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Quieting Gutters and Downspouts

Metal gutters with twists and turns can get noisy when water drips down and splashes against the elbows, but there's a surprisingly simple fix for the problem.

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

Rope and caulk are all you need

Gutter downspouts with elbows can sometimes amplify the sound of water dripping through them, and if the gutter is close to a bedroom window this can get annoying. Contractors have tried fixes like installing a lead plate in the elbow and then a magnetic cushioned plate, but those fixes usually just change the tone from a metallic drip, drip, drip to a thud, thud, thud sound.

Here’s a better way to solve the problem. Caulk around the gutter drain and install a length of nylon or poly rope (Figure A). The water will wick down the rope instead of free-falling and hitting the elbow.

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Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

Caulk gun

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.

    • Gutter caulk
    • 3/8-in.-diameter nylon rope

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April 09, 5:48 PM [GMT -5]

I tie the upper end of a 1/4" rope to a nearby gutter hanger, and tie a weight (a large hex nut or a few large washers) so the rope hangs down inside the downspout, all the way to the bottom of the downspout. If the downspout clogs, a few tugs on the top end of the rope usually breaks up the clog.

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