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Best Gutter Elbows on Downspouts For Best Water Flow

Posted by Kevin Leahy on June 04, 2023

gutter elbows

Gutter Elbows & Gutter Clogs

Did you know that gutter elbows are an important part of gutter downspouts and gutter leaders because elbows enable gutter installation to be “tight” to the house or building.

However, elbows can create their own problems in terms of clogging. Because gutter downspout elbows bend and turn, debris getting into elbows can collect at these bends. This debris will accumulate and eventually clog the Elbows. When Elbows become clogged, they MUST be cleaned to ensure proper water drainage and avoid costly water damage to your home or property.

Cleaning gutter downspout elbows, especially up at a 2 or 3 story level is time-consuming, difficult and often dangerous.

So, eliminating this task is a laudable goal.

The SpoutOff removable downspout is a very effective and logical solution to quickly and safely checking and cleaning 1, 2 even 3-story downspouts.

What else can be done to possibly eliminate or at the very least minimize gutter elbow clogging?

Consider Changing Your Gutter Downspout Elbows

First, understand that the most common gutter elbows used is the 75 degree gutter elbow. Many mistake this for a 90 degree elbow because, from the ground, it looks like 90 degrees. It is not – it is 75 degree.

That said, 75 degree is still a fairly severe turn and very capable of stopping debris and clogging. So, what to do?

Where possible with all upper elbows, use 45 degree gutter elbows.

45 degree elbows significantly “smooth” out the gutter bend, making it much more difficult for debris to get caught. This greatly increases the velocity of water flow and significantly reduces the possibility of clogging in these upper elbows.

We say “upper elbows” because in almost all cases where an elbow is used at the bottom of the downspout, that elbow should be a 75 degree elbow, which directs water best away from the house or building.

45 degree elbows give a much better “flow” because they are “straighter” than 75 degrees. This means more water and debris will flow down and out of the 45 degree gutter elbow.

The above rain gutter information is submitted by the inventor, developer and distributor of The SpoutOff Rain Gutter System, Kevin Leahy.

The intent of this information is to help those interested make the best rain gutter decisions for THEIR home or building.

Contact Kevin Leahy with any comments or questions at 610-420-0378 or

One Comment

  1. Les Bussing says:

    While using 45 degree would solve a lot of clogging problems, I can only imagine what my house and yard would look like after converting, especially when using extension downspouts to carry water away from the foundation. Even with the common 75 degree elbows, I have to install my elbow a foot or more from the ground to compensate for the angle. The only other way would be to use a combination of several 45’s on one downspout.

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