Getting Started

Check Before You Start
The steps outlined below are general guidelines for disconnecting downspouts and do not apply in all situations. Contact your local sewer system authority or public works department to see what specific guidance is available and to obtain information on local conditions, materials and regulations.

You may want, or be required, to hire a professional contractor or plumber to do the work. In some areas, an inspection of the disconnection is also required. Be aware, too, that some municipalities discourage or prohibit downspout disconnection due to local zoning or concerns about runoff.

Tools and Materials
Tools and materials you are likely to need include:
  • Bucket (for concrete)
  • Chisel
  • Concrete / mix (or other permanent, weatherproof sealant)
  • Flexible / corrugated pipe
  • Gutter “elbows” or other discharge devices
  • Hacksaw
  • Hammer
  • Measuring tape
  • Plastic boot cap
  • Safety glasses
  • Screw driver
  • Spare gutter pipe
  • Splash block
  • Trowel or other digging tool
  • Work gloves
Make sure that you have the safety equipment that you need, including work gloves and safety glasses. Many disconnections involve hammering and sawing, which can be hazardous to your eyes. Aluminum gutters can be extremely sharp after being cut, so protect your hands with work gloves.

Call Before Digging
If you bury part of your discharge pipe, remember that even digging a shallow trench can sever a utility line.  Always call before you dig to make sure you avoid digging near service lines. You may call 1-800-DIG-RITE (1-800-344-7483), or check online.