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How do I stop the dripping noise from my gutters?

I have metal downspouts that come down from by gutters. One of them happens to be right by my bedroom window. When the rain is just right this downspout will often make an extremely loud pinging sound when water is coming down slowly (think someone hitting a coffee can with a spoon ever 2 seconds). For some reason this rhythmic sound seems to wake me up and then drive me mad.

Has anyone else had this problem and found a good solution? I tried stuffing rocks up the down spout in the hopes that they would quiet things down. This works for a short time, but every big storm they seem to wash away. Suggestions?

FYI - the downspout comes down perpendicular to the ground and then angles out 135 degrees from perpendicular.


6 Answers 6


Replace the downspout with a decorative downspout chain. Then water only drips inches to the next link, rather than all at once, the height of your downspout.

Downspout chains

  • 3
    If you don't like the look of rain chains, you could also try hanging a regular small chain down the inside of the vertical piece of gutter. It might slow the descent enough to quiet it.
    – JohnFx
    Mar 4, 2011 at 1:26
  • 1
    Our downspouts have been flowing about 25 gallons a minute during even moderate storms. Surely something like this isn't going to have any chance during a heavy downpour?
    – Jestep
    May 27, 2015 at 17:32

You are trying to solve the wrong problem. The problem is not the water coming down, the problem is the sound. Stuffing stuff inside the downspout will only clog it one day anyway.

So my solution is to kill the sound! The downspout makes a sound when water drips down inside. But it is the sound that is the problem.

Take any drum. Bang on it with a drumstick. It makes noise, lots of it. (Ok, when someone else applies drumsticks to a drum, perhaps they make music. When I do it, I make noise.) The point is, now, hold your hand on the surface of the drum. Apply those same drumsticks. What noise results? The answer is a great decrease in the amplitude of the sound, and probably the frequency of that sound too.

Essentially, my solution would be to find something that will wrap tightly around the downspout, deadening the sound that is produced. At least you want to change the natural frequency response of the downspout.

You might buy a section of PVC pipe, 5-6 inches in diameter. Slip it up around the downspout in the offending area. Then fill the space between the downspout and the PVC pipe with an expanding foam. (Fill with foam slowly, as it expands by a large amount, and it can be messy.) There are many other ways to do something like this, but the point is clear.


I think you need to increase the angle of the vertical piece just slightly so the drips can't fall the entire length of the spout and then hit the angle portion at the bottom; instead they will silently wet themselves to the side of the spout and then roll down. Detach the bottom end from the house and play with the angle while you have a slow trickling hose feeding into the gutter. When you find the best angle, reattach the spout to the house in that position using a block spacer if necessary.


I recently installed the third gutter system on my house in 40 years. The dripping sound was maddening! Having had two others, I knew that it was this particular downspout. When I filled the gutter with water, I found a leak at the top of the downspout, where the water starts down from the gutter . The water was leaking out there and dripping down on the outward curve at the bottom. It wasn't even getting into the downspout. I can't get the company to come back and fix it so I'm on my own. I thought about that black rubber stuff that I've seen on a TV commercial. That might work as an insulater too. Hope this helps!


Maybe if you replaced the elbow at the bottom of the downspout with a plastic gutter piece the noise wouldn't be so pronounced. Of course, this assumes you have metal gutters now.


I have the same problem, right now. I thought about a chain in side of it, but found a patent online for an elbow with artificial turf nailed inside! I can't find it for sale, but it may be worth a try. (http://www.docstoc.com/search/rain-gutter-downspout-noise-attenuation-apparatus) Since I rent a condo, I have to be stealth! Good luck!

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