weather center


Downspout Disconnection

Why Should I Disconnect?

During heavy rain, every downspout on your home can send 12 gallons of water a minute to the sewer system, which increases the risk of basement backups and sewer overflows.  Disconnect and help keep excess water out of sanitary sewers.

Some Downspouts Cannot be Disconnected

You do need enough green space in your yard to drain water into the ground naturally.  You cannot create water problems for neighbors or icy conditions on sidewalks, driveways or roads.  It's VERY important to check with your municipality to make sure you can legally disconnect and that you disconnect correctly.

What you will need:

  • Hacksaw
  • Tape measure
  • Hammer
  • Screw driver
  • Pliers
  • Sheet metal screws
  • Downspout elbow
  • Downspout extension
  • Splash block (optional)    
  • Rubber cap


Step 1: 

Contact your city or village to find out if you can legally disconnect. 

Step 2:
Measure 9" from where the downspout enters the sewer connection.
Step 3:
Cut the downspout with a hacksaw.
Step 4:
Cap the sewer pipe coming out of the ground.  In most cases, you should be able to use a simple rubber cap secured by hose clamp. You can also use a wing-nut test plug. 
Step 5:
Insert the downspout INTO the elbow (if you put the elbow into the downspout, it will leak). You may need to crimp the end of the downspout with a pair of pliers to get a good fit.
Step 6:
Attach a downspout pipe extension to carry water away from the house and foundation. You can use a hacksaw to cut the extension to the desired length. Be sure to insert the elbow into the extension to prevent leaks. Secure the elbow and extension with sheet metal screws. To prevent erosion where the water drains, you can place a splash block at the end of the downspout extension.