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How to Cut Out an Eaves Trough Folding Downspout

By Timothy Burns ; Updated September 21, 2017

The downspout on a home's eaves trough system often gets in the way when performing yard and lawn maintenance. The downspout carries water down the side of the home. The metal tube turns out into the yard to carry rain runoff away from the home so the water doesn't settle around the home's foundation. The downspout turnout can be 48 to 60 inches long, and as a result is an obstacle when mowing or trimming the landscaping near the home. A simple trick can turn this fixed obstacle into a movable downspout.

Step 1

Test fit the downspout elbow to the bottom of the downspout. The downspout elbow should be approximately 12 inches above grade level.

Step 2

Bend the free end of the elbow outward a bit, so that the downspout fits into the elbow rather than around the outside of the elbow. If you are working with plastic systems, the elbows are already designed this way. If you are working with aluminum downspouts, the elbow is crimped and can be easily bent outward and made large enough to fit around the outside of the downspout.

Step 3

Cut inward from the end of the elbow toward the elbow bend using tin snips. Make a cut 2 1/2 inches long. Make this same cut on both sides of the elbow, cutting a straight line that is along the center line of the elbow. At 2 1/2 inches in from the end of the elbow, cut upward over the top of the elbow. The result is that you will remove a section from the top of the elbow that is 2 1/2 inches long and as wide as the entire width of the elbow.

Step 4

Set the 48-inch piece of downspout into the saddle created by removing the top of the elbow. Push the downspout so that it is inserted past the cut line and into the elbow not more than 1/2 inch.

Step 5

Drill a 1/8-inch hole on each side of the elbow, through both the elbow and the downspout. Fasten the two together with a single pop rivet on each side of the elbow. The pop rivets will act as a pivot hinge. With the top of the elbow removed, the 48-inch section of downspout will lift upward and out of the way when you need to mow the grass under the spout.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Downspout elbow
  • 48-inch section of downspout
  • Tin snips for aluminum downspouts
  • Jig saw for plastic PVC downspout
  • Pop rivet gun and 1/8-inch pop rivets
  • Cordless drill with 1/8-inch drill bit

About the Author

 

Since 2003, Timothy Burns' writing has appeared in magazines, management and leadership papers. He has contributed to nationally published books and he leads the Word Weavers of West Michigan writers' group. Burns wrote "Forged in the Fire" in 2004, and has published numerous articles online. As a trained conference speaker, Burns speaks nationally on the art, science and inspiration of freelance writing.