Battling the cold;
leaks, burst pipes and frozen water
The main cause for this if the customer had a gas boiler was the condensate pipe freezing on the outside of the property causing an ice plug to form, when the boilers couldn't drain they were shutting themselves down. For this, we disconnected the condensate pipe leading to the outside of the property and created a temporary one inside the property so it wouldn't freeze again, then went back when the weather warmed up and reconnected the original pipe.
For oil boilers, there were two main causes for the heating and hot water failing. The first cause was the cold water feed leading to the boiler freezing, as if there is no cold water going into the boiler, then hot water can't come out. The second reason for failed heating and hot water is a little more complex; due to the rapid change in weather and temperature recently, a lot more condensation has been building up on the inside of oil tanks (much the same as when you have a shower in an unvented bathroom), this water then drips down to the bottom of the tank and the oil then sits on top of the water.
This is a problem all year round for customers as when the water gets sucked through the oil line it can damage the oil pump within the boiler, however in this weather the water hasn't been making it that far, instead it has been freezing in the oil line between the tank and the boiler (particularly with external boilers) and causing a plug in the line. For this we have been using a heat blower to defrost the water in the line, then pulling the water through to remove it from the tank.
Have a look below at some pictures of the work we have been doing this week.