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Discuss External condensate pipe refused permission - help! in the Central Heating Forum area at

  1. munchkin19

    munchkin19 New Member

    Hi there,

    The 21 year old boiler (Worcester Bosch 350) has failed in my first floor, small one bedroom flat which has concrete floors throughout. My existing boiler is in a cupboard at the back of my lounge next to an outside wall. The flow and return pipes come out here too (I think they run under the concrete floor).

    I have been told that I need to install a new Condensing Combi boiler and the installer has recommended that I have a 1 and a quarter inch white (to blend in with the colour of the building) condensate pipe installed vertically to run out into a drainage channel at ground level.

    The owner of the flat below is a Director of the Management Committee together with one other Director.
    They have refused me permission to have the condensate pipe fitted externally.

    This is their reply:

    [FONT=wf_segoe-ui_normal]"The proposed pipe is far too obtrusive given the size and position and we can’t approve it.


    [FONT=wf_segoe-ui_normal]Any internal installation must be completely inaudible from outside the flat."

    Is this reasonable? Is it even possible for me the have a 'completely inaudible from outside the flat' pump installed? Won't there be occasional noise from the pump audible in the flat below - that is, in the Director's own flat??

    Any advice appreciated. Thanks!

  2. rpm

    rpm Trusted Plumber

    Welcome to the forum munchkin.
  3. munchkin19

    munchkin19 New Member

    Thanks, I appreciate it. A Worcester Bosch installer is going to fit the new boiler for me, and has assured me that noise shouldn't be an issue. (He doesn't know my downstairs neighbour though - lol!)

    Wish me luck.

    Any issues with these pumps, then please let me know. Thanks.
  4. joni os

    joni os Plumber

    Their refusal to have 32mm pipe down external wall is justifiable.However, stating any internal installation must be COMPLETELY inaudible outside flat is not. The judgement in this case is what a reasonable person would deem acceptable. If your neighbour,Director,has particularly acute hearing and complains, suggest he takes up the matter with Environmental Health and be guided by their advise. The rights of all parties need to be balanced, including your right to heat home with a mandatory condensing boiler.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. munchkin19

    munchkin19 New Member

    Thanks, Joni. You have phrased your answer brilliantly!!! I think I might just email most of what you've written directly through to the management company to cover myself in case of any complaints further down the line.

    That's great advice, and hugely appreciated! :hurray:
  6. joni os

    joni os Plumber

    Keep it as a response to any complaint after boiler installed. Just acknowledge their letter and state the boiler will be installed in accordance with manufactures instructions. If they object to that it further demonstrates unreasonable attitude and strengthens your case. Keep us updated.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. snowhead

    snowhead Well-Known Member

    How many flats in the block?
    Has anyone else got a condensate pipe down the wall, including the flat below?

    Has anyone else got a condensing boiler emitting "Obtrusive" condensation?
    This is going to be an issue for most of the flats I would guess.

    Where is the bathroom / kitchen / waste pipe soil stack in relation to the boiler?
  8. Riley

    Riley Plumber GSR

    Yeah some piccies would be useful. Does the condense pipe 100% have to run externally
  9. munchkin19

    munchkin19 New Member

    Don't know the answers to the first part (I rent the flat out but think I need to go over and have a closer look). My flat is one of two x one bedroom flats in the development. The other flats have either got balconies (with drains) or gardens.

    The bathroom/kitchen/waste pipe soil stacks are at the opposite end of the flat. So the boiler is on the window wall at the back of my lounge. The kitchen is at the front of the lounge, and the bathroom is to the left of the kitchen down a small (tiny) hallway.

    Doesn't leave me many options.

  10. munchkin19

    munchkin19 New Member

    Lounge.jpg Thanks, Riley. Here's a picture of my first floor one bed flat showing the existing flue. My boiler is behind there in a cupboard at the back corner of my lounge. The first two windows are bedroom. Bathroom is at through a wall from the bedroom. The kitchen is at the front of my lounge and there is a tiny hallway separating my lounge from the bathroom. (So hard to describe.)

