Best way to shorten downspout?


Old 03-07-13, 12:15 PM
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Best way to shorten downspout?

At my mom's house, the previous owner added a deck to the back of the house and didnt' re-route or extend the downspout and also removed the concrete drainage whatever you call it. Years later I find an 12inx14in hole in the ground near the foundation where the water has flushed out the soil, and know I need to fix the downspout.

Temporarily I have attached a 6 ft piece of gutter to get the water away from the house and foundation. A friend has told me that I need one inch of drop for every foot I extend the downspout away from the house. Here's my question - what is the best way to shorten the downspout...remove the elbow at the bottom, cut off 8 inches and re-attached the elbow (not sure it will fit), or pull the downspout away from the gutter, cut 8 inches off the top and re-attached it to the gutter?

The first option would be easier for me, even if I have to crimp the downspout end a bit to get it to fit back into the elbow.

Thoughts/suggestions? Thanks....
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Old 03-07-13, 12:30 PM
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It's just aluminum, right?
Old 03-07-13, 12:32 PM
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Elbow should fit right back on the bottom...though you may need to use some needlenose pliers to taper/shrink it a bit...few people have the crimping tool that Pro's use.

Just use the needlenose, clamp on up the end and sorta twist it to shrink and taper. Not as pretty but just as functional.
Old 03-07-13, 01:26 PM
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I'm not disagreeing with your friend, because this is one of those situations where more can be better, within reason of course, but 1/8" per foot, or an inch in 8', will channel water downhill, so you could tighten up your angle a bit if that will help. As far as crimping the ends, as Gunguy said, you can use a pair of needlenose pliers, but in case you think that it's something that you might use again, whether for downspouts, rigid dryer vent, etc., some of the hardwares anyway carry some decent medium duty crimpers for that purpose; not as nice as the pro's use, but reasonalby priced for DIY. Just thought that I would mention that because they most likely won't be very prominently displayed, but they may have them if you ask.
Old 03-07-13, 04:59 PM
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Are you shortening the downspout because of your friends recommendation on 1" drop per foot or is there another obstacle that you need to clear? That recommended drop seams excessive. I'm sure the extension that you call "temporary" will be fine unless it is unsightly to look at and you need to "pretty" it up.
Old 03-07-13, 05:08 PM
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I was going to shorten the downspout because that's what was done at my house and it looks nice and seems to work well. (BTW, I don't think mine is a 1-inch drop...more like 1/4 in per ft)

At mom's I want to run the water at least 6-8 feet away from the house and the gutter extension is almost flat on the ground now and water seems to sometimes back up and leak out where it connects to the elbow. Yes, it's aluminum.

It's not a bad leak, so if you all think there doesn't need to be a slope it would be easier to leave it as-is. But it might be fun to buy a new tool and try something new...
Old 03-07-13, 09:09 PM
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Remove the elbow from the end of the downspout. Using a fine 24 or 32 tooth per inch blade in a hacksaw, cut off what you need. Buy a length of plastic corrigated drain hose and a downspout adapter and stick it on the end of the downspout.
Old 03-08-13, 10:54 AM
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will try it and see

Thanks for the details about the hacksaw blade. I have plastic drain hose that I'm already incorporating so I'll try the various suggestions for the downspout and see what works the best. Will let you know how it goes! :-)

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