Rose Lake

Help - noisy down-spouts

12 posts in this topic

The down-spouts on our home (which drain the rain-gutters) are kind of musical (noisy) whenever there is a strong wind. They sound like a harmonica or train-whistle. This can be somewhat entertaining when we're awake, but when we'd like to sleep...

Any ideas for how we might stop this noise (without blocking the downspouts)? The house has vinyl-coated steel siding, and I believe that the downspouts are aluminum. We had the siding company put some additional fasteners on the downspouts, but this reduced the sound only a little, so that it's still noisy enough to interfere with sleep.

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The down-spouts on our home (which drain the rain-gutters) are kind of musical (noisy) whenever there is a strong wind. They sound like a harmonica or train-whistle. This can be somewhat entertaining when we're awake, but when we'd like to sleep...

Any ideas for how we might stop this noise (without blocking the downspouts)? The house has vinyl-coated steel siding, and I believe that the downspouts are aluminum. We had the siding company put some additional fasteners on the downspouts, but this reduced the sound only a little, so that it's still noisy enough to interfere with sleep.

I suspect your downspouts are curved on the bottom, and the noise you hear is the water making contact with the curved aluminum section. Try fitting a thin piece of some softer, non-metallic material on the curved section. If they do not already have some pre-made material for just that purpose, something designed to fit the standard downspout, then a good hardware store should be able to locate the best material to use. That should cut down the noise dramatically.

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I suspect your downspouts are curved on the bottom, and the noise you hear is the water making contact with the curved aluminum section. Try fitting a thin piece of some softer, non-metallic material on the curved section. If they do not already have some pre-made material for just that purpose, something designed to fit the standard downspout, then a good hardware store should be able to locate the best material to use. That should cut down the noise dramatically.

Thank you Stephen. However, this noise occurs when it is not raining, but just very windy.

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The down-spouts on our home (which drain the rain-gutters) are kind of musical (noisy) whenever there is a strong wind. They sound like a harmonica or train-whistle. This can be somewhat entertaining when we're awake, but when we'd like to sleep...

Any ideas for how we might stop this noise (without blocking the downspouts)? The house has vinyl-coated steel siding, and I believe that the downspouts are aluminum. We had the siding company put some additional fasteners on the downspouts, but this reduced the sound only a little, so that it's still noisy enough to interfere with sleep.

Coincidentally, I architectural sheet metal contractor and a member of this board.

The most common sound that I have seen occur is when a piece of metal is not fastened properly and vibrates really quickly, but that tends to make more of a high pitched hum then a whistle. To stop it, on a windy day go out and find the offending piece and refasten it.

If it has a more airy sound it may just be an effect similiar to when you blow sideways across a bottle, in which case you could put a diverter onto the bottom of the downspout which turns it away from the prevailing wind direction.

If it is neither of these things, perhaps you could explain it in more detail and I might be able to think of some other possibility.

best

Gordon

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Whistling downspouts! Do they all whistle? If not, what's the pattern? Is there something about these downspouts that are different from the norm, like the bottom horizontal part being too short or too long or too flat, compared to other homes? Have you tried some temporary measures as experimentation, perhaps a couple of bricks placed just to the sides, to see whether it changes anything? Have you ever tried to figure out if the wind is whistling at the mouth of the spout or between the spout and the wall? For instance, if it's whistling and you go outside and put your hand to block the opening does it stop?

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From what you have described it sounds vibration at a resonant frequency.

First make sure all the attachments are tight, then the next time it happens, go out and push your hand against the pipe in various places to see if that stops it. Find the place where that makes the most difference and attach it tightly at those points.

If the pipe itself vibrating is not the main cause of the noise, the sound may be due to vortices in the air regularly shed off the pipe as a strong wind blows by (like electrical wires humming in a wind, or a loud vibration from carrying a ladder on top of a moving car). Experiment to see where blocking the air flow makes the most difference.

The point is that you don't have to guess. Go out and fiddle with it while the nosise is there to see what makes a difference, then make that difference permanent.

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Thanks for the ideas everybody. Hmmm. It's worth trying the diverter first, at the bottom. But if that doesn't do the trick, I think that earplugs will have to do unless/until we buy a three-story extension ladder, with leveler, wait until there is a windstorm when we're home during the day, get up on the ladder, on a slope, during the windstorm, to discover the exact source(s) of the noise.

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Thanks for the ideas everybody. Hmmm. It's worth trying the diverter first, at the bottom. But if that doesn't do the trick, I think that earplugs will have to do unless/until we buy a three-story extension ladder, with leveler, wait until there is a windstorm when we're home during the day, get up on the ladder, on a slope, during the windstorm, to discover the exact source(s) of the noise.

Pragmatic solution---burn down the house! ;)

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That's extremism! Just rip out all the downspouts. ;)
Pfft! Such silliness! Just turn off the wind!

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until we buy a three-story extension ladder, with leveler, wait until there is a windstorm when we're home during the day, get up on the ladder, on a slope, during the windstorm, to discover the exact source(s) of the noise.

Actually, you can usually spot where the sound is coming from, from the ground. If you can localize it, then you could have a gutter guy come out and secure the spot without his having to be there on a windy day. If he knows at all what he's doing, then he should be able to find the cause if you get him within 10 feet of it.

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