Skip to Content

How to Slow Down Water From a Downspout (In 6 Easy Steps)

How to Slow Down Water From a Downspout (In 6 Easy Steps)
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.

Gutters are great for collecting rainwater to prevent it from flowing directly down your lawn or yard. This water flows down through a downspout and disperses on the ground.

However, you may notice that the water pools in one area if you have a faulty downspout system. In other words, you may not have an appropriate structure to control the water.

How can you remedy this? Well, we’re here to provide you with six easy steps on how to slow down water from downspout.

How to Slow Down Water From Downspout

There are a couple of ways to slow down water from the downspout, one of which is through a downspout disconnection. It’s when you disconnect a downspout from a standpipe and redirect it towards a pervious surface.

To do this, here are the tools and equipment you’ll need:

  • Downspout elbow and extension
  • Standpipe cap
  • Splash block
  • Screws
  • Screwdriver or power drill
  • Hacksaw
  • Pliers
  • Measuring device

Keep in mind that this method doesn’t work for all locations. So, it’s better to check your local regulations to avoid potential problems.

Step 1: Determine Water Path

Before you disconnect anything, determine an appropriate water path first.

If your house has a crawl space underneath, the downspout should at least be five feet away. On the other hand, homes with basements require a longer distance of at least ten feet.

These guidelines should help in determining how long your downspout extension should be.

Another thing to consider is where you’ll reroute the rainwater runoff. You can point it at a lawn, shrub garden, or rainwater harvesting system.

What won’t slow down water from the downspout is if you route the runoff on an impervious surface, such as cement.

Step 2: Trim the Existing Downspout

The next thing you’ll need to do is trim the existing downspout. It usually comes as a straight and vertical pipe.

Measure about 9 inches from the base of the downspout or where it meets the standpipe. This length should be enough for the elbow placement later on.

Having enough distance between the ground and the elbow also allows you to install the extension at a sloped angle. With this, you’re guaranteed that the water can flow effortlessly through your pipes.

Then, trim the existing downspout using the hacksaw. After trimming, carefully remove the excess pipe.

Step 3: Cap the Standpipe

Capping the standpipe is a crucial step in preventing debris and rainwater from entering the pipe.

First, measure the standpipe’s diameter using your measuring device.

Once measured, cap the standpipe with a suitable plug. It should fit flush against the standpipe.

Any plugs aside from the cap, such as rags, can introduce blockages into your piping system. So, it’s best to stick with a standpipe cap.

Step 4: Install the Elbow

An elbow at the end of the downspout redirects the water away from the standpipe.

Simply insert and screw the elbow over the exposed downspout to install one. In some cases, you may need to compress the current downspout for the elbow to fit.

The upper pipe needs to be inside the elbow. If it goes inside the upper pipe, there’s a tendency for water to leak and splash through the sides.

Finally, screw the elbow in place.

If your lawn or yard has a downward slope where water can freely flow away from the house, you can stop at this stage and immediately place a splash block.

However, most houses with uneven grounds can benefit more by proceeding to the next step.

Step 5: Install the Downspout Extension

Simply put, the downspout extension extends the water path away from your house. Homeowners install this when they have an unideal terrain and can’t use a simple splash block at the end of a downspout elbow.

Installing a downspout extension needs another downspout pipe connected to the elbow. Typically, you’ll want the extension to be at least five feet, but it can depend on how far you want the runoff to go.

A longer extension may need a pivot so you can easily put it up during dry seasons.

To do this, cut about 2 ½ to 3 inches on the top of the extension and a quarter of the way down. This modification gives enough clearance for the downspout to pivot upwards.

Additionally, this extension works better if it’s sloped downwards. It can help avoid blockages and allows the water to flow better.

Step 6: Place a Splash Block

When water flows fast and directly towards a pervious surface, there tends to be erosion. A good splash block can help slow this flow down and prevent unwanted results.

Place your preferred splash block at the end of the extension.

Alternatively, you may use stones or rocks to slow the water flow. The important thing is that you can slow the flow speed while diverting the water away from your house.

Why Slowing Down Water From Downspout Is Important

If your downspout water runs off on a pervious surface without slowing down, it can have unpleasant consequences for your soil.

Oversaturation or Wet Spots

When water pools on the bottom of the downspout, your soil can get oversaturated. You may notice this if the ground can’t absorb more water after the downpour.

Oversaturation can be detrimental to your lawn or yard, especially if you have grass or shrubs. Too much water can cause moldy grassroots and wilting shrubs.

Soil Erosion

Soil erosion happens when there’s rapid and uncontrolled water flow from the downspout that targets one specific area of the soil. That’s why a splash block can be beneficial in preventing soil erosion.

Final Thoughts

Knowing how to slow down water from downspout is essential if you want to preserve the soil quality around your home.

You can choose from installing an elbow, placing a downspout extension, or combining these two methods. What’s most important is adding a splash block at the end of either system to ensure a slow runoff.