Table of Contents
What is a Gutter Downspout?
Gutter downspouts, also known as water spout, down pipe, drain spout, or drain pipe, are vertical pipes that lead the water from the gutter to the ground level. They are an important part of a building’s gutter system and help control the flow of water to prevent water damage, erosion, and flooding.
Downspout Parts & Accessories
Gutter Conductor Head
Commonly referred to as a “rain leader” or “gutter leader”, a conductor head is a funnel at the top of a downspout. These are used to control the flow and keep run off to a minimum. They come in many shapes and sizes, but all serve the same function. Keep in mind these ornamental leaders are mostly found with copper gutters.
Whenever the gutter needs to go through a wall, a scupper box is usually involved. Scupper Boxes serve the same function as the conductor head. They are usually attached to the top of the downspout and direct the water in the correct direction. More commonly used in conjunction with flat roofs to provide a drain for excess water. Another common use is to carry water through a roof or a wall, to the outside of the building.
Downspout Y Connectors
An adapter that allows 2 downspouts to connect and lead into 1. These get their name from their “Y” like shape.
Another variation is the diverter. These are basically an upside down “Y” adapter with a switch to divert the water into 2 separate locations. Often used with a rain barrel, once the barrel fills with water you can flip the switch and the water will divert to the other downspout.
Gutter Downspout Extension
Home owners commonly add a downspout extension to their existing downspout, to direct the water away from the homes foundation. Common downspout extension ideas can range from an additional sections of gutter, to corrugated PVC flex pipe.
More commonly known as an “underground drain” because these drains are installed underground when the home is built. These drains direct the water underground and usually lead to the street or the sewer. It is always suggested to have gutter covers on your entire gutter system, if you have underground drains. As they can clog pretty easily and possibly rupture underground, often flooding your home.
Brackets used to secure the downspout to the wall. Their is many shapes and sizes but all serve the same function. It should be noted that certain metals react with other metals, so you should check to see what hardware is compatible with your gutter material.
Downspout Adapters come in many shapes and sizes, but they generally all do the same thing, connect downspouts. You can connect a square downspout to a round downspout, or even connect a 3″ downspout to a 5″ downspout. Or maybe you have a weird angle and there’s no elbow available that will work, in that case you can get a flexible downspout adapter.
Downspout Elbows are attached at the bottom of the downspout. They are set at an angle so the water is directed away from the home. Elbows can also be used throughout the downspout to make it around corners, bump outs, and any other obstacles in the way of the downspout.
These elbows are used for square gutters. An “A-Style” elbow appears to come at you. This is the type of elbow commonly used at the bottom of downspouts to direct the water from the home. When attached it diverts the water either forwards or backwards.
Also used for square gutters. The “B-Style” elbows are used to turn the downspout in a different direction. For example, if you need to move your downspout to the right or to the left, you would use a B-Style elbow.
Round Elbows can neither be considered an “A” or “B” style elbow, because they can be used for either function. These elbows are only used with other non-corrugated round downspouts.
These square elbows are exclusively used with square downspouts. They are available as “A” or “B” elbows and serve the same functions as all other downspout elbows.
More commonly known as the “Bump-Out” elbow. These elbows are used when there is a small or large brick ledge or any other obstacle that blocks a straight path from the gutter to the ground
Downspouts are available in all the same materials as their gutter counterparts. Furthermore, you need to use the same material you used for your gutters as your downspouts. For example, certain metals react with other metals differently, causing them to corrode.
Aluminum Gutters and Downspouts are the most widely used gutter material worldwide. For one thing, they are known to be the best value for the price. Because, they perform better and last longer than most of the others.
Copper Gutters and Downspouts are known for being the most expensive. Also they are strictly decorative.
Vinyl Gutters and Downspouts are known for being rust, corrosion, and dent resistant. Being light weight makes them easy to install for the average person. The price is on the lower end of gutter materials.
Galvanized Steel Downspout
Galvanized Steel Gutters and Downspouts are made from steel as the name suggests. They are much heavier than all the other gutter options, making them difficult to install. Consequently, the extra weight is a constant burden on your home, making these the option that falls from the wall most often.
This type of downspout is usually used for larger commercial buildings that use Box Style gutters. They actually are rectangle in shape (not squared) and come in sizes like 2×3, 3×4, 4×6, etc….
Corrugated Square Downspout
The most popular style of downspout, is the corrugated square downspout. Corrugated ridges add structure and support to the sheet metal downspout. These are usually used with K-style gutters. Just like the Square Downspout, these come in rectangle sizes like 2×3, 3×4, 4×6, etc….
Round Downspouts are circular in shape. They offer a much smoother look than the corrugated style, and are also much more popular. These come in sizes ranging from 2″ all the way up to 8″.
Corrugated Round Downspout
Same thing as a Round Downspout, but these have the corrugated ridges to offer support and durability. Moreover, you’ll see these paired up with Galvanized Steel Gutters.
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