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Frozen Condensate Drain Lines: Fixing and Preventing It

When winter sets in, your home can encounter a number of problems from freezing weather outside. You may think that your furnace, which sits entirely inside your house, is immune to trouble from freezing. But that’s not necessarily the case! A furnace produces condensate as it works (it’s part of the combustion process), and this condensate must be drained and removed to the outside.

If the pipe that runs the condensate to the outside of the house freezes over, your furnace won’t be able to work! This is something that can unfortunately happen if the drip of condensate outside builds into an icicle that enters the drain line.

How to prevent frozen condensate drain lines?

The best way to stop condensate drain line freeze is to use weather-proof sleeves placed around the drain. Shortening the drain pipe to give water less space in which to freeze can also be effective. During periods of snow, verify that snow hasn’t risen to the level of the drain line, where it can block it and cause further freezing.

How to thaw a frozen condensate line?

The best solution is to get a hot water bottle and place it on the pipe and allow it to defrost the line.  You can also purchase heat wraps used for medical purposes and wrap those around the affected part of the pipe. Finally, you can pour warm water over the pipe to melt the ice.

By skipping to second 42 in the below video you can watch the thawing process in action.

Once your furnace is working again, we strongly recommend you call our technicians to help provide pipe insulation or pipe shortening so that this problem won’t re-occur.

If you need help with your furnace to stop condensate freeze and other problems, call on Raleigh Heating & Air, Inc. Serving Cary, NC and the rest of Wake County and the Surrounding Areas for Over 20 years.

talk to an expert today!

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