For the last year, one of my gutter is constantly clogged and overflow. The gutter is almost impossible to reach so I had to hire someone to clean the gutter. Last weekend I decided this was enough and started digging around the downspout to see if the drain was clogged. To my surprise I found no drain (see picture). It’s just a T-shape PVC pipe. Both side of the pipe are open. This explain why the gutter would overflow when we get heavy rain.

Is this allowed in the building code? From my point of view someone clearly took a shortcut. I live in the Seattle, WA area (King County). The house was built in 2007.

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  • Code normally has very little to say about things like gutters, which are optional to have at all. While this appears to be a poorly chosen approach that does not work well, it's just something you'll need to re-do, better. – Ecnerwal Jun 16 at 11:25
  • That's wild! Worse than just having it stop a foot off the ground, because this way you make sure water is against the foundation. Great photo. – Willk Jun 16 at 22:16

In most areas I'm familiar with, gutters don't drain into the sewage or storm drain systems. This looks like a flow diverter, but a very poor one. Are there any holes in the PVC pipe? The ones I've seen are much longer and have holes so they act like a French Drain but they usually head away from the house and not along side of it. You can just add a 90 degree bend to your downspout and direct the rain water away from your house.

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  • No, there isn’t any hole. It’s a 4 inch PVC pipe with both side open. On top of that, it drains next to the house foundation... – Martin Jun 16 at 2:37
  • Cleaning the gutter will not necessary resolve the gutter overflowing issue. The downspout may be clogged with debris. I have cleaned my neighbor downspouts and at least 3-4 ft of the sprout were clogged. You may be able to fish a plumber drain wire from the bottom up into the downspout and clean it out. – Programmer66 Jun 16 at 2:48
  • I clearly establish that the problem isn’t the gutter or downspout. They are clean. The downspout drains into the pipe (see picture) which ends less than a feet from the downspout. The water drain against the foundation is slow... So when we get heavy rain, the gutter and downspout get full and then overflow because the water has nowhere to go. – Martin Jun 16 at 2:51
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    @Martin so do what the answer suggests and install a French drain heading away from the house. If you don't have the space then dig a soakaway. – Solar Mike Jun 16 at 4:10
  • &check your other gutters – Willk Jun 16 at 22:17

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