Cleaning Out Rain Gutters w/Shop Vacuum

     Now that Most Leaves are off the Trees it is time for me to address the rain gutter cleaning problem. My house is a ranch-type with the rain gutter located approximately 15 feet above ground surface. It occurred to me that perhaps I could stay on the ground surface and make use of my shop vacuum that I purchased at HD recently
I wonder if a tool attachment is already available for for the shop vacuums? Or, must I plan to fabricate something from PVC piping?
Vince Long Island, NY
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Did you find anything when you checked the web site for the manufacturer of your shop vac?
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My shop vac is by RIGID. I will search their web site now.
TNX.
On Sat, 01 Dec 2007 15:45:29 GMT, "JoeSpareBedroom"

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A shop vac might work but if the leaves are frozen to gutter like mine were the other day you'll need to deal with that first. I have a hot water hose bib so I ran hot water through the gutters to thaw them out.
I use my shop vac to clean around my wife's plants and garden nick- nacks, It's has (had) a Y connector inside the inlet to send the debris around the filter but I found that it would continually get clogged with leaves so I took it off. I just make sure I clean my filter more often, sometimes just turning it a bit whenever I empty the unit.
Even with that modification, it still clogs often, but I just unhook the hose and either flip it around sucking the clog in the opposite direction or stick the hose near the blower side and blow it out.
Sears makes a gutter cleaning kit, but it's for the *blower* side of the vac: http://tinyurl.com/2jc5zt
I wouldn't want to use the blower side cuz it would blow debris everywhere, which can make quite a mess if the leaves are wet and soggy like they typically are at my house.
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-snip-
Both- IMO. The gadget for the end that Sears sells is pretty good. [derbydad posted this url- http://tinyurl.com/2jc5zt ] My house is 2 stories- and the 1st floor is a few feet above grade so I'm reaching a lot farther than you'll need to. I have 4-5 of the stiff shop-vac extensions duct taped to a pool skimmer pole. If I was doing it again I'd probably attach it to a PVC or thinwall of some sort with a couple Fernco fittings.
Blow- don't suck. [I use my leaf blower with the attachment, now.
And save ever having to get the ladder out by running a single self-drilling sheet metal screw through the connections on the nozzle & any extensions you use.
Hurry- snow is coming.
Jim
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I agree the sears attachment works pretty good if you stay on top of it and don't let it get to bad. Otherwise Home Cheapo sells a nice plastic scoop that works well but you have to get up on a ladder.
Good Luck, Have fun:
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You'd need a ten thousand dollar shop vac to have enough power and capacity. Why not pay some kids if you haven't the physical ability?
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Silly. A shop vac can't pick up leaves?
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On Sat, 01 Dec 2007 15:20:24 +0000, Vince wrote:

I give the kid next door a 20, a ladder and a rake.
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Well, I have been to RIGID website (their customer service is not opened on wkends). They have a VT2517 Gutter Nozzle for $6.97 that is interesting and extension wands, VT2508, for $6.93.
Sears sells (Gutter Cleaning Accessory Kit, Sears Item # 00916935000) two wands and a gutter nozzle as a kit for $19.99. The local store does not have any in stock and the guy their never saw one in hand, either.
So, I will test whether my existing rigid wand allows me to reach the height of the gutter. One additional wand, perhaps, and the gutter nozzle from RIDGID should work out OKay for sucking or for blowing.
The kid next door is 4 months old! Insurance concerns convinces me to avoid getting a kid to do this task. I need the exercise, anyway!
I should have addressed the issue sooner than now, but I foolishly waited until the leaves were off the branches when thinking about cleaning gutters. With the proper tooling, I can imagine doing this task twic in the Spring and twice in Fall, or as necessary.
TNX folks for the heads up info.
Vince Long Island, NY
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I see that the Rigid one doesn't come with the cone end- my sears shop vac came with one- and I got another with the gutter cleaner. Without it, I don't think you'd have enough air pressure to blow them out.

-snip-
Unless all you have is dry small leaves, or pine needles, I wouldn't even try sucking. Blowing is a little messy- but you can make the mess and clean it up quicker than the time it will take to clear a clog every two minutes.
Jim
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Vince-My previous house (a cape cod) in Ohio had 2 mature pin oak trees in the front & 1 large maple in the back, plus similar mature trees on adjacent lots. Always did the leaves around thanksgiving and the gutters would be LOADED. Lived there 20 some years, used every means you can think of to clean the gutters, from scooping it out by hand, to flushing it out with a hose, to blasting it with a large leaf blower. The last 5 years, I used my Ridgid 5hp shop vac with 2 lengths of 2.5" hose. I always did it from a ladder, but this method was by far the quickest & best, hands down. In some places where the shingles overlapped the gutters more, I would attach the narrow upholstery tool, the end of which I had enlarged a bit. Only real pain is periodically emptying the container into bags, but even that's not too bad, especially if you have a helper, plus those are at least SOME leaves you don't have to rake. You do have to either get them before they freeze or wait for a thaw, the logistics of which will vary on your location. I have seen ads for a long, hook shaped extension that supposedly allow you to do this from the ground, but I'm skeptical.
I have a LOT of tools of all kinds, and that shop vac has got to be some of the best tool money I've spent, $ for $.
Dan
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[snip]
(I) used every means you can think of to

[snip] I have seen ads for a long, hook shaped extension that

I tried the hook-shaped garden hose attachment. It worked reasonably well if the gutters weren't too full, but the first unit pulled apart at the shut-off valve. I liked it well enought that I went and bought a replacement, which worked reasonably well -- until it pulled apart at the shut-off valve. HD took both back as returns, to RTV. I also tried a blower while standing on the roof, but leaves went everywhere, including into my A/C compressors.
Because I have a metal roof and the overhang extends above part of the gutters, hand removal is possible cramped. Now I use a cheap pair of Ekco kitchen tongs, which work very well, followed by a washdown with a hose. If you have to use a ladder, I vote for the tongs.
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Perfect. The prize-winning tool costs only what - four bucks? :-)
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Be prepared to spend most of your time unclogging the hoses. You want to BLOW the leaves OUT, not SUCK them IN. Try the exhaust port on the vac, or rig something to a leaf blower. To me, all of this sounds far too complicated. I just go up a ladder and scoop the stuff out with a tool or my hand. Toss it on the ground, and rake the lawn when finished.
wrote:

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