Cold winters can freeze condensate pipes and cause boilers to stop working. One new solution to prevent this is Condensate Pro, designed by plumbing and heating engineer Dave Smith. PHPI travelled to the Hope Valley in Derbyshire to discover more.
We all remember the Beast from the East and the terrible effect it had on boiler breakdowns. In fact, the issue was reported across the national press – and the heating industry was targeted for criticism. Since then, and with more extreme winters predicted for the future, the heating industry has been looking at how to further protect against the elements, with effective insulation for condensate pipes a high priority. Although there are different solutions available, PHPI was intrigued when Dave Smith contacted us about his new solution, Condensate Pro.
A successful heating and plumbing engineer who built up and sold his own heating company, Dave’s passionate about the industry, professionalism and reputation. It was this passion that led him to develop a solution that is quick and easy to install, looks professional and lasts. He wanted products and tools that allow installers and their organisations to increase long-term customer satisfaction and boost productivity, save time on installation and limit wasted resources on unnecessary call-outs.
“There are millions of boilers fitted with substandard external condensate pipe protection with pipes that freeze easily and cause boiler breakdown. Frozen condensate pipes account for a substantial amount of boiler breakdowns in colder months. During these times, the number of heating engineer call-outs spike as people struggle to get access to heating and hot water in their home – but this can be reduced simply and quickly,” says Dave.
To achieve the perfect product, Dave talked to the trade, went through several designs and carried out on-site tests. After research, investment, and securing the patents, he is confident his product helps installers reduce the time needed to complete a professional condensate pipe installation in any weather.
“There’s no other product on the market that looks as professional while making the process as fast as Condensate Pro’s pre-insulated pipe kits and dedicated tools do,” he claims. “You don’t even need sand and cement or sealants, as the kit can be fitted on any wall, and connect to any termination.”
“For customers on service plans, these products and tools make for a quick upgrade solution to prevent future unnecessary call-outs, saving time and resources,” Dave continues.
The solution fits any installation (grate, rainwater soil pipe and soakaway), with specially designed UV/water resistant lagging and bond and seal adhesive. All products fit perfectly on to 32 or 21.5mm overflow pipes. The products offer a complete solution for every external termination – gully waste, soakaways, rainwater and soil pipes – making it easy to price the cost of installation.
Dave has also manufactured a drift kit and grinder head, to help achieve a clean, faultless fitting on existing installations and uneven masonry. The Condensate Pro drift kit is great product for installers to use when upgrading these existing condensate pipes. Dave has also manufactured a 76mm grinder head, designed to grind a three-inch flat face against irregular faced stonework, creating a perfect surface for the connection kit.
“We launched Condensate Pro to help installers make sure boiler breakdowns are not down to a frozen condensate,” explains Dave. “Condensate Pro protects the installer, their customers and the boilers which breakdown due to condensate pipes freezing. This solution is designed by a pro installer for pro installers and finally we have a product that insulates properly, is quick and easy to install and looks great!”
What’s in the range?
Connection kit – pre-insulated connection, everything is in the box and ready to use with no wet trades needed.
Insulation – three 1m lengths of semi-rigid uniquely coated insulation that is UV protected and weather-resistant, giving long-lasting protection.
Termination kit – pre-insulated, adjustable, internal pipe joint. Turn it to connect at any angle for connection to soil pipes, rainwater pipes, soakaways, or drains.
Bond and Seal – special hybrid polymer sealant that bonds and seals the insulation together. Easy to dismantle without damage to the pipework.
Maintenance coat – replenishes the pipe insulation’s UV- and weather-resistant qualities.
Drift kit – makes condensate pipe upgrades simple and less time-consuming.
Grinder head – 76mm grinder head helps installers quickly create a flat surface from an uneven surface, for a tight seal.
1 Locate the outlet of the condensate pipe
2 Use the Drift Kit to expand the hole ready for the PipeSnug included in the Condensate Pro kit
3 Fit the PipeSnug
4 Fit the pre-insulated connection kit and wrap the specially coated, UV protected and weather-resistant insulation on the pipe
5 Use the brackets to fix securely and neatly to the wall and the ‘Bond and Seal’ adhesive to join any lengths of insulation
6 Fit the pre-insulated termination kit – it can be used for gully waste, soakaways, rainwater and soil pipes