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Frozen drownspout - Damage?

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Apr 24, 2006
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Frozen drownspout - Damage?

Not sure how long this has been going on for but I seemingly just noticed it today.

The rain barrel is empty and I was able to separate it. I'm guessing the downspout disconnected somewhere near the ground (it's not burred, just runs down, across 4 ft to the fence, and along the fence for about 8-10ft).

Am I looking at any damage? Should I do anything?
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36 replies
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Jan 23, 2002
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I've had mine rupture so it will be difficult to know until it thaws.
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synaptech wrote: I've had mine rupture so it will be difficult to know until it thaws.
What is the worst case though? Replace the downspout?
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Jan 6, 2002
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Tijuana wrote: What is the worst case though? Replace the downspout?
Worst case is far far worse. Be creative with your imagination!
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Aug 29, 2019
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Tijuana wrote: What is the worst case though? Replace the downspout?
Did you forget to disconnect the downspout from the rain barrel?

I would deal with that right away. It's supposed to warm up this week. Your concern is you dont want too much water from melting roof snow running down to your foundation.

You can buy white aluminum downpipe very cheaply at HD etc. and a matching pack of alumium screws.
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Katedontbreak wrote: Did you forget to disconnect the downspout from the rain barrel?

I would deal with that right away. It's supposed to warm up this week. Your concern is you dont want too much water from melting roof snow running down to your foundation.

You can buy white aluminum downpipe very cheaply at HD etc. and a matching pack of alumium screws.
So should I chip away at it?

The rain barrel isn't connected, it's empty and I can remove it easily.

So just chip away at it and remove it?

My guess is the connector at the bottom (that leads it away from the house towards the fence) is broken/disconnected but what would cause the water/ice to build up that much?
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Not so easy there Ma…
Tijuana wrote: So should I chip away at it?

The rain barrel isn't connected, it's empty and I can remove it easily.

So just chip away at it and remove it?

My guess is the connector at the bottom (that leads it away from the house towards the fence) is broken/disconnected but what would cause the water/ice to build up that much?
Looks like you have striated brick. Likely more fragile or prone to damage if you start chipping away at it. It may be best to let it thaw and melt. Move the rain barrel to get more airflow or sun if it gets any sun there.
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Feb 4, 2010
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You should be disconnecting the rain barrel in the fall and reconnect in late spring - you can damage the rain barrel. Second, that setup is really bad - downspout should be 6ft from foundation - one barrel can easily get filled within a day or two and then it's going to overflow by the foundation. In the spring add extension and move the rain barrel. I would leave it be for now as you might do more damage.
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Aug 29, 2019
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Tijuana wrote: So should I chip away at it?

The rain barrel isn't connected, it's empty and I can remove it easily.

So just chip away at it and remove it?

My guess is the connector at the bottom (that leads it away from the house towards the fence) is broken/disconnected but what would cause the water/ice to build up that much?
The leak appears to be started at the black banding. Is that tape? The upper part of the downpipe should be slipped into any lower sections or it could back up when water at the lower section freezes. I would wait until it melts and try to deal with it as soon as the ice has melted. Take pictures and post if you're not sure how to fix.
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Aug 28, 2010
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If the ice goes all the way up the downspout and begins to freeze the entire gutter the weight could cause it to fall down or cause damage to your roof with water not being moved.

p.s insurance does not cover any damage as they will say you failed to maintain the downspout i.e preventative install heat tape.
p.s.s i know first hand
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porchemasi wrote: If the ice goes all the way up the downspout and begins to freeze the entire gutter the weight could cause it to fall down or cause damage to your roof with water not being moved.

p.s insurance does not cover any damage as they will say you failed to maintain the downspout i.e preventative install heat tape.
p.s.s i know first hand
Once the gutters are frozen it could also cause water to start to back up under shingles and cause leaks in the house. Roof and Gutter de-icing cables would be a good move going forward (the heated wire often runs down the downspout to keep it clear). https://www.lowes.ca/product/roof-heat- ... -foot-3340
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I have upload a few more pictures.

The ~4ft area that runs away from the house is slightly raise, so I'm guessing water started pooling there and escaped from the joint area which cause all the ice to form?

