DIY Clogged Gutter Drain

Written by emily patterson
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DIY Clogged Gutter Drain
Clean the gutters before cleaning the drain line. (cleaning gutters image by palms from

Gutter drains form a system around a house or other building that moves rain water away, preventing the water from saturating the soil and seeping into the foundation. The system includes gutters that border the base of the building's roof and drain into downspouts, which bring the water down to the gutter drain. A gutter drain may become clogged with leaves and debris from other areas of the gutter system. Cleaning the entire rainwater drainage system and clearing the clog will restore the system to optimal functioning and move water away from your home.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Ladder
  • Plumbing snake
  • Garden hose
  • Drill
  • Screwdriver bit
  • 1/8-inch drill bit
  • Small plastic bag
  • Rivet tool (optional)
  • Rivets (optional)

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  1. 1

    Clean the gutters, removing debris from them and from the opening at the top of the downspouts.

  2. 2

    Disconnect the downspout as close to the ground as possible. Detach the bottom section by removing screws or drilling out the rivets with a 1/8-inch drill bit placed in the centre of the rivet, which will cause the rivet to fall apart. Pull the bottom downspout section out of the gutter drain.

  3. 3

    Cover the opening for the gutter drain with a small plastic bag.

  4. 4

    Clean the downspout by inserting a plumbing snake from the top and working the snake around. Use a garden hose to run water into the downspout to flush the loosened debris out. Remove the garden hose and plumbing snake.

  5. 5

    Clean up debris around the gutter drain opening and remove the plastic bag.

  6. 6

    Push the plumbing snake into the gutter drain and work it around. Use a garden hose to run water into the gutter drain to flush out loosened debris. Remove the plumbing snake and the garden hose.

  7. 7

    Reattach the lower section of downspout at top and bottom. Replace screws into the holes on the downspout or replace the rivets.

Tips and warnings

  • Install a wire basket or downspout cleanout to prevent the gutter drain from becoming clogged.
  • If the gutter drain is still clogged, the gutters may be draining into a drain tile system around the perimeter of the house. The drain tile system is located at the base of the foundation of the building. It drains groundwater from around the building to reduce seepage beneath the foundation. You may need a professional plumber to clean and inspect the drain tile system for damage.

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