Contractor measuring wall before installing roof gutter downspout pipe.

Best Gutter Downspout Adapters and Components

By Jon Jachura

Many homeowners don’t give much thought to their gutters until something goes wrong. But keeping your gutters in good condition is an integral part of home maintenance. If you need to replace a downspout or install a new one, you will need a downspout adapter for proper drainage.

Fortunately, several gutter downspout adapters and components are available to make this process easier. So keep reading for an introduction to the best gutter downspout adapter and components on the market today and how to install them.

What is a Gutter Downspout Adapter?

A gutter downspout adapter or connector is a small component that helps attach your downspout to the gutter. It is typically metal or plastic, and you can purchase them at most hardware stores or online.

If you have a gutter or drainage system installed on your home, chances are you will also need a gutter downspout adapter to complete the installation. This part is essential in ensuring that rainwater flows smoothly from the gutter and into the downspout. Without them, the rain would dump right next to your home, which could wash away your beautiful landscaping or lead to flooding and water damage.

Best Gutter Downspout Adapters

There are several different types of gutter downspout adapters available on the market. The best one for your home will depend on the specific needs of your gutter system, which we’ll get to later. Here are the top eight downspout adapters on the market:

Black Flex Downspout Adapters

The Black Flex Downspout Adapter is an excellent choice if you want to match the color of your black downspouts and gutters. But, even if you have white gutters, this adapter still pairs well since it will be near the ground to connect to your drainage pipe.

This product is a tile adapter, which is compatible with all-size flexible plastic drain pipes (sometimes called an elephant trunk). You need a white tile adapter if you need to connect your spout to a white (SDR26) or green drain tile (SDR35). It is available in 2”x3” and 3”x4” sizes for the downspout side; both sizes connect to a 4” drain tile.

Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
Black color matches black gutters and downspouts and blends well into landscaping More susceptible to damage
Easily connect to 4-inch drain tiles Only available in two sizes

Colors and Materials

Available only in black plastic.

Cost

The cost for both sizes is $4.09 per adapter. However, volume discounts may apply if you are a contractor.

FLEX-Drain 3 in. x 4 in. x 4 in. Copolymer Downspout Adapter

The FLEX-Drain Copolymer Downspout Adapter is a unique design that allows you to curve the flex elbow connection to the exact angle you need. This makes it perfect for tight spots and curved areas. It is also expandable and holds the shape you need during installation.

There is no need to tap any joints during the installation since this FLEX-Drain unit incorporates soil-tight fittings. The fittings securely lock together and stay connected during back-fills. The coupler is compatible with all 3-inch and 4-inch corrugated pipes and 4-inch PVC pipes or you can lay in directly on a diverter. The downspout side is compatible with 3”x4” downspouts.

Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
Flexible design – great for tight spaces More pricey than average
Versatile connections Difficult to attach to certain downspout brands
Exceeds ASTM standards

Colors and Materials

It is made from black, highly durable copolymer material.

Cost

The FLEX-Drain is more expensive than the average adapter, coming in at over $11 per piece. But, it makes installation easier and faster and, in many cases, eliminates the need for an extra elbow. So, it is worth the cost.

Downspout to Round Pipe Adapter

The Downspout to Round Pipe Adapter from Aquabarrel claims to be the only downspout adapter that is truly universal. It is a tile adapter that transitions from a square/rectangular downspout to any type of round pipe (corrugated or PVC). It couples to SDR 28, SDR 35, and PVC pipes. And it has multiple inlet sizes you can choose from:

  • 2”x3”
  • 3”x4”
  • 4”x4”
  • 4”x6”
  • 5”x5”
  • 6”x6”

This downspout connector is entirely made in the USA and has flexible tabs that snap into any pipe, making installation easier.

Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
Available in most inlet sizes and in black and white Not flexible like other adapters
Universal coupling to PVC, SDR 28, and SDR 35 pipes
Made in USA

Colors and Materials

Available in black and white plastic material.

Cost

The price ranges from $9.50 for the smaller black version, white color adds just over a dollar to all sizes. The largest size (6”x6”x6”) costs $28.00.

