Title:
Method for preventing clogs in a gutter
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A method for preventing clogs in a gutter assembly having a horizontal gutter with an end wall and a vertical leader connected to the gutter via a hole in a bottom of the gutter. The following steps are completed in the method:
    • 1. removing the vertical leader from the gutter;
    • 2. sealing the hole in the gutter;
    • 3. removing the end wall of the gutter;
    • 4. attaching a first end of a flexible tube to an end of the gutter where the end wall was removed so that water and debris flows through the gutter and into the flexible tube; and
    • 5. attaching a second end of the flexible tube to the leader, so that water and debris from the flexible tube flows through the leader and out onto the ground.



Inventors:
Rossi, Douglas (Huntington, NY, US)
Application Number:
11/521296
Publication Date:
03/20/2008
Filing Date:
09/14/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04D13/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HERRING, BRENT W
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
COLLARD & ROE, P.C. (ROSLYN, NY, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A method for preventing clogs in a gutter assembly having a horizontal gutter with an end wall and a vertical leader connected to the gutter via an hole in a bottom of the gutter, the method comprising: removing the vertical leader from the gutter; sealing the hole in the gutter; removing the end wall of the gutter; attaching a first end of a flexible tube to an end of the gutter where the end wall was removed so that water and debris flows through the gutter and into the flexible tube; and attaching a second end of the flexible tube to the leader, so that water and debris from the flexible tube flows through the leader and out onto the ground.

2. The method according to claim 1, wherein said step of attaching the first end of the flexible tube to the end of the gutter comprises: attaching an adaptor piece to the end of the gutter, said adaptor piece having a first section with a cross section that corresponds to a cross-section of the gutter, and a second section that corresponds to a cross-section of the flexible tube, wherein the first section is attached to the gutter by placing the first section inside an end segment of the gutter and securing said first section to said end segment, and attaching the second section to the flexible tube, by sliding the second section inside the flexible tube and fastening the second section and flexible tube together.

3. The method according to claim 1, wherein the flexible tube has an extendable shape.

4. The method according to claim 2, wherein the cross section of the first segment is polygonal, and the cross section of the first segment is round or oval.

5. The method according to claim 2, wherein the adaptor piece is secured to the gutter and leader via screws.

6. The method according to claim 5, further comprising applying sealant around connection points between the adaptor piece and the gutter and leader.

7. A kit for configuring a gutter and leader arrangement on a building so as to prevent clogs in the gutter, comprising: a flexible extension tube; an adaptor having a first segment with a rectangular cross section and a second segment matching the cross-section of one end of the flexible extension tube, and a patch for sealing an hole in the gutter where the gutter was connected to the leader.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a method for preventing clogs of debris in a residential or commercial gutter. In particular, the invention relates to a method for connecting the gutter to the leader or downspout that avoids clog-inducing angles.

2. The Prior Art

Conventional gutters are connected to leaders, which extend vertically along the sides of a building, to drain the water from the gutter into the ground. The standard method of connection is to form a hole in the bottom of the gutter and attach the leader directly to the gutter via the hole. This arrangement has the disadvantage that debris such as leaves must travel through a 90 degree angle in order to exit the gutter. Often, the leaves simply flow past the hole in the gutter and collect against the end of the gutter, eventually clogging the gutter entirely.

One solution to this problem is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 6,497,816 to Naddy. Here, the gutter is connected to the leader via the end of the gutter and an open collector box. The leaves and other solid debris are allowed to flow out of the collector box while the water drains directly into the leader.

Another device is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 6,668,492 to Warns. This device is an open overflow chute that allows solid debris to flow directly out of the gutter. Water from the gutter still flows down through the leader opening, which is covered by mesh.

Another device is shown in U.S. Pat. No. 5,678,360 to Fort et al., which shows a liquid separator for a gutter. Here, the end of the gutter is open, to allow debris to flow off of the gutter and onto the ground. The bottom of the gutter has a curved slope, which leads into an opening in the leader. Water supposedly flows around the curved slope and directly into the leader, while the debris falls onto the ground.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of the invention to provide a method for preventing clogs in a gutter that is simple to install on existing gutter assemblies, and which reliably removes debris from the gutter.

