How to Replace Downspouts

Replacing downspouts is a very simple task that anyone can do.

Remove Old Downspouts and Replace With New

You only need a few simple tools. Downspouts come straight down the side of the house with the use of two elbows, and have what is called a square shoe attached to the end of them. The shoe directs the flow of water away from the house. Knowing what the parts are called will help when you go to purchase the materials for the new downspouts. You can replace a downspout in less than 30 minutes.

Remove the gutter screw from the water directional shoe on the end of the downspout. Use your drill and a Phillips head drill bit to remove the screw. Pull the shoe off of the end of the downspout.

Downspout Clincher

Use your drill and Phillips head drill bit to remove the screws from the two clinchers holding the downspout secure to the side of the house. There will be a clincher located close to the top of the downspout and one located close to the bottom of the downspout.

Pull the straight section of the downspout off of the elbow. The elbow will be connected to the top of the downspout. In some cases, the straight section of the downspout will be screwed to the elbow. Use your drill to remove the screws first.

Elbow Connected to Gutter

Use your drill to unscrew the top elbow from the underneath side of the gutter. There will be a screw on the front and back side of the elbow. Pull the elbow off of the gutter.

Place one of the new elbows on the underneath side of the gutter in the same place and facing the same direction as the old elbow. Use your drill and two gutter screws to secure the elbow to the drain on the underneath side of the gutter.

Use your tape measure and measure the short straight section that connects to the elbow. Measure the old piece that you removed. Use the hack saw to cut a piece of new downspout to the correct length. Insert the new piece into the elbow. The downspout parts are made to slide together.

Add the second elbow to the straight section that you installed in the previous step. The curve in the elbow will be closest to the side of the house. This also will allow the downspout to rest against the side of the house.

Use your drill to insert a self-drilling concrete screw through each clincher. Place the clinchers in the exact same place on the side of the house where you removed the old ones from. Insert one screw through the center of each clincher and tighten each screw with the drill.

Measure the length of the longest part of the old downspout. Cut a new piece the exact same length. Insert the downspout into the second elbow. Wrap each clincher around the downspout. Insert a gutter screw through each clincher and into the downspout. This will keep the downspout secure.

Place the square shoe on the end of the downspout. The shoe should face away from the house.The shoe will direct the flow of water coming out of the downspout.

Things You Will Need

  • Drill
  • Tape measure
  • Hack saw with metal cutting blade
  • 2 elbows
  • Downspout
  • 1 square shoe
  • 1 package of gutter screws
  • 2 clinchers
  • Self-drilling concrete screws


  • Save the pieces of the old downspout as a reference for the new downspout. Just measure the old straight downspout sections and you will have the exact length you need for the new sections.

About the Author

Based in Oklahoma City, Debbie Tolle has been working in the home-improvement industry since 2001 and writing since 1998. Tolle holds a Master of Science in psychology from Eastern Illinois University and is also a Cisco-certified network associate (CCNA) and a Microsoft-certified systems engineer (MCSE).