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?
Long Island, NY
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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,
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.
Long Island, NY
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.
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.
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 $.
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.
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
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