Premium Rain Gutter Downspout Adapter

The Premium Rain Gutter Downspout Adapter fits a 2”x3” or 3”x4” drain (depending on model) and connects to a 3” or 4” corrugated landscape pipe or PVC drain pipe. It is easy to install – just snap the round end to your corrugated or PVS pipe, then push the square end over the end of your downspout.

It is one of the simplest styles and lacks flexibility, which makes it difficult to use if your drain downspout isn’t directly over your drainage pipe. However, it is affordable and made in the USA.

Pros and Cons

Pro Cons
Made in USA Limited size options
Fits 3-inch and 4-inch drain pipes (PVC and corrugated) Only available in black
Available for 2”x3” and 3”x4” downspout sizes Not flexible

Colors and Materials

The Premium Rain Gutter Downspout Adapter is only available in black plastic.

Cost

This downspout adapter ranges from $10.99 to $11.99, depending on size.

Universal Downspout to Drain Pipe Tile Adapter

The Universal Downspout to Drain Pipe Tile Adapter is made from high-quality PVC and easily connects to any round drainage pipe. It is a universal fit for:

  • Black corrugated pipes
  • PVC schedule 40 pipes
  • SDR 28
  • SDR 35

It incorporates secure triangles on all sides of the downspout extensions to grab and lock to ensure no leaks and disconnections. This universal adapter also has a wide collar that sufficiently hides the end of your downspouts.

Pros and Cons

Pro Cons
Connects to every round drainage pipe Not flexible
Secure connection Only fits 3”x4” downspouts
Available in white & black

Colors and Materials

The Universal Downspout to Drain Pipe Tile Adapter is available in both black and white PVC to compliment your gutter’s color.

Cost

It is available for $11.49, which is more expensive than average.

Plastic Universal Downspout to Drain Tile Adapter

The Plastic Universal Downspout to Drain Tile Adapter is a versatile downspout to drain tile adapter. It is available in six different sizes – a combination of 5 downspout sizes and two drain pipe sizes. The 4-inch size fits inside a 4-inch black corrugated drain pipe and these 4-inch smooth wall pipes:

  • PVC schedule 40
  • SDR 28
  • SDR 35
  • Clay
  • Cast iron

It is made in the USA and available in black and white colors to match your existing downspout. One downside is its slightly higher price, but easy installation and universal compatibility make up for it.

Pros and Cons

Pro Cons
Sizes available for all size downspouts Not flexible
Models for 4-inch and 6-inch drain pipes Pricey
Made in the USA

Colors and Materials

The Plastic Universal Downspout to Drain Tile Adapter comes in black and white ‎HDPE injection molded plastic.

Cost

The pricing ranges from about $18 to $20, depending on size.

Flexgrate Downspout Filt

The FLEXGRATE downspout filter adapter connects your downspout to your drain pipe and provides an easy-to-access filter to remove debris. This adapter solves the common problem of drain pipes getting clogged. It works with downspout sizes of 2”x2”, 2”x3”, and 3”x4” and connects to 4-inch corrugated pipes and PVC drain pipes.

The built-in InvisaFlow Flex-Grate filter is installed at a 45-degree angle, which blocks debris such as leaves and twigs while allowing them to naturally slide and fall out of the pipe. You won’t have to worry about leaves and twigs in your drain pipe, catch basin, or rain barrel with these adapters. They install much like any other downspout adapter and include a generous amount of flexible pipe extenders to make installation even easier. One downside is that if it rains too hard and leaves get caught in the filter or strainer, it can overflow.

Pros and Cons

Pro Cons
Built-in filter prevents clogs Slightly more costly
Flexible adapter for easier installation Only available in black
Includes downspout screws and fasteners for secure connection May overflow if debris gets trapped on filter

Colors and Materials

The FLEXGRATE Downspout Filter is available only in black plastic.

Cost

It is available for around $16 per unit, which is more expensive than most downspout adapters. However, it includes a filter and flexible adapter.

4″ Pop Up Emitter w/ Elbow and Adapter

The 4” Pop-Up Emitter with Elbow and Adapter is the perfect accessory for underground drain pipes that your downspouts drain into. A buried drain line allows rainwater from your downspouts to flow underground and away from your home. And once the rainwater reaches this low-profile emitter and elbow adapter, the water pops up and drains far away from your foundation.

It automatically opens when there is a small amount of water pressure and closely on dry days to prevent bugs and animals from entering the drain pipes. It connects to 4-inch corrugated black pipes and smooth PVC drain pipes.

Pros and Cons

Pro Cons
Opens automatically when water fills the pipe Can get stuck open or closed if there’s debris
Closes during dry weather to prevent rodents, etc. from accessing drain pipe Pricey
Connects to all 4-inch drain pipes

Colors and Materials

This 4-inch pop-up emitter is green plastic to blend in with your grass. The underground portion is black and white.

Cost

This emitter/adapter is $46.18, which is on the expensive side. But, it provides great drainage away from your home.

Why Trust House Method

  • 43 companies reviewed
  • 32 key factors analyzed
  • 1,002 homeowners surveyed

House Method’s Experts collected and analyzed 32 critical data points to identify what makes a great gutter company in the eye of the consumer. Our reviews team used this data to assess over 30 gutter providers for services provided, warranty coverage, and national availability to provide unbiased reviews so homeowners can confidently navigate key decisions about their homes.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Gutter Downspout Adapter

Now that we’ve gone over some of the best gutter downspout adapters on the market, it’s time to talk about how to choose the right one for your home. There are a few factors you’ll want to keep in mind when making your decision:

Gutter Size

The first is the size of your gutters. Make sure to measure the width and depth of your gutters before you start shopping for an adapter. This will ensure that you get one that fits properly and doesn’t leave any gaps.

Many gutter adapters, including a few we recommend above, are universal adapters. This means they work with any type of round pipe.

Color Options/Finish Family

You’ll also want to consider the color of your gutters and downspouts when choosing an adapter. While most adapters come in neutral black or white, some are available in other colors that can match your gutters more closely.

For example, if you have black gutters, you probably will want a black gutter downspout adapter too. Or you can get adapters with painted finishes if you want something that really stands out.

Material

The next factor to consider is the material of your gutters. If you have aluminum gutters, for example, you’ll want to make sure you get an adapter that’s compatible with that material. The same goes for vinyl gutters.

Some adapters are made from multiple materials, so you can use them with different types of gutters. But in general, it’s best to get an adapter that’s specifically designed for your kind of gutter.

Cost

Finally, you’ll want to think about the cost when choosing an adapter. Gutter adapters range in price from around $5 to $30 or more.

You can probably get away with a cheaper adapter if you’re on a budget. But suppose you want something that’s going to last longer and really stand up to the elements. In that case, it’s worth spending a little extra money.

PVC or plastic adapters are generally the cheapest, while metal adapters tend to be more expensive.

Online Ratings and Reviews

Once you’ve considered all of the factors above, it’s time to start looking at online ratings and reviews. This is a great way to get an unbiased look at how different adapters perform in the real world.

Take some time to read through the reviews for any adapter you’re considering. Pay attention to both the positive and negative reviews to get a well-rounded idea of what others think. And if there are a lot of complaints about a particular adapter, you might want to steer clear.

Availability and Purchase Options

Finally, you’ll want to make sure the adapter you want is actually available to purchase. You can buy gutter adapters online or in person at most home improvement stores.

If you’re buying online, consider the shipping options and estimated delivery date. You don’t want to end up waiting weeks for your adapter to arrive, especially if you’re in the middle of a project or starting one soon.

And if you’re buying in person, but have a far drive to the store, call ahead to ensure the local shop has the adapter in stock before making a special trip.

Now that you know what to look for in a gutter downspout adapter, it’s time to start shopping around. Start with our eight gutter downspout adapter recommendation above and many other great options on the market– you’re sure to find one that’s perfect for your home.

How Do you Install a Gutter Downspout Adapter?

Installing a gutter downspout adapter is a relatively easy task that anyone with basic DIY skills can complