Replacing an Aluminum Downspout

a downspout
  • 1-2 hours
  • Beginner
  • 50-200
What You'll Need
1 Downspout
2 Aluminum elbows
2 Clinchers
1 Square shoe
1 Package of self drilling concrete screws
1 Package of gutter screws
Power drill with Phillips head drill bit
Hacksaw with metal cutting blade
Tape measure

An aluminum downspout is comprised of two interlocking elbows attached to the gutter to create an S shape, a long straight section to channel water, a couple of clinchers to keep the downspout attached to the house, and a shoe at the bottom to direct the water away. With only five pieces, replacing downspouts is an easy, quick process that will yield instant results. To ensure proper water flow, it is important to check downspouts regularly.

Step 1 - Removing the Old Downspout

Use the drill to carefully unscrew the gutter screws in the old shoe located at the ground end of the downspout and pull the shoe off. Unscrew the clinchers which bracket the downspout to the side of the house. There are usually two: one up high and one down low. Check the elbow attached to the downspout for screws and remove them. Pull the straight section of the old downspout out from the lowest elbow.

Step 2 - Attaching New Elbows

Remove the elbow attached to the gutter of the house by unscrewing the gutter screws and pulling firmly. There are normally screws on both the front and back sides of the elbow. Both elbows should come off and be shaped like an S. Fit the two new elbows together in the exact same shape, comparing them side by side. The pieces are designed to interlock.

Sometimes there is a short section of the downspout in between the two elbows to allow for the eave overhang. If this is the case, measure the short section and use the hack saw to cut a portion of the downspout to fit. Secure the section in between the two elbows with a gutter screw in both the front and the back.

Attach the new elbow S to the gutter in the same way the old ones were. Use the gutter screws to replace the elbows, utilizing the same front and back holes in the gutter. The elbows should now allow for the straight section of the downspout to fit snuggly up against the house.

Step 3 - Attaching the New Straight Section

Measure the length of the long straight portion of the old downspout using the tape measure. Make sure the section is measured with the square shoe removed. Using the hack saw, cut the new straight portion to the size of the old one. Fit the new square shoe at the end of the new straight section of the downspout. Make sure the square shoe faces away from the house. Attach the new downspout to the elbow S curve with two gutter screws: one front and one back.

Step 4- Clinchers

Using the self-drilling concrete screw, attach the clinchers to the side of the house in the exact places of the previous clinchers. Use a gutter screw to attach each clincher to the gutter, holding it firmly to the house.