Dripping drainpipe
July 19, 2012 1:33 PM   Subscribe

How to fix the noise from a dripping drainpipe?

I have a drainpipe from above which stops in the gravel on my balcony. On top of the gravel are paving stones, so if it rains hard the water can seep through the gravel and join the rest of the water heading down the pipe from the roof.

The water coming down the drainpipe drips onto a perforated metal plate that allows the water through, but prevents gravel going down the drainpipe. It's loud. I can hear it dripping a lot, and I'd like to make it quieter or silent. I thought about replacing the metal plate with a plastic one, but I wanted to ask the experience of the elders first!

p.s. I don't want to accidentally flood our place or the neighbours
posted by devnull to Home & Garden (11 answers total)
Previously, similar question.
posted by Wretch729 at 1:35 PM on July 19, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks Wretch729, I saw that thread. I'd looking for something a bit less hacky than a piece of string - what do the people in the trade use to stop the dripping noise?
posted by devnull at 1:40 PM on July 19, 2012

A picture (sketch?) would help. Could you extend the drainpipe end with a piece of pvc pipe and send all the drainpipe discharge over the edge / to the drain, bypassing the paving stones altogether? (They sell corrugated plastic tubes at hardware stores to move the water away from your foundation)
posted by defcom1 at 1:49 PM on July 19, 2012

What about putting a kink into the drainpipe close to the metal plate (i.e., you zig away and zag back so that the water still comes out at the original place)? That way drips would hit the plate at a much lower velocity. Of course, there's a chance they'd still make a noise hitting the kink in the pipe.
posted by yoink at 2:06 PM on July 19, 2012

But... but I fixed it!

But seriously, if you want a more elegant solution I suppose I agree with defcom1 - can you extend the drainpipe with pvc or rubber pipe? You could also try some sort of polyurethane foam over the drain grate?
posted by Wretch729 at 2:08 PM on July 19, 2012

Response by poster: The kink sounds like a good idea, but the drainpipe is very wide and I'd have to saw some of it off.

My sketch. Hopefully it makes sense.
posted by devnull at 2:20 PM on July 19, 2012

Beware the kink. There is an excellent chance the drips will make a much louder noise when they hit the kink than when they hit the metal plate. /voice-of-experience

You might try wiring a piece of green scouring pad to the plate right under the drip. A similar deployment dampened the pinging in my kink enough that I could sleep again.
posted by bricoleur at 2:30 PM on July 19, 2012

Just scoop a bit of gravel on top of the metal plate, so the drips hit it first.

Problem solved.
posted by pla at 7:07 PM on July 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

Ah, the drawing helps. Scratch what I was about to say.

How about if you take out the horizontal screen, then take some window screen material and wrap it around the outside of the pipe, flared out at the bottom so the gravel covers it? Then the gravel still can't fall in, the water can still get in, but there's nothing in the path from roof to level below?

(I might need a drawing of my own to explain that one.)
posted by ctmf at 7:43 PM on July 19, 2012

Or put a sock over then end of the pipe.
posted by ctmf at 7:44 PM on July 19, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks very much for the answers, in the end I switched the metal plate for a plastic one, which helped a little. Using a narrow piece of rope helped the most!
posted by devnull at 11:51 PM on July 22, 2012

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