How to Reroute Gutter Downspout: The Ultimate Step-by-Step Guide

how to reroute gutter downspout

Welcome to My Downspout Extension, where we provide expert guidance on rerouting your gutter downspout. If you’re experiencing water damage to your foundation, poor drainage, or water infiltration into your basement, it may be time to consider rerouting your downspout.

But don’t worry, with our ultimate step-by-step guide and recommended tools and materials, rerouting your downspout can be a straightforward process. Plus, by directing your downspout away from impervious surfaces and towards a rainwater harvesting system, you can help reduce the amount of water and pollutants that leave your property. Let’s get started!

how to reroute gutter downspout

Common Reasons to Reroute a Gutter Downspout

Are you thinking of rerouting your gutter downspout, but unsure if it’s necessary? There are several reasons why homeowners choose to reroute their gutter downspouts, and it’s essential to know the common issues that prompt them to take this action.

Water to The Foundation

One reason is water damage to the foundation or landscaping. If you’ve noticed pooling water around your home’s foundation or water damage to your lawn or garden, it could be due to improper downspout placement. In these cases, it’s crucial to reroute your downspout to prevent further damage to your home and surrounding property.

Poor Drainage

Another reason to reroute your downspout is poor drainage. If your gutter downspout isn’t draining correctly, it could lead to standing water, which can cause damage to your home’s foundation or basement. To prevent this, you should consider rerouting your downspout to ensure proper drainage away from your home.

Water Infiltration to the Basement

Water infiltration into the basement is another reason why you may want to reroute your downspout. If you notice that your basement is damp or humid, this could be due to water infiltrating through your home’s foundation. Rerouting your downspout can help prevent this issue by ensuring that water is directed away from your home’s foundation.


If your downspout is currently connected to the city rainwater system, you may also want to reroute it into your yard. Many municipalities discourage rainwater runoff into city systems because they carry fertilizers, salts, and pesticides into local rivers. Moreover, local groundwater systems become depleted because water is carried away before it can make its way back into the system. You can avoid these issues by rerouting your downspout into your yard, promoting infiltration, reducing peak flows and runoff volumes, and recharging aquifers.

Tools and Materials Needed to Reroute a Downspout

To reroute a gutter downspout, you will need some tools and materials, such as a tape measure, fine-tooth hacksaw, sewer standpipe cap, downspout elbow, metal or plastic downspout extension, gutter sealant, and screws.

When it comes to materials, it is important to start with the right drain pipe. Avoid using black recycled drain pipe and use virgin material, which is rated for 200 to 500 years. For a roof runoff system or buried downspouts, you will need to use solid corrugated pipe, not perforated pipe. At the end of your solid pipe, you can add some knife-cut drainage pipe to allow any water in the pop-up to drain.

You will also need an external coupler to connect the solid pipe to the knife-cut pipe. If you are connecting two downspouts from the house to one pipe, it is better to use a WYE instead of a T, which will stop the water flow and redirect the water, causing you to lose velocity.

A distribution box, or D-box, can be used to catch all the shingle gravel coming off the roof, while a pop-up emitter with a large outlet can handle big chunks of wood and giant leaves. The system should also have a turf restrictor plate to prevent grass from growing over the pop-up and causing flooding in the basement.

Steps to Reroute a Gutter Downspout

Rerouting a gutter downspout can be a relatively simple process. The first step is to identify the new location for the downspout. This location should be at least 10 feet from the building foundation, and ideally on a permeable surface like a lawn or mulched shrub bed.

How to reroute gutter downspout
  • Once you have identified the new location, the next step is to cut the downspout using tin snips or a hacksaw. Cut the downspout at the point where it will connect to the elbow joint.
  • Attach the elbow joint to the cut end of the downspout using sheet metal screws. The elbow joint should be facing the new location of the downspout.
  • Then, attach the extension to the other end of the elbow joint using sheet metal screws. The extension should be long enough to reach the new location of the downspout.
  • Secure the extension to the ground using stakes or brackets to ensure that it doesn’t move or become detached during heavy rainfall.
  • Finally, seal the connections using a silicone sealant to prevent leaks. Allow the sealant to dry completely before testing the new downspout by running water through it during a rainfall.
how to reroute gutter downspout

Remember, it is important to direct downspouts away from impervious surfaces like driveways, and ideally towards a designed rainwater harvesting system like a rain barrel or cistern. If using a rain barrel or cistern, be sure to plan for overflow by directing it to a permeable surface like a rain garden or bioswale. These practices can greatly reduce the amount of water and pollutants that leave your property and subsequently reach a water body.

Wrapping Up

In conclusion, rerouting your gutter downspout can prevent water damage to your home’s foundation, poor drainage, water infiltration into your basement, and even pollution in local waterways. With the right tools and materials, rerouting your downspout can be a simple process that pays off in the long run.

By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can protect your home and surrounding property while promoting sustainable water management practices. Remember, every drop counts, and every action we take to reduce water pollution and promote water conservation can have a positive impact on our communities and the environment. So, take the first step and reroute your downspout today.

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