This object is accomplished by a method for preventing clogs in a gutter assembly having a horizontal gutter with an end wall and a vertical leader connected to the gutter via an hole in a bottom of the gutter. The method comprises the following steps:

    • 1. removing the vertical leader from the gutter;
    • 2. sealing the hole in the gutter;
    • 3. removing the end wall of the gutter;
    • 4. attaching a first end of a flexible tube to an end of the gutter where the end wall was removed, so that water and debris flows through the gutter and into the flexible tube; and
    • 5. attaching a second end of the flexible tube to the leader, so that water and debris from the flexible tube flows through the leader and out onto the ground.

If desired, a larger-than-normal leader can be substituted for the original leader, to ensure that even the largest debris is carried away.

To attach the flexible tube to the gutter and leader, an adaptor piece may be required, especially if the flexible tube has a cross section that is of a different shape than the cross section of the gutter and leader.

The adaptor piece has a first segment that matches the cross section of the end of the gutter, and has a second segment that matches the cross section of the flexible tube.

The first segment of the adaptor piece is attached to the end of the gutter, and the second segment to the flexible tube, by sliding the second segment inside the flexible tube and fastening the second section and flexible tube together. In one embodiment, the cross section of the first segment is rectangular or trapezoidal, and the cross section of the first segment is round or oval.

The adaptor piece is preferably secured to the gutter and leader via screws. Other methods of attachment could also be used. To prevent leaks and to keep the adaptor piece securely connected to the gutter and leader, it is recommended to apply caulk or sealant around connection points between the adaptor piece and the gutter and leader.

In a preferred embodiment, the flexible tube has an accordion-like shape so that it bends easily, yet can be formed from a durable plastic material. A good example of a flexible tube that is suitable for this purpose is disclosed in United States Patent Application No. US2005/015560 to Handley, or in U.S. Pat. No. 6,223,777 to Smith et al.

The invention also comprises a kit of all the components necessary to practice the method according to the invention. The kit contains the adaptor device, the flexible tube, and a patch for patching the hole in the gutter. The kit could also include the necessary screws and sealant for securing the assembly together. The kit could also include any tools that may be necessary to remove the end cap from the gutter, remove the leader from the gutter or perform any other operations during the method according to the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Other objects and features of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description considered in connection with the accompanying drawings. It is to be understood, however, that the drawings are designed as an illustration only and not as a definition of the limits of the invention.

In the drawings, wherein similar reference characters denote similar elements throughout the several views:

FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of a standard gutter-leader arrangement on a building;

FIG. 2 shows the arrangement created by the method according to the invention;

FIG. 3 shows the step of attaching the adaptor device to the gutter and to the extension tube; and

FIG. 4 shows the arrangement created by the method according to the invention in operation.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring now in detail to the drawings, FIG. 1 shows a standard gutter-leader arrangement mounted on a house 1. Gutter 10 extends horizontally and ends in an end cap 11. A leader 20 extends vertically down from an hole 12 in the bottom of gutter 10. Because of the sharp angle between the gutter and the entrance to leader 20, leaves 14 and other debris can easily become trapped in gutter 10. This is also exacerbated by the space between end cap 11 and hole 12, where leaves collect if they are not washed down leader 20.

In the method according to the invention shown in FIGS. 2-4, this sharp angle and space are eliminated. In the method, leader 20 is removed from gutter 10, and hole 12 is closed with a patch 13. Next, end cap 11 is removed. An adaptor device 30 is then attached to the end of gutter 10 and to a flexible extension tube 40.

Adaptor device 30 has a rectangular cross section 31 at one end, which matches the cross-section of gutter 10, and a rounded cross-section 32 at the other end, which matches the cross-section of tube 40. This way, tube 40 can be connected to gutter 10 simply and securely. To hold adaptor device 30 in place, screws 41 can be placed in screw holes 42 at the connection points on each end of adaptor device 30. In addition, the joints between adaptor device 30 and gutter 10 and tube 40 can also be sealed with caulk or sealant 43. To attach leader 20 to tube 40, a conventional elbow joint 21 can be attached if needed. Otherwise, tube 40 is connected directly to leader 20 and secured with screws and sealant as described above.

The operation of the system produced according to the method is shown in FIG. 4. Because the method eliminates all sharp angles in the flow of the gutter system, all water, leaves and other debris flows directly out of the gutter and down into the leader, where it can exit onto the ground. Clogs in the gutter are thus prevented, which reduces the need for cleaning the gutters.

Accordingly, while only a few embodiments of the present invention have been shown and described, it is obvious that many changes and modifications may be made thereunto without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.