    There's a big bush type thing where the pipe would be going so most would be obscured. Anyway, even though the Worcester Bosch guy agreed that the external pipe would be the best solution, he said he could run a condensate pipe along the skirting boards in the bedroom and this will come out in the bathroom somehow. (Haven't quite got my head around it.)

    Hallway flat.jpg

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 10, 2017
  11. SimonG

    SimonG Trusted Plumber

    Standard efficiency boiler.
  12. johnf

    johnf Active Member

    Who still makes a standard efficiency domestic gas boiler?
  13. SimonG

    SimonG Trusted Plumber

    No idea. But I can still get my paws on an oil one :)
  14. munchkin19

    munchkin19 New Member

    PS: Apologies about being rubbish loading the pictures, and apologies for probably loading too many! Hope these help. Mad situation - wish I could install a standard efficiency boiler, but I was told that I can't install a used one and that there are unlikely to be any 'old stock' ones kicking about. So sounds like the pipe around the flat and a pump is my best bet.

    I'm just worried in case the pipe leaks or the pump makes a noise that annoys the guy downstairs. Joni gave me a great response should that happen though (which it probably will!)

    Thanks everybody - you guys are amazing!
  15. Riley

    Riley Plumber GSR

    Do not worry about the sound. The pipework is another issue.
  16. ShaunCorbs

    ShaunCorbs S. Mod Trusted Plumber GSR Top Contributor!!

    pipe wont leak unless you put a nail into it and they do make a wee sound like opening a tap up, best to go for a decent pump not a cheap one
    • Like Like x 1
  17. johnf

    johnf Active Member

    The pump comes on for such a short period of time that no one will pick the noise up, especially if you put it on a rubber mat. They do a mat for shower pumps that is used for this purpose. If you have a washing machine running it makes much more noise for a lot longer and if no one complains about that you should be okay. We have installed quite a few condensate pumps and never had a problem with leaks yet. Just make sure that whoever wires it does it so that if there is a problem with the pump the boiler will not operate. D line do a rounded trunking that is not too offensive which the pipe can run in. Just make sure that the installer does not kink the pipe and it wont leak.
    • Like Like x 2
  18. munchkin19

    munchkin19 New Member

    Thanks, Shaun. I"m hoping the Worcester Bosch guy will get me a decent pump. I don't know exactly what he's specifying (apart from the boiler being a top of the range one - I don't even know the model - something with an 'i' in it - doh!). Maybe I'd better ask.

    I've got a tenant in there so I've been rushing around like mad trying to get the job done before the weather gets bad later this week (the flat's in North London).
  19. munchkin19

    munchkin19 New Member

    Thanks John F. Rubber mat - great tip! That's really helpful. As is your point about D line.

    The installer said that the pipe will be about the size of a pencil, running along the top of my skirting boards. Does that sound like the same stuff? (Here's hoping)

    Fingers crossed the pipe won't get kinked. (It will be doing some amount of travelling, though. I've just got to trust the guy to do a good job.)

    The guy downstairs hasn't complained about the washing machine - yet. He did complain about the dishwasher a few years ago, though. (The pipe has a tendency to 'howl' if the dishwasher hasn't been used for a while - such as in between tenants - but it's immaculate inside and still does a great job, so I've held off replacing it.)

    Thanks again.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2017
  20. rpm

    rpm Trusted Plumber

    Same if the pump is touching a wall and if the start of the pipe is a flexible type then no up & down dips in it.
    • Like Like x 2
  21. munchkin19

    munchkin19 New Member

    Hello again everyone. I just wanted to thank you all for your input, and let you know that the boiler is going in today with the condensate pipe running internally.

    The installer called me and told me that the guy downstairs (Director) has already been up asking questions about the flue and the position of the condensate pipe. So I'll wait to hear how that pans out. (I haven't heard anything yet, but have just now sent the following email to the Block Management Company to be passed onto the Directors, as advised by Joni.) I'll keep you posted. (So much for the Directors being impartial, huh?) ; )

    "Dear Sirs,

    I acknowledge your email dated 10/1/17 via [name] Block Management, and accept your concerns regarding external pipework, and assure all parties that boiler installation, taking place today, will fully accord with manufacturer's instructions.

    Yours faithfully,"

    Last edited: Jan 13, 2017
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