipe, you now find this blog screenshot on your phone while you look through your local DIY shop for some pipe insulation.

You will need to measure the entire length of your external white pipe. Do this in metres and centimetres as you will need to purchase the insulation in 1 or 2 meter lengths.

Once you have your pipe measurement, head on down to the shop. You will need to purchase your insulation, there will be different types available and you will need one suitable for your application. Heres what to look/ask for;

22mm diameter x 13mm wall pipe insulation/lagging suitable for outdoor use. Two common makes are 'Armaflex' and 'Tubolit". Most merchants or DIY shops will have one of these or something to suit. You will also need some tape, if your buying 'Tubolit' then good old Duct tape will do, if your getting 'Armaflex' then you will need the 'Armaflex joint tape'. You will also need a Stanley knife and a pack of cable ties.

Once armed with your materials you are now ready to go. Find the precut opening on the insulation (Armaflex may not have this, the Stanley knife will come in handy here) and run your finger down to open the insulation. Place the lagging along the length of the pipe to measure where to cut, use your finger or a pen to mark the length. Using the Stanley knife, cut the insulation to length. Feed the insulation over the pipe to cover the length. Using the cable ties, secure the insulation in place. Continue to insulate the remaining sections, using the tape to cover joints and areas where clips will be.

Once complete, take a step back and admire your handy work. You just potentially saved yourself hundreds of pounds for less than twenty quid.