To reiterate, the rain barrel is NOT connected. I removed it, along with some ice, to show more of the downspout. You can tell the piece I replaced, since it's a different colour, and has tape around where it was inserted into.

The downspout is completely solid/frozen only from where the taped area is going down. Above it I can feel it is hollow/empty.

Once it gets warmer, what is the best way to fix this? Since the 90 deg angle is basically on the ground, I'm guessing it should be raised up to allow the water to flown down? Would that pretty much solve my issue?
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You need to replace any split downpipe, lift the elbow off the ground, install heated wire, and wait and see.
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Tijuana wrote: Not sure how long this has been going on for but I seemingly just noticed it today.

The rain barrel is empty and I was able to separate it. I'm guessing the downspout disconnected somewhere near the ground (it's not burred, just runs down, across 4 ft to the fence, and along the fence for about 8-10ft).

Am I looking at any damage? Should I do anything?
Two simple ways to fix this minor issue:

#1 ... POUR SOME HOT WATER ON IT!

#2 ... toss some road salt in the downspout
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Aug 29, 2019
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Tijuana wrote: I have upload a few more pictures.

The ~4ft area that runs away from the house is slightly raise, so I'm guessing water started pooling there and escaped from the joint area which cause all the ice to form?

To reiterate, the rain barrel is NOT connected. I removed it, along with some ice, to show more of the downspout. You can tell the piece I replaced, since it's a different colour, and has tape around where it was inserted into.

The downspout is completely solid/frozen only from where the taped area is going down. Above it I can feel it is hollow/empty.

Once it gets warmer, what is the best way to fix this? Since the 90 deg angle is basically on the ground, I'm guessing it should be raised up to allow the water to flown down? Would that pretty much solve my issue?
The part that bends away from your house is too low. You need to cut the pipe above it more so that the water does not sit in there are freeze.

Image
[OP]
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Katedontbreak wrote: The part that bends away from your house is too low. You need to cut the pipe above it more so that the water does not sit in there are freeze.

Image
I was able to do that with another peice of pipe i have. It's about 4 ft above the ground but I figure that's better than the current setup (for now hbtil the weather is better to redo the entire side)
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Tijuana wrote: I was able to do that with another peice of pipe i have. It's about 4 ft above the ground but I figure that's better than the current setup (for now hbtil the weather is better to redo the entire side)
You could just use a hack saw and saw a bit of it off the bottom of the pipe that is already there.
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Katedontbreak wrote: You could just use a hack saw and saw a bit of it off the bottom of the pipe that is already there.
It's fully frozen so I'll do that when it melts a bit more
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Tijuana wrote: The ~4ft area that runs away from the house is slightly raise, so I'm guessing water started pooling there and escaped from the joint area which cause all the ice to form?

To reiterate, the rain barrel is NOT connected. I removed it, along with some ice, to show more of the downspout. You can tell the piece I replaced, since it's a different colour, and has tape around where it was inserted into.

The downspout is completely solid/frozen only from where the taped area is going down. Above it I can feel it is hollow/empty.

Once it gets warmer, what is the best way to fix this? Since the 90 deg angle is basically on the ground, I'm guessing it should be raised up to allow the water to flown down? Would that pretty much solve my issue?
I think you are basically right. The downspout on the ground got blocked/slowed by snow the water coming down started to freeze and back up. Looks like once it reached the lower taped joint it leaked out there and began forming the glacier around the pipe. In future I think you need the elbow at the bottom of the downspout to end there and be above the ground. This may mean seasonally removing/adding the additional downspout you have to get the water away from you house.

At this point you might be able to remove the white section and let the water flow for now (there shouldn't be a lot). Then once the lower section is unfrozen you can rework it to have the elbow off the ground and remove the extensions.
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Jun 11, 2010
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Tijuana wrote: Not sure how long this has been going on for but I seemingly just noticed it today.

The rain barrel is empty and I was able to separate it. I'm guessing the downspout disconnected somewhere near the ground (it's not burred, just runs down, across 4 ft to the fence, and along the fence for about 8-10ft).

Am I looking at any damage? Should I do anything?
What are you deciding to do? I just noticed not my downspout but my eavestroph actually froze up and overflowed. I cleaned it out in the fall so no idea why it happened. Purchased one of those heating lines and tossed it up for now but it doesn't seem to be doing much.

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