News | Published on 29th Oct 2018

HHIC launch condensate pipe guidance for heating engineers

Following extreme UK weather patterns such as ‘The Beast From The East’ caused by the effects of global climate change, the heating industry identified a number of actions they could take to help protect heating systems against frozen condensate.

Today, the Heating and Hotwater Industry Council (HHIC) are launching an installer guide to condensate discharge pipe installation which updates previous recommendations. In addition, HHIC are also launching a customer information booklet, which can be used by the engineer to explain the risks and the remedial action required.

Stewart Clements, Director, HHIC said;

“In March this year representatives from across the heating industry met at the HHIC offices, to review and discuss the matter of frozen condensate, which affected a high number of domestic boilers during the recent extreme weather that caused major disruption across the UK as a whole.

We called the ‘summit’ to discuss what needs to be done to prevent a repeat of the problems the industry, and of course, consumers experienced. It meant looking at existing regulations around boiler installations; preventative measures to protect external pipework from freezing and what advice and guidance consumers needed.

From the feedback, we received it became clear that there were a significant proportion of installations that were not installed to current standards and manufacturer’s instructions. For example, the opportunity to connect to internal drain points such as a soil stack or sink waste had not been taken. That said, we are acutely aware that in extreme weather conditions external pipework carrying water is at risk of freezing, particularly when there is a high wind chill factor.

As a result, the HHIC agreed to update current industry guidance which would assist engineers with both installation and assessment of current condensate discharge pipes, which they can and should review during any visit to the appliance such as a service, repair or replacing a heating system.”

In addition to this guidance all other technical requirements for condensate discharge installation given in the first instance the appliance manufacturers’ installation instructions or if referred to by the appliance manufacturers; British Standard BS 6798:2014, should still be followed.”

It is important to note that manufacturers’ instructions take precedence over a standard and should be adhered to, helping ensure correct appliance operation, and validity of any warranty.

An efficient condensing boiler will generate around 2 litres of condensate an hour at a temperature of around 30-40°c, this needs to be piped to the waste water system or to a drain.

Industry specification and current British Standard 6798 states that ‘wherever possible, the condensate drainage pipe shall be terminated at an internal foul water discharge point’. Where there is no other option than to run the pipe externally the pipe needs to be increased to at least a 30mm inside diameter and insulated to help prevent freezing.

Greater awareness and enforcement of this standard is needed so that where ever possible an internal connection is used as well as more emphasis on supporting solutions such as the correct type of insulation, or trace heating products. Even internal pipes in unheated areas require insulation.

You can find both the Installer guide here and Consumer guide here.