Solving Noisy Gutter Drips

November 18th 2008
Solving Noisy Gutter Drips

Q:  We live in a three-storey building. The downspout comes from the roof down five metres to a metal elbow and then another downspout to the ground. When there is a slow trickle of water off the roof running down the five-metre drop onto this elbow there is the noise of water hitting tin. In the quiet of the night it is loud and constant, keeping everyone on that side of the building awake. We have tried to deaden the sound by stuffing things into the elbow but to date have not been successful. Your suggestions will make us very happy.

A:  This is a common problem for those who sleep lightly. We call it "gutter drip."

There are two ways that this can be eliminated.

The first way is to use a heavy one-inch galvanized link chain and a six-inch galvanized gutter spike. Measure the length of chain required to enter at the eave location, down the down pipe to the elbow at the bottom. Slip the six-inch galvanized spike through the chain link and allow the chain to go down the pipe and out the bottom. The gutter spike will bridge the gap holding the chain in place. Move the chain on the spike so it comes to rest on the downpipe where the water enters the pipe. The idea is that the water will run down the chain, breaking the free- fall drip. The second method is to cut 1/4-inch screen galvanized hardware cloth in widths to enter the downpipe at the bottom elbow. The pieces should be at least three feet long. Bend it into an accordion shape every three-inches and push up the down pipe from the bottom securing it at the bottom with a galvanized metal screw and washer. The water flow will be broken up at the bottom of the free fall.