Easily Clean Your Gutters With This Genius PVC Pipe Hack

Cleaning out gutters is no one's idea of how to spend a Saturday. You can either creep around on your roof or climb up and down a ladder a hundred times, and being at the top of a ladder is not the most relaxing way to spend an afternoon. Alas, neglecting to clean your gutters does a lot of harm, allowing water to back up and damage your roof, soffits, walls, and the gutters themselves. Thankfully, there's a DIY tool that can help you take care of the gutters while you stand flat-footed on the ground. Even better, it's inexpensive, doesn't take long, and doesn't require special skills to make. Meet the DIY PVC gutter cleaner, which is basically a long pole with a hook at the end that lets you clear your gutters using water pressure.

The most common PVC gutter cleaner design is demonstrated by the Howcast YouTube channel. Howcast uses ½-inch PVC for their build, but you might consider ¾-inch pipe instead if you have a high roof. The ¾-inch pipe is more rigid and can handle longer lengths without getting too bendy. That's important because you want to control the sprayer end from the ground, not follow it around like someone on a unicycle chasing a spinning plate. The size of pipe you choose will drive most of your purchases, which shouldn't amount to much more than pipe and a handful of PVC connectors. 

Making the PVC gutter cleaner

Your goal is to make a long "J" shaped sprayer with a cap at one end and a garden hose attachment at the other. Start at the sprayer end by cutting two 4-inch to 6-inch lengths from a standard 10-foot PVC pipe; use longer segments for larger gutters. Put these and the rest of the pipe together to make the hook shape using two 90-degree elbows. (Some designs use one 90- and one 45-degree joint, which might be helpful if you can't stand close to your house.)

You'll want to use PVC glue to hold the thing together, but it's probably a good idea to dry-fit everything together first to ensure a quality build. Then, glue a cap on the short end and drill three 1/16-inch holes into it. Howcast uses ⅛-inch holes, which you can size up to if needed — unless your outdoor faucet suffers from low water pressure, that is.

Next comes the hose end of your gutter cleaner where you'll glue a garden hose adapter and a garden hose shutoff valve (if you expect to wander far from your hose bibb). This is handy if you're forced to pause in order to navigate shrubbery or climb up to retrieve a stray Frisbee you forgot about. Attach a hose, and you're ready to clean those gutters!