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What is a rainwater downpipe and why do you need one?

How much do you know about your water downpipe? Your home will almost certainly have one, and if it doesn’t – you seriously need to rectify that. But how do you know if you need a new drainage pipe if you’re not even sure what you’re looking for?


  • Is your drainage system blocked?
  • Perhaps your guttering is overflowing?
  • Is water not coming out the bottom of your external pipes?
  • Do you have damp walls or a leaking roof?
  • Struggling with standing water?

Yep – a faulty downpipe (or no downpipe at all!) can lead to all of the above, and if you are experiencing any of it, then the chances are you need a new downpipe fitting. So, it really is worth becoming familiar with this small part that plays a huge factor in having a healthy drainage system.

What exactly is a rainwater downpipe?

It may sound simple, and that’s because it is! A rainwater downpipe goes on the bottom of your drain and its sole job is to direct rainwater away from your home or building. More often than not, you can find this part of your drainage channel situated near to a drainage system as they typically work to remove water from the guttering down and out to the nearest drain.

Do you really need a rainwater downpipe?

Absolutely! Part of Building Regulations require that adequate provision is made for the proper carrying and removal of rainwater from the roof of buildings. There are two ways to achieve this:

  1. Sloping roof towards a surface water collector
  2. A gutter that surface water can flow down to a vertical rainwater downpipe

Downpipes are normally found on the corner of your building or property, and it usually stretches from the roof down to ground level. Rainwater that goes into this drainage channel can be discharged to a few places, including:

  • A soakaway
  • A surface water sewer
  • Combined sewer

But whichever drainage system you have, the downpipe is an essential aspect to ensure those aforementioned issues don’t arise.

What are rainwater downpipes made from?

Traditionally rainwater downpipes were made using cast iron, however these are much less easy to come by now, as most applications use uPVC as it is cheaper, easier to install and has low maintenance requirements. They are also just as durable and strong.

How do you maintain a rainwater downpipe?

If you do have a rainwater downpipe but are finding that water isn’t draining sufficiently, it may be in need of some maintenance. In some cases, downpipes can become blocked with debris such as leaves and branches, particularly if they haven’t been cleared out for a while. So, regular maintenance is imperative to keep yours running smoothly all year round.

To clean your downpipe of debris, you should be able to simply remove it from the wall, as they are only attached by brackets that can be easily taken off and put back on.

Do you need a replacement rainwater downpipe?

If you are struggling to keep on top of your drainage issues, it may be time you looked into a replacement downpipe. They’re incredibly affordable and long-lasting if proper care is taken, and here at Total Pipeline Solutions – we have them in stock and ready to buy today. So, what are you waiting for?