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 This application claims the priority of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/312,642, filed Aug. 15, 2001, the entire contents of which is hereby incorporated by reference.
 This invention relates to gutter systems used in residential and commercial applications to handle collection of rain water from building roofs.
 Gutter systems in common use today include a gutter in the form of a trough that extends along and below the edge of a building's roof to collect rain water shed from the roof shingles. The gutter is rigidly attached to the building fascia and is typically pitched towards one of its ends where a downspout is attached to route the collected water to a location on or under the ground surrounding the building. Apart from rain water, conventional gutters may also collect leaves and other debris that can block the free flow of water out of the gutter through the downspout, sometimes causing the collected water to spill over the upper edges of the gutter trough. Periodic cleaning of the gutter can be done to avoid this problem; however, this cleaning can be difficult if not dangerous for homeowners and contractors since it normally requires ladder access, often at high heights. Specialized equipment can be used in lieu of ladder access, but such equipment can be expensive or problematic to use successfully.
 In northern climes, ice damage can occur at the lower regions of the roof near the gutter. This is usually the result of snow melting from heat loss through the roof, with the melted snow running down the roof to the eaves and gutter where temperatures may be sufficiently colder to refreeze the water. As a result, ice dams can build up at the gutter and roof edge, which can not only cause lifting of the shingles and resulting damage to the roof, but can also trap pools of water between the ice dam and warmer portions of the roof, with the pooled water seeping into the building structure under the shingles and causing water damage within the building. Removing ice dams once they have developed can be expensive, dangerous, and damaging to the roof and gutter. Preventing them with heating cables can be costly both in terms of the cost for the cables and the electricity used.
 Gutter systems are known in which the gutter is either rotated or pivoted about an axis to invert the gutter trough so that debris within the gutter can be dumped without requiring ladder access to the gutter. A number of different approaches have been proposed over the years, yet such gutter systems remain uncommon in ordinary residential and commercial applications. To be commercially successful, a gutter system should provide a proper balance between cost, durability, ease of installation, and ease of use.
 It is thus a general object of the invention to provide a rotatable gutter system that permits rotation of the gutter trough to permit easy cleaning of the trough and that does so in a manner which overcomes at least some of the disadvantages found in the prior art.
 In accordance with the invention, there is provided a rotatable gutter system that includes a gutter having an elongated trough extending from a first end to a second end, and at least a pair of support members each located at one of the two ends of the gutter. The gutter is supported by the support members and is rotatable relative to the support members about an axis that extends between them. At least one of the support members includes a central opening, with the gutter including a drive member accessible at the opening. Rotation of the drive member causes concomitant rotation of the gutter. In this way, the gutter can be inverted for easy cleaning and for storage during winter months to prevent ice buildup in the gutter. An elongated drip edge can be provided above the gutter such that it contacts an outer surface of the gutter when it is rotated to a closed (inverted) position.
 The drive member preferably comprises a drive post that extends through the central opening and can be implemented as an end piece of the gutter with the drive post being a unitary extension of the end piece. A drive mechanism can then be used to engage the drive post to thereby rotate the drive post and gutter. Any suitable drive mechanism can be used, including a hand tool (which may have a telescoping handle and/or a hand grip tool that permits rotation of the gutter by squeezing of the tool handle), a pulley system, or an electrically-operated motor drive.
 Each of the support members can comprise an end cap that fits over its associated end of the gutter and each of the end supports can include a retaining ring that is integral with the end cap and that engages a portion of the gutter to captively retain that portion of the gutter between the retaining ring and the end cap.
 Preferred exemplary embodiments of the invention will hereinafter be described in conjunction with the appended drawings, wherein like designations denote like elements, and wherein:
 Referring first to FIGS.
 As shown in
 The trough
 As described above, the gutter
 Referring now to both
 As is also best seen in
 Turning now to FIGS.
 The drip edge
 This may be preferred where the drip edge
 Turning now to FIGS.
 It will thus be apparent that there has been provided in accordance with the present invention a rotatable gutter system which achieves the aims and advantages specified herein. It will of course be understood that the foregoing description is of exemplary embodiments of the invention and that the invention is not limited to the specific embodiments shown. Various changes and modifications will become apparent to those skilled in the art. For example, additional supports could be installed at spaced locations between the end caps for longer sections of gutter. These could take the form of a bracket having a curved support surface against which the bottom of the trough rests. All such variations and modifications are intended to come within the scope of the appended claims.