Back in the day when my brother and I were teenagers living in Bethesda Maryland, our mom would assign us chores to perform outside the house during growing season. My job was to edge and water the lawn; my brother’s chore was to clean out the gutters.
Cleaning out the gutters was not an easy task. He would have to pull out the ladder and set it up at one end of the gutter, climb and pull out decaying leaves, then climb down the ladder and move it slightly so that he could clean out the next section of gutter, and on and on.
I bet he would have enjoyed the task more if he had a tool that would allow him to clean the gutter without climbing up and down and moving the ladder.
It is said that this DIY rain gutter cleaner costs no more than $5 and allows the user to keep his or her feet on the ground while cleaning the gutter of a home.
The items you will need to construct the gutter cleaner include:
· 1 10-foot long ¾ PVC pipe.
· 1 ¾-inch PVC garden hose adapter
· 1 ¾-inch PVC ball valve
· 1 ¾-inch PVC L
· 1 ¾-inch to ½-inch L (1/2-inch side threaded)
· 1 6-inch sprinkler riser ½-inch in diameter
· 1 can of PVC glue
Tools You Will Need
· PVC pipe cutter or hacksaw
The first thing you will need to do is cut up the PVC pipe. The pipe should be cut into three pieces:
· One piece 6-inches long
· One piece 24-inches long
· One piece 6-feet long
The six-foot length pipe is actually determined by the height of the house. When the tool is assembled, you will want it to reach up to the gutter of the house and be comfortable for the user, who is standing on the ground, to handle it.
Next thing to work on is the assembly of the tool.
It is advised that you totally assemble the gutter cleaner before you glue the pieces together to assure that everything is well aligned.
· Connect the 6-inch piece of PVC to the two L connectors. This should create a U-shaped hook that can fit into the gutter.
· Connect the sprinkler riser to the threaded L connector.
· Connect the 6-foot length of PVC to the L connector.
· Connect the valve to the 6-foot long PVC.
· Connect the 2-inch length PVC to the other end of the valve.
· Connect the garden hose adapter to the end.
If your house is taller than 6-feet, then add a PVC pipe that accounts for the difference and attach to the 6-foot pipe. It is suggested that you use threaded couplers on the long pieces so it can be taken apart for storage.
Now you are ready to use the cleaner. It is suggested that you wear clothes that you won’t mind getting wet. Don’t worry. You will not get wet every time you use the tool. After a short time using the cleaner, you will be accustomed to its use and you will no longer get wet.
· Close the valve.
· Connect the garden hose to the base of the cleaner.
· Turn on the water.
· Put the hook in the gutter.
· Turn on the valve.
Simply guide the tool back and forth along the gutter until it is clean. The gutter includes clips every couple of feet. So when the cleaner encounters a clip, simply lift the hook up so that it can pass over the clip.
If the gutter is filled with debris, then start at the end with the drain and lush it out first, then move along the rest of the gutter.
There is one more benefit to this tool. It’s great for cleaning out clogged drains.
(Idea and photos courtesy of Instructables)