Gutter-Sucker... A No Climb Gutter Cleaner
Living on the west coast of Canada has a lot of pluses, but gutter maintenance several times a year
is not my idea of fun. I have a 2 story house surrounded by pine and fir trees that fill the gutters
during every wind storm. My roof is concrete tile and is pretty much a no hassle roof,
although it does grow a few moss balls once and a while. The roof pitch is steep enough that I am
uncomfortable walking around on the roof. This project came about after I bought a new wet/dry
- A good shop vaccum - bigger is better as long as it is portable
- 2 lengths of 2" PVC water pipe (200psi rating)
- a 2" pvc to 2" threaded adapter
- 2 90 degree PVC elbows
The top piece that goes into the gutter is heated and flattened slightly to make it easier
to get past the edge of the roofing material. While it is warm, you want to angle it a little to
match the slope on the front of the gutters. This may take several tries until you find a shape that can easily
get into the bottom of your gutters without damaging the roofing material.
I have gutters at several levels. You will want to
cut one piece of pipe so that it clears the ground by several feet when hanging in your lowest gutter.
The second length of pipe is cut so that when it is attached to the short pipe, the assembled unit can
comfortably reach your highest gutter. Remember, dont glue the connection between the two
vertical pipe sections, and do not glue the connection between the threaded adapter
and the lower pipe section. The connection between the 2 vertical sections of pipe uses the expanded section that
is on one end of the PVC pipes. Lay this all out on the grass before you cut the pipes as you need to get the
orientation of the joint correct so that the shop vac hose adapter can be used on the lower section of the short pipe
or the lower part of the bottom pipe. The expanded joint should be on the upper part of the lower extention pipe.
I did not glue any of the joints as the friction fit holds very well. Once you have determined the
best nozzle arrangement for your gutters, the pieces in the head of the gutter-sucker could be glued
with PVC cement.
The bottom end of the gutter-sucker has the PVC to 2" threaded adapter pressed on (no glue).
This piece was a good friction fit for my shop vacuum hose. This adapter is moved from the bottom of the assembly
to the bottom of the upper pipe when cleaning lower gutters.
How Do I Use It?
Start at one end of the gutter, dropping the gutter-sucker head into the gutter. Raise and lower
the gutter-sucker about 4 or 5 inches while moving it slowly along the length of the gutter.
As you hit patches of gutter gunk, you will be rewarded with sound of the chunks flying down the
pipe and into the shp vac. About every 2' or so, you will run into the gutter hangers... just lift the
gutter-sucker up and over and continue with the exercise until the entire length of the gutter is clean.
Listen to the sound of the shop vac. If the nozzle gets plugged, the vacuum will speed up as the impeller stalls
in the stagnant air. Lifting the gutter-sucker up and tapping it on the edge of the gutter will usually clear
the plug. I have never had the pipe or shop vac hose plug up with the needles or moss balls. The smallest part
of the suction path is the nozzle opening.
This is the result of cleaning just one 30 foot gutter at the end of the summer.
The needles collect and hold the water, and then the moss starts to grow!. With the old
way of cleaning the gutters, all this mess would have been tossed from the roof all over
the lawn, deck and side walk. With the gutter-sucker attachment, its all neatly collected and ready for
the compost heap.