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Old 02-16-2008, 03:23 PM   #1
drh
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How can I prevent ice bursting my downspout?


Just before the deep freeze up here in Canada, I had replaced a downpout on the side of my house which had burst its seem out the back from last years freeze, causing water to run down the brick and leak into our basement.

Last week, we had a snap-freeze here in Canada and wouldn't you know it, today I look at my downspout and once again, it's seam has burst open on the back and I have some of the largest icicles hanging down either side.

Somehow the downspouts are becoming "plugged" with water and freezing up, causing the bust near the top of the spout itself. What kind of measures can I take to prevent this from happening again after I replace this spout? I keep the troughs clean at the bottom, but even so, as the weather gets colder, I can feel water slowly freezing up on the inside of the spouts.

Any tips on how I can prevent this next time?

Thanks!

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Old 02-16-2008, 03:45 PM   #2
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How can I prevent ice bursting my downspout?


Do you also have large icicles hanging elsewhere off your home?

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Old 02-16-2008, 04:56 PM   #3
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How can I prevent ice bursting my downspout?


Heat trace cable is about the only fix for what you are experiencing.


What I suspect is you have enough melt off that after the downspout becomes frozen enough to plug it, the meltoff then fills the upper portion and as it freezes, it ruptures the spout. To prevent that, you need to maintain a free flowing pathway for the water to drain.
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Old 02-16-2008, 06:23 PM   #4
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How can I prevent ice bursting my downspout?


Thanks for the ideas, guys. I do not have any icicles anywhere else on the home - only solid sheets of ice completely encasing the downspout - it's literally entombed in ice!

In terms of free flowing pathway, the water is completely able to drain out the bottom of the spout, yet I still experience this? How can I improve the pathway?
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Old 02-16-2008, 06:28 PM   #5
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How can I prevent ice bursting my downspout?


I told you...heat trace cable.

If you had a clear path for drainiage, you would not have this problem because you would not have the downspout freezing up. That is why it freezes closed is because there is no clear drain path.

http://www.easyheat.com/Content1/Pro...psr_detail.htm

http://www.easyheat.com/Content1/Pro.../sr_detail.htm

one of those two products would work for you.
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Old 02-17-2008, 02:30 AM   #6
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How can I prevent ice bursting my downspout?


Quote:
Originally Posted by nap View Post
I told you...heat trace cable.

If you had a clear path for drainiage, you would not have this problem because you would not have the downspout freezing up. That is why it freezes closed is because there is no clear drain path.

http://www.easyheat.com/Content1/Pro...psr_detail.htm

http://www.easyheat.com/Content1/Pro.../sr_detail.htm

one of those two products would work for you.
good answer,it also helps to have a larger downspout installed w/the heat cable(change 2x3 to 3x4)as it allows for more volume,inside the attic you should look at your insulation values,because typically it is lost heat from inside the home that fuels the ice problem,and if you can seal and insulate your attic properly,this should cut down on the amount of ice created considerably
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Old 02-17-2008, 02:53 AM   #7
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How can I prevent ice bursting my downspout?


Those are good suggestions regarding the heat tape or cable given so far.

Also, you could consider going to a larger corrugated round downspout which has more room and can be made of a substantially heavier guage galvanized metal than the typical aluminum downspouts.

Another option would be to have a local sheet metal shop fabricate what is called an open face downspout. This leaves an approximate 1" to 2" gap in the front exposure of a rectangular shaped downspout. The freezing ice has a full length outlet to be able to relieve itself without bursting the leader pipe.

Ed

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