Who knew condensing combination boilers were at risk from frozen condensate pipes? I woke up in the morning to a freezing cold house, the temperature outside was sub zero. There was water dripping from the bottom of my boiler (Valliant Ecotec), and a message on screen error F.28. I looked up in the manual and the error meant that the burner could not ignite. At this point I had visions of very expensive parts, assuming of course I could get anyone to come out at all.
I had Cocoa booked in to see the vet at 9.30. She needed her booster vaccinations and a general checkup. Her last vet was in Altrincham, and though her was very good it was very stressful to take her so so far stuck in a cat carrier. So this time we went to a more local place, in Handforth. Cocoa is a house cat so I was told I probably wouldn't have to treat her for fleas. Unfortunately it appear this is not the case as the vet found signs that she has managed to pick them up from somewhere.
So by 10am I had a broken boiler and fleas! Given the time of year and the poor weather all the plumbers I called were busy. I was starting to worry I would never find anyone, however I managed to find someone. I called up a local plumbers merchants and got a few numbers from them. So I finally got a plumber and after a few minutes they worked out the problem. The pipe that carries the condensate outside was frozen backing up water into the burning chamber. A few minutes with a blow torch heating was restored. I'll know what to look for next time, and I have already lagged the pipes to try and stop them freezing again.