Skip to Content

How to Find Gutter Drains in Your Yard

How to Find Gutter Drains in Your Yard
This post may contain affiliate links. If you click one of these links and make a purchase, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. In addition, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Connecting your gutter to underground drains can be a double-edged sword. If properly installed and maintained, this connection can result in seamless water transference.

Whereas, leaving the pipes clogged or broken can cause serious structural damage to your home. To begin identifying the damaged pipe, you’ll need to be familiar with where the drains are located.

In fact, mapping out your drains can be useful in a variety of other situations. For example, if you wanted to add or link pipes in the future.

So don’t worry if you don’t know where they are; we’ll show you how to find gutter drains in the yard. This article also contains more in-depth information about clogged drains and how to avoid them.

Let’s begin!

Why Is Finding Gutter Drains in the Yard Important?

The importance of knowing where your gutter drain is can be divided into two categories.

The first category is what we call “harmless”. When you want to make changes, replace pipes, add pipes, etc.

The other category is when damage occurs in your drains. So, you must now determine the source of the problem. Clogged pipes are one of the issues that stand out in the damaging category.

If you suspect that this underground drain system is clogged, here are three things to look for:

1 – Standing Water

Naturally, if a downspout is connected to underground drains, the water should be directed elsewhere.

Therefore, the presence of water accumulation around the downspout raises concerns. That’s when you’ll need to keep an eye on it while it’s raining.

If you see water coming out of the downspout connection, the drains are most likely clogged.

2 – Gushing Gutters

That’s something that can be visible during heavy rain. You’ll notice that rainwater is spilling out of the gutters instead of being gathered and discharged.

What happens here is that water does build up in the gutter before draining into the downspout. However, in the case of blocked drains, the water won’t get discharged properly.

Instead, the gutters and downspouts will fill up, and the water will begin to pour over the yard.

3 – Side Walls Staining

Checking the exterior side walls of the house for signs of drain clogging is another method.

If you didn’t get a chance to observe the gutter and downspout in action during heavy rain, their impacts can still be seen on the wall.

Water streaks or stains are caused by water spillage from either the gutter or downspout. Basically, the wall becomes wet, then dust and mold begin to accumulate.

How to Find Gutter Drains in the Yard

There are two ways to locate gutter drains in your yard. They’re also excellent for identifying the damaged or clogged part.

We’ll go over the tools required, followed by a detailed explanation of each process.

On a side note, both are two-man jobs, so it’s best to find a partner.

Pro Method

This technique is suitable for spotting complex drainage issues or making pipeline adjustments.

Briefly, you’ll use a drainage cleaning machine to map out your gutter drains by following the noise of its wires.

Tools Required:

  • Drainage cleaning machine
  • Light-colored spray
  • Leather gloves

Steps to finding the gutter drains:

1 – Find a Visible End

The first step is to locate the end of the pipe where it discharges water. You can also go for the elbow end of a downspout.

You see, sometimes the pipe’s discharging end may not be visible because it’s connected to the main line, for example.

So, either of these outlets will suffice to direct us to the pipe’s location.

2 – Insert the Cable into the Portal

Next, put on your leather gloves and turn on the drainage cleaning machine.

The reason for wearing durable gloves is that the machine’s cable can easily injure your hand while you’re holding it.

The cable’s intended to spin quickly. So that when you insert it into the pipe, it makes an audible sound. Consequently, you must exercise caution when dealing with this high level of spinning.

3 – Follow the Sound

The other person should be on spraying duty while you slowly insert the cable into the outlet. He’s supposed to track the noise and use the spray to mark the locations where it’s coming from.

After that, you can dig in the marked areas to do any necessary repairs.

Quick Method

This technique can be more useful if you just want to locate minor issues in your gutter drains. It’ll direct you to the actual area of the problem, reducing the amount of digging required.

Tools Required:

  • Metal wire
  • Metal detector

Process Explanation:

Simply insert the metal wire into any visible end of the pipe. When the wire comes into contact with the blockage, it’ll stop moving.

Simultaneously, your friend should be walking with the metal detector to find where the wire stopped.

Then, you can begin digging from there.

How to Keep Gutter Drains From Clogging

To cut a long story short, keeping your drains clean is only possible if waste doesn’t reach them.

Waste such as debris and leaves accumulate in the gutter and, like water, reaches the drains via the downspout. They build up over time and completely block the pipe until it’s cleaned.

Here are a couple of tools that can help you keep your drains clear:

Gutter Cover

A gutter cover is installed on top of your existing gutter. It works by allowing water to enter the gutter through small holes while keeping waste out.

They’re very effective at keeping drains clear and subsequently make routine cleaning much easier.

Besides, gutter covers only need to be cleaned once or twice a year, along with the original gutter.

Downspout Wire Strainer

These downspout strainers are available in a variety of shapes.

Simply put, they’re filters installed on top of the gutter’s downspout opening. As the name implies, it works on filtering water from waste.

However, unlike a gutter cover, the downspout strainer must be cleaned regularly. If they’re not cleaned, the gutter will begin to leak water since the drainage outlet is blocked.

So be cautious; we’re trying to avoid the problem rather than causing it.

Final Thoughts

Whether you want to fix an issue or make adjustments, you now know how to find gutter drains in the yard.

If you only need to perform a minor inspection, our “quick method” is the way to go.

Whereas, if you’re dealing with a severe problem or reconstruction, we recommend bringing in the big guns and using the “pro technique.”