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Burst pipes and broken boilers

Prevent, deal with and repair burst pipes and broken boilers.

Burst pipes

A burst pipe can ruin your home but there are steps you can take to prevent it happening. Visit the Scottish Water winter website for advice on how to protect your home this winter. Scottish Water also shows you how to deal with bursts and how to repair pipes.

If you live in a North Lanarkshire council house and a pipe bursts, use our 24-hour emergency repairs phone number: 0800 678 1166

If your condensing boiler stops working

If you have a condensing boiler and the condensing discharge pipe work has been installed externally, it can freeze in very cold weather and this can stop your boiler from working. If you suspect that this has happened, please follow these steps:

Find out if your boiler's condense trap/ discharge pipe has frozen

  1. Do you definitely have a condensing boiler? Always refer to your manufacturer's instructions if you have them.
  2. Is the outside temperature below freezing, or has it been below freezing recently?
  3. Is your boiler displaying a fault code or is it failing to fire up?

Try to reset your boiler

If all three of the above statements are true, your boiler has a reset button and you understand how to reset your boiler, you should now try to reset it.  This can be done by holding in the 'reset' button (this can be found on the boiler control panel).

  • Once you have released the button you should wait 2 to 3 minutes to see if the boiler re fires.
  • If the boiler does not re-fire and it is emitting a gurgling sound, then it is almost certain that your condense pipe work is frozen. If you cannot hear a gurgling noise you should still proceed to check your condensate pipe.
  • The condensate pipe will be a plastic pipe (black, white or grey), coming from the bottom of your boiler. This pipe work may be installed under your floor boards but it will end outside so that condensation can drain into an external drain, soil stack or gully.
  • If your condensate pipe is frozen, you can request a visit from a heating engineer by calling Saltire on 0330 202 0444.

Try to thaw the condensate pipe

If you are unable to wait for an engineer, you could try to thaw the condensate pipe yourself. However, you should exercise extreme caution at all times when attempting to identify and thaw a condensate pipe.

  • You should only attempt to thaw a condensate pipe that is at ground level and which is easily accessible to you. Under no circumstances should you attempt to thaw a condensate pipe which is at height without the assistance of a professionally trained engineer.
  • You can use a hot water bottle or a heat wrap (like the ones that can be used to ease muscle discomfort) and wrap them round the pipe to gently thaw it out.  You can also use a hairdryer; directing warm air at the pipe.  If you do use a hairdryer, be very careful not to get any part of it wet.
  • Once the pipe has thawed, the boiler must be reset. This can be done by holding the reset button and waiting for the boiler to re fire.
  • If this fails, please call Saltire on 0330 202 0444.

Ready Scotland has more information about preparing for and coping with winter.

Page last updated:
30 Sep 2020

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