Boiler Buoy Q&A


What is condensate and what does the condensate drain do?

High efficiency (condensing) boilers remove more heat from the combustion gases, resulting in additional water vapour which is collected within the boiler as condensate, and taken to a suitable drain via the condensate drainage pipe.

Why has my condensate drain only frozen recently?

Recently the UK has suffered from unusually cold weather, over prolonged periods. Existing recommendations for condensate pipe installation, such as pipe insulation, were based on prevailing UK weather conditions and may not be sufficient in the extreme conditions recently experienced across much of the UK.

A heating engineer cut the condensate pipe to get my boiler working and left the pipe discharging to a bucket as an “emergency measure”. Is this acceptable?

It is recognised that in some instances (e.g. where an elderly person’s heating needs to be reinstated as an emergency measure) frozen condensate drainage pipes may have been cut in order to bypass the blockage. This has been done to allow re-ignition of the boiler, with condensate being collected in a suitable container as a temporary solution.
While not unsafe, this is not recommended practice and if such action has been taken then the condensate drainage pipe must be reinstated as soon as possible, using the appropriate industry guidance to reduce risk of freezing in future, with all costs being covered by the homeowner.

Shouldn’t my condensate drainage pipe have been installed correctly in the first place?

British Standards, Building Regulations etc. currently allow condensate drainage pipes to be run internally, externally or a combination of these. These documents give recommendations on how to run the pipe and use insulation in order to reduce the possibility of freezing. This guidance was based on the UK winter conditions prevailing until very recently, however it may not have been sufficient to prevent freezing in extreme weather conditions.

Can the Boiler Buoy be fitted externally?

No, the Boiler Buoy is for internal install only.

Can the Boiler Buoy be installed to suit all standard boiler condensate pipe installations?

Yes, the Boiler Buoy can be installed to suit all standard boiler condensate pipe installations. Please see installation options on the About Boiler Buoy page.

Does the Boiler Buoy meet the requirements of the British Standard for Gas Boilers?

Yes, Boiler Buoy design meets the material requirements as defined in the Gas Boiler Installation standard BS6798:2009

Can the Boiler Buoy be installed if a trap hasn’t been fitted?

If a trap is not fitted on the boiler the Boiler Buoy can be installed to accommodate a trap.

Can the Boiler Buoy be fitted to Gas, LPG and Oil boilers?

Yes, the Boiler Buoy can be fitted to Gas, LPG and Oil boilers.

Where can I buy the Boiler Buoy?

Boiler Buoy is available through most major Plumbing merchants in the UK.

I’ve been told the only way to drain the pipe, when the external pipe is frozen, is to cut the internal pipe and let it drain, which then renders the boiler unusable?

No, the Boiler Buoy has been designed to avoid the need to cut the pipe, to keep the boiler running during freezing temperatures when the external pipe has frozen.

Do I need a second visit when the Boiler Buoy has been fitted?

When the Boiler Buoy is installed during first call out caused by external pipe freezing, once fitted there is no need for a return visit to repair the pipework. Saving you money on the extra call out.

Will Boiler Buoy stop freezing occurring?

The Boiler Buoy has been designed to keep the boiler running if external pipework has frozen, but will not stop external freezing occurring.

Do you need to be gas safe registered to fit Boiler Buoy?

Work on the condensate pipework is not gas work and therefore outside of our prescribed remit. You also do not need to be registered to work on the condensate pipework as it is not defined as a gas fitting.