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Drip Drip - down spout blues

10 replies [Last post]
Joined: Mar 20 2003

I know this is a random problem, but it is a real issue for me. After a rain, for several hours I hear the loudest drip noise form the drain down spouts near the bedrooms. Has anyone had this problem? Any suggestions?


Joined: Oct 10 2003

you can take a square of old carpet, or an old sponge, and place it at the bottom of the downspout where the drips impact. That will eliminate the noise.

You can also buy specially made pads for this use at the hardware store.

Joined: Jul 1 2003

This is my first rain winter in the So. Bay area; I also have a dripping water sound problem, but I guessing the source is different than yours. My problem occurs during raining, and the sound is distinctly water dripping on metal (rather than out a drain spout onto concrete). Inevitably, it happens at 2am while raining or dark & cold & raining so I haven't visually investigate it.

Joined: Mar 20 2003

I always thought that perhaps if the spouts were angled instead of a straight vertical they might not have that annoying sound. I think its the sound of drips from the very top hitting the bottom of the pipe spout. Putting a sponge in the bottom dampens the sound but eventually the sponge washes out and leaves back up behind it.

We might be able to get away with this since the annoying ones are not of visual concern- they are on the side 'alley' of the house. If anyone has tried this, I'd sure like to know if it works since I might go to the trouble of doing it.

Joined: Jul 1 2003

No solution yet, but to re-cap:
(1) My noise source is rain water coming down the drain pipe like a waterfall, hitting the down spout; water is striking the down spout from 8+ feet high, so it's hitting metal with considerable force. If the water flowed down the pipe (following the pipe contour), there should be no noise.
(2) I'm using sponge on the down spout, but Lynn si right, it dampens but not eliminates the sound, and I suppose debris may not wash out and accumulate on top of the sponge over time.
(3) I still have to find "specialty pads"; that would be a weekend trip to Home Despot.
(4) Another try would be to rig up something in the gutter that would have the water flow down the pipe rather than fall through the pipe.

Joined: Mar 20 2003

Don't know how well this works but it might be worth a try:

Joined: Mar 23 2011


First I will tell you about my solution. Then I will make a couple of comments about an idea that didn't work.

I found the solution in the Wal-Mart cosmetics section. It is called a "net complexion sponge." I will describe it. (I know you've seen them.)

The product is designed for scrubbing one's face. These things come in pastel colors like pink and blue. Ladies hang them in the shower, I think. The material (probably nylon) is a net-like fabric that makes up a squishy net ball about 3" to 5". My recollection is that they cost about $1.50.

It looks like it it's too big to fit into the downspout. It takes a bit of effort to shove it up into the spout, but it works. Make sure that enough sticks out so you can get it back out.

What's so great about it?
1. It dampens the dripping sound almost entirely. The drops land on a nice soft cushion, split up, and flow through several layers of netting, while you sleep soundly.
2. The water flows through it and doesn't back up.
3. While water flows through, the net thing stays in (see comments on sponges).
4. It stays soft, so it keeps dampening the sound.
5. It's cheap.

One tip. You will need to remove it occasionally to make sure leaves don't back up.

2. Two things I tried that don't work:

Sponges: They wash out of the downspout. Furthermore sponges are not soft enough to sufficently dampen a drop falling at least eight feet. Sponges muffle the sound, but they don't eliminate it. Also, after awhile, the sponges dry out. Even during a hard rain, old sponges retain their stiffness. At this stage they do almost nothing to eliminate the sound.

The hardware store sells a product designed for this purpose. It is nothing more than a sponge with a magnet glued on one side. It has all the problems discussed above (including washing out), PLUS is costs too much.

Joined: Mar 20 2003


Here is one of the solutions that we used for the down spout drip blues. Japanese inspired Rain Chains in areas you want to quiet the torrent and add an interesting feature. Just one online example:


Joined: Mar 22 2003

Common solution for this is to run a long chain from the top all the way to the bottom inside the drain....The water should trickle down instead of dropping thus preventing the "drop' sound.

Joined: Mar 2 2004

Drip, Drip. Many customers have reported that their foam roof drained faster than their old tar and gravel roof. There was no gravel and dirt to slowly release the water. This minimized the noisy nuisance for them.

Joined: Aug 30 2003

You can try angling the base of your downspout out from the house slightly so that the drips do not fall the full length, but hit partway down. The sound will go away.

Or throw away the downspout and use a Japanese "rain chain". No drips. But for downspouts quite close to the wall this means the wall gets wet when it rains. I have 4 rain chains on my house and love them. But I had to make some special modifications.

1959 A. Quincy Jones atrium model in The Highlands, San Mateo

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