Using Gutter Elbows to Redirect Your Downspout

A gutter.
  • 3-6 hours
  • Beginner
  • 50-150
What You'll Need
18 x 24 newsprint
Pencil, ruler, and eraser
Measuring tape
Metal hacksaw
Gutter sections, downspout, and various elbows
Mounting support brackets
Power drill with screwdriver bits
Galvanized screws

Installing gutter elbows in your downspout will help redirect water flow away from the foundation of your home, your driveway, and other areas where excess water, or ice in winter, could be a hazard. Follow the tips below to install gutter elbows in your downspout.

Step 1 - Draw a Plan of Your Gutter and Downspout Path

On a large piece of newsprint draw the plan of your gutter and downspout for your house. Include turns you will need to make whether at the top, in the middle, or at the base of the downspout to direct water. Show the exact angle size and length of each piece of the downspout and elbows. Make your plan so it directs water at least 20 feet away from the foundation of your house and at least 5 feet to one side of your driveway.

Step 2 - Measure the Length of Downspout and Elbows You Will Need

With your measuring tape and stepladder, measure from the top edge of the roof gutter to the endpoint where you want the water flow to be expelled. Determine how many straight downspout sections you need and how many elbows. Note that gutter elbows are available in angles from 30 to 90 degrees, but that the standard angle is 75 degrees. Work out the angles of gutter elbows you need to achieve your water flow path.

Step 3 - Purchase Your Materials

Take your plan to a home supply center and speak to a sales associate who is experienced with gutter and downspout installation. They may be able to suggest modifications to your plan that will make your downspout and elbows easier to install and may save you money. You will need mounting support brackets for every 28 inches of vertical or horizontal distance of your downspout and for both ends of each gutter elbow.

Step 4 - Install Downspout and Elbows

Attach a drop outlet from the end of the gutter to the start of the downspout. This will direct water down into the downspout. Secure the downspout to the drop outlet with a mounting support bracket. Screw the bracket tightly closed with a power drill and a galvanized steel screw. Finish off the end of the screw with a nut to prevent slippage. Attach the first gutter elbow at the base of the downspout to turn it away from the foundation. Fasten the elbow to the downspout with two mounting support brackets. The second bracket will attach to the next length of downspout tubing. Run the next length of downspout tubing away from the foundation across your lawn.

Step 5 - Direct Water Flow to the Street and Sewers

Install another gutter elbow at 90 degrees to the second downspout tube so the next downspout will run toward the street parallel to your driveway, but several feet from it. Add the third downspout tube and put a flared drop outlet at the end to disperse the water flow.