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Downspout Pop Up Drains: A Comprehensive Guide to Installation and Maintenance


A common problem homeowners face is basement flooding caused by water damage from heavy rain or snowmelt. The foundation and landscape can also be damaged if water is not properly drained away from the home. Installing a downspout pop up drain can help prevent these issues.In this article, we’ll provide a comprehensive guide to downspout pop up drains, including their benefits, types, factors to consider when choosing one, and instructions for installation and maintenance.

Benefits of Downspout Pop Up Drains

Downspout pop up drains offer several advantages compared to traditional underground drainage systems or splash blocks.

Prevents Basement Flooding

Basement flooding can cause thousands of dollars in damage and can lead to the growth of harmful mold and bacteria. Downspout pop up drains help to redirect water away from the foundation of the home, reducing the risk of flooding.

Protects Landscape and Foundation

Excess water can cause soil erosion, leaving landscape areas susceptible to damage. Additionally, water that remains near the foundation can seep into cracks, causing foundation damage. A downspout pop up drain can help ensure that water flows away from these areas, protecting them from damage.

No Need for Underground Drainage System

Traditional underground drainage systems can be expensive to install and may require the digging of trenches. Conversely, pop up drains can simply be installed at the end of a downspout, allowing water to flow away from the home without requiring any excavation.

Types of Downspout Pop Up Drains

There are several types of downspout pop up drains available, with each type having its own unique features.

Hinged Pop Up Drain

A hinged pop up drain opens to allow water to flow away from the home once it reaches a certain water level. Once the water has been drained away, the drain closes, preventing debris and animals from entering.

Automatic Pop Up Drain

An automatic pop up drain operates similarly to a hinged pop up drain, but it automatically opens and closes as water flows into and out of the drain. This type of drain may also be equipped with a debris filter to prevent blockages.

Splash Block Pop Up Drain

A splash block pop up drain is attached to an existing splash block and raises the height, allowing for better drainage. This type of drain works best when soil is low or sloping away from the home.

Factors to Consider when Choosing a Downspout Pop Up Drain

Several factors should be taken into consideration when selecting a downspout pop up drain.

Property Gradient

The slope of the property can impact the effectiveness of a downspout pop up drain. If the property is sloping towards the home, a drain will need to be installed at a greater distance from the foundation to ensure water flows away from the home.

Soil Type

The type of soil on the property can impact how quickly water flows away after a rainfall event. Soil that is composed of clay, for example, is more likely to become waterlogged.

Rainfall Intensity

Homes situated in areas that experience heavy rainfall may require a larger or more robust downspout pop up drain to ensure that water can be drained away effectively.


The cost of downspout pop up drains can vary, depending on the type of drain, size, and features. Homeowners should consider how much they are willing to spend when selecting a drain.

Installation and Maintenance

Downspout Pop Up Drains

Installation of a downspout pop up drain will vary based on the chosen drain type and the property’s layout. However, there are some basic steps that can be followed.

Step-by-step Installation Guide

  1. First, choose the location for the downspout pop up drain, ensuring it is far enough away from the home to drain effectively.
  2. Dig a hole for the drain that is deep enough to allow the drain to sit below ground level.
  3. Attach the downspout elbow to the downspout and run it down to the drain location.
  4. Place the drain in the hole.
  5. Backfill the area around the drain and pack dirt down securely.
  6. Test the downspout pop up drain by running water through it to check for proper drainage.

Maintenance and Cleaning Tips

It’s important to regularly maintain and clean a downspout pop up drain to ensure proper function.

Frequently Asked Questions

How far away from the home should a downspout pop up drain be installed?

A downspout pop up drain should be installed at least 10 feet away from the home.

How deep should a downspout pop up drain be installed?

A downspout pop up drain should be installed below ground level to allow water to drain away from the home effectively.

What type of maintenance is required for a downspout pop up drain?

Regular cleaning and inspections are necessary to ensure proper function. Blockages should be removed as soon as they are noticed, and any signs of damage should be addressed promptly.

How much does a downspout pop up drain cost?

The cost of a downspout pop up drain will vary based on several factors, including size, features, and chosen drain type. However, prices can range from $15 to $200.

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Don’t let water damage your home or landscape. Protect your property by installing a downspout pop up drain. With the range of types available and the ease of installation, it’s never been simpler to ensure that excess water is drained away from your property. By following our guide to installation and maintenance, you can enjoy peace of mind, knowing that your home is protected.

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