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How to Unclog and Clean Downspouts on Gutters

By: Joe Truini

It’s important to keep your gutters clean to prevent them from clogging. Elbows in downspouts are the worst culprits, and the flexible metal cable of a plumber’s snake is the best way to clean them out. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Insert the end of the plumber’s snake in the downspout until it meets resistance.
  2. Turn the crank and work it back and forth to loosen the clog.
  3. Insert a garden hose in the downspout and turn on the water to flush out any debris.

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4 Comments on “How to Unclog and Clean Downspouts on Gutters”

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  • Official Comment:


    Thomas Says:
    March 7th, 2018 at 10:14 am

    Hi, Anna,
    Here’s Today’s Homeowner TV host Danny Lipford’s answer to your question: https://www.todayshomeowner.com/ask-danny-how-to-flush-out-downspout-debris/
    Thanks for writing to us!



  • Anna singh Says:
    February 21st, 2018 at 8:27 pm

    Hi what if the down sprout leads into the basement into a trap (not sure if that’s the word) and not outside How can u flush it out with a garden hose? Thank you. Please advice.


  • Official Comment:


    joe t. Says:
    October 15th, 2009 at 7:32 am

    Thanks, Mike, and you’re right. Late-autumn or early-winter (or whenever the trees are bare) is the right time to clean out your gutters. Many people wait until the spring, but it’s much better to clean out the leaves prior to all the winter snow melt and spring rains. If you wait until spring or summer, the downspouts, elbows and drop outlets are usually already clogged.



  • Mike Says:
    October 15th, 2009 at 4:34 am

    Very good advice. With leaves all over the roof during this time of the year, this is a perfect time to inspect your gutters and as you say elbows section of your guttering system.


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How to Unclog and Clean Downspouts on Gutters