Leaky Gutter Problems

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  • Post category:Home Improvement
  • Post last modified:January 25, 2022
  • Reading time:7 mins read

Leaky Gutter – Should be an easy, quick fix, right?

Recently we have seen a lot of rain this winter here in Southern California.  Overall, this is a very good thing. The state has been in a horrible drought dating back to before we even moved here. We arrived in 2014; the drought goes back to 2010 or 2011. Unfortunately, there can sometimes be too much of a good thing, especially when problems arise, say a leaky gutter.  

Gutter In Rain

Over the past four days, we’ve seen three separate storm systems roll through the state (and will continue into tomorrow).  All tolled, since Wednesday night, we’ve seen somewhere in the neighborhood of five to six inches of rain. We had a nice break in the action and sunshine yesterday.

When it rains, it pours…

When we had our pool and deck installed, the contractor we went with also installed a concrete sidewalk and drainage in both the front and back of our house.  One thing they didn’t do very well was connect the downspouts to the drainage pipes. Thus leading to water pooling around our foundation.

I had been meaning to fix this for months, but kept forgetting about it because it almost never rained.  This winter has made fixing this more of a pressing need. I finally decided to tackle this head on yesterday during our break in the storms. There’s an additional three inches of rain expected today.

Attempt #1

I detached the bottom of the downspout from the bracket and inserted this Bend-A-Drain 3-in Dia Corrugated Downspout Adapter Fitting. The thought being that it would seal itself up nicely and channel all the rain water into the drainage pipe.  I should’ve known better.  It was crazy to think that this flexible plastic would seal up on contact with the PVC drainage pipe.

Attempt #2

Checking on my solution this morning confirmed the fear I had last night – we still have a leaky gutter. Water was pouring out of the area around the bottom of the flexible drainage attachment.  It was doing a better job directing the water than when there was nothing there. When the water was just falling out of the downspout directly onto the foundation. However, it wasn’t taking care of directing all of the water away from the house.  That’s obviously the goal.

I trudged out in the pouring rain to try a different solution. Using a white PVC pipe-to-gutter cap attachment and this Amerimax FLEX-ELBOW 2-in White Vinyl Front Elbow. (with downspout attachments on each end).  I removed the downspout and flexible gutter and placed the PVC gutter cap attachment onto the drainage pipe. It took me a while to figure out how to get the attachment onto the downspout and then into the pipe.  There just isn’t a whole lot of room in between. I wasn’t about to sit there and cut part of the gutter off while getting soaked in the pouring rain.

The light bulb turned on!

Finally, an idea came to me! I bent the downspout away from the house at a slight angle. Just enough of an angle to be able to bend the flexible gutter into the pipe cap attachment.  Then, once I had the gutter in, I was able to just push the downspout back towards the house and collapse the flexible gutter attachment.  

Leaky Gutter Fix: Amerimax FLEX-ELBOW 2-in White Vinyl Front Elbow from Lowes


The water immediately flowed directly into the drainage pipe, and out to the street (away from the foundation).  I screwed the bracket back in to hold the gutter tight to the house, and came back inside to change into dry clothes. I had a cracked tile to fix anyway, home ownership is fun.

A good day, indeed.

What home improvement projects have presented themselves to you lately?

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