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Thread: Plugged downspout and eavestrough

  1. #1
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Plugged downspout and eavestrough

    My regular handyman is out for 6+ weeks after surgery so I need to figure out how to clean my plugged downspouts.

    Neighbours have a tamarack and a large maple that combine to create plugs looking like birds nests.

    There is a severe limit on people willing to go on the single story roof to clean eavestroughs - like none.

    I googled plugged downspouts and was advised to try a plumbing snake. Anyone done this for downspout? How did it work? I watched a couple of Youtube videos that were promoting commercial products to clean eavestroughs but they didn't seem to be what I need. Any other ideas welcomed.
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

  2. #2
    Senior Member CathyA's Avatar
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    Are you talking about just the downspouts and not the gutters? Do you have a hose that's long enough that you could get it up there and turn on the water full blast and see if that would push it down? You could also try disconnecting the more horizontal portion of it at the bottom and pushing some sort of broom stick or something up it just to loosen things so the water pressure would push things out.

  3. #3
    Simpleton Alan's Avatar
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    Just like any other plumbing problem, you just need to break up the blockage so that it can be flushed away. A plumber's snake should do the job it it's long enough.

    I have lots of mature trees in the yard which constantly drop leaves and twigs onto the roof that gradually make their way to the gutters. After a couple of years of regular gutter cleaning, I installed a system called Gutter Helmet which forces leaves and other debris to pass over the open gutter without affecting the water's ability to enter. Twenty years now without a blockage! www.gutterhelmet.com
    "Things should be made as simple as possible, but not one bit simpler." ~ Albert Einstein

  4. #4
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Gutter helmet is not available in Canada. I just asked. I have heard of some disappointment with other eave covers designs.
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

  5. #5
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    Years ago, my grandmother sent me down to a neighbors, to clean/clear their gutters and a stopped downspout. I started with the gutters, and then started on the downspout. Three birds nests came out of it, pretty much intact, in part, due to some plastic that the first one had in it. I could tell it was still packed, but it was more loose then. I disconnected the angle base of the downspout and put the garden hose, facing up it. Stuff started coming out and I would rake it away. After a bit, I saw some water coming out the top. I then took the hose up top and shot down, and lots of stuff came out and got it flowing correctly. I think the three tools I remember using were a scoop, a screwdriver (separate parts and jab into the plastic for pulling), and the hose.

    I wish I had wore a poncho (got covered).

  6. #6
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    A plumbers snake will work to clean a plugged downspout. We had saplings growing and birds nests in a gutter one year so we started cleaning gutters several times a year to prevent clogging. I get on the roof or a ladder (two story house) and use a leaf blower to clear the gutters of leaves and pine needles. I don’t like to do it, it’s scary but prevention is the key. I can’t seem to find anyone to clean gutters around here either.

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