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How do I stop the noise from my gutters?

I have a very unusual problem with a downspout. It rises 20 ft from an elbow on the ground to a gutter above. It produces a sound that sounds like water dripping. But it is so loud it can be heard 25 ft away in the house. It sounds like the impact point has a microphone and amplifier next to it. Really annoying. The frequency of the dripping varies from 2 drops/sec to 1 drop in 15 seconds. It drips even when it hasn't rained for days. Condensation, I presume. This problem has persisted for years.

I haven't checked the downspout at the gutter. The ladder run looks a little precarious. I think the only condition that would cause this situation would be a downspout clogged with water that is near the top of the downspout. I'm thinking that if I could somehow redirect water to run down agains the side of the downspout verse the middle the noise would be eliminated. Is this a common occurrence?

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marked as duplicate by Jeff Widmer Jun 14 '11 at 9:16

This question was marked as an exact duplicate of an existing question.

Also: diy.stackexchange.com/q/4838/22 – Niall C. Mar 27 '11 at 18:46
@Niall and @doresoom are exactly right. It's a duplicate. – allindal May 15 '11 at 17:31

One very quick-and-dirty fix I've seen is to cut a styrofoam cup - a big one - in half and stick it in the elbow at the bottom. (Convex side up, or concave side up? Opinions vary.) The drips are MUCH quieter when they land on the styrofoam than on the sheet metal of the elbow.

You'd want to be careful that you don't block the flow in an actual storm, of course, and the styrofoam makes an extra edge for debris to get caught on - but if you just want to get some sleep, this is a cheap and quick way to do it.

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