I wanna make my own gutter cleaner...PROJECT DONE

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Minister of Fire
Hearth Supporter
May 20, 2008
Ok folks, I have a hard time paying folks for things I can do myself, but I need my gutters cleaned.
I ain't going up on a ladder, as a few years back we have a good friend our age (late 30's) take a spill off one, and is now confined to a wheelchair.....so, needless to say I am not allowed up on a ladder.
Anyway, our house is surrounded by pine trees, and I always get a pileup of pine needles at each of the four drops where the gutter attaches to the downspout......just trying to get someone to come out to the house seems to be a problem, and can never count on the person to show.
Anyway, at each downspout upstairs, I have a window in each corner of the house. I have tried cleaning them with the curved water thing on the end of a house, but have well water and the pressure isn't too good....just seems to make a big mess. (2 story house)
Here is my idea....welcome to laugh...thinking of buying some pvc pipe ...maybe an 8 foot section, and place a curved piece on the end shaped like a U. Anyway, I was then going to attach the pvc wand to my shop vac, and then suck out what pine needles are on each end...I don't get any leaves, and the pine needles are usually always dry.....what ever leaves dont get sucked up in the vacuum...perhaps I reattach the vac house to the output and blow the rest of them out.

Only item I am not sure about is...if it will work? And if so, should I go with a smaller diameter pvc that attaches to the house to create most suction/blowing force? Was thinking they might have a pvc pipe reducer that would allow me to put a smaller diamter pipe on?
heard of one with the u shape made out of about 3" pvc (or so) and mounted on a leaf blower
been gonna try that myself
Just get up on a damn ladder. Unless you have a fear of heights, just use the ladder correctly and you'll be fine.

I used to climb a magnolia tree as a kid to get on the 2nd story to clean ours, cause my dad was too cheap to buy a ladder. I'd take the garden hose up with me and drop it down to my brother to hook up to the faucet. Then I'd just spray away walking along the edge.
Still do mine with a ladder. If its windy, I take a bungie or rope up with me and tie the ladder off to a couple of the hangers.
Roofed for many years & never fell.
Most roofing company have what they call a gutter clean out plan or fall maintenance plan. You could try calling around and see. They usually inspect the roof and check all the flashing also.
Een if you do it yourself. Might be a good idea every few years to have a maintenance inspection done so you can become aware of any small problems before they become a larger expensive one.
Ladder spotter and a safety line. If it is the DW who is saying "no ladders" have her be the spotter. When I was rigging canopies at the Renaissance Faire (California) we used plain rope as a safety line / belt ... there was a special way to tie it so it was secure but easy to move, but I don't recall what that was.

I really need to clean our gutters. There is a monster green ash on the border between us the the neighbors to the west. It's lovely and provides great shade, but the little seed "propellers" are a pain and they fill the gutters in no time. I need to get me some of them gutter screens to keep the leaves and gunk out of the gutters in the first place.

Fortunately, ours is a one-story house and an 8 ft A-Frame ladder is plenty for cleaning gutters. And I have also found that the hose end thing for cleaning gutters is not really worth the brass its made from.

- Sequoia
I go up on my roof about a dozen times a year with the leaf blower due to overhanging trees. (But the shade saves $100's on the cooling bill in summer so I live with it) But I think the PVC pipe attached to a leaf blower would be your best bet. I would try to find the thin Schedule 10 drain pipe as opposed to the heavy Schedule 40 DWV pipe to save weight. Just match it up closely to the leaf blower diameter. Maybe heat the end and pinch it down a little to increase the air velocity. Also look for 'sanitary' fittings which have a gentle 'U' bend as opposed to normal elbows which are a sharp "L" - this will also keep your air velocity up. Use a rubber connector between the PVC and the leaf blower and you should be set!
Suck or blow, take your pick.



Sucking is proabbly a bit more of a chalenge to get all the gunk out, but there is less cleanup later since you're picking it all up right away...if you blow it out you'll probably get cleaner gutters, but then have a mess to pick up.

I agree, get up on the ladder and do it yourself. Saw an ingenious method online where a guy noticed that a 1 gallon antifreez jug is very close to the exact shape of the gutter, so he cut one in half at an angle adn jsut scoops the crap out and into a garbage bag.
Thanks for the info folks.
For those folks that just say climb the damn ladder....I hear you...but I may not have explained the setup too well.
At the front of the house, there is a steep slope from house to where the ladder would be on the ground...probably another 3/4 of a story or so....in addition to this, the foundation is showing about 6 feet before the window starts, so the first story is high enough that you could not even peek inthe first floor window... so if I did get a ladder, it would probably need to be a 40 footer, and I'm thinking that is going to run big bucks.....also, I would climb the ladder, but I also have a significant other that I live with and provided me three beautiful kids, so that is the major reason I am not getting on the ladder.....not really my choice, but thats the deal you make after being married for a while...compromises, right :) (If our friend was not in a wheelchair, it might be a different story)
Thanks for the tips and ideas...I'll be schlepping down to the store over the next few days and will post how I made out.
Well, picked up some 2" waste pvc pipe and some elbows and couplers....spent about $20 on all the stuff.
Assembled, and attached to my shop vac.....was a little clumsy working it, but it did a good job. Ran it on suck mode first and sucked up all the pine needles near each drop.....then, ran the blower on each end to get the little stuff out. Good thing is my house gets full sun, and I have no leaves....just pine needles......this project probably wouldn't work too well with heavy/wet leaves unless you had a more powerful vac....but for $20 duckets, I'm pretty happy with it, and can do it 3-4 times a year now.
Thanks for the ideas folks
I pay 70$ to have my gutter done and 125$ to have chimney clean Both are 40ft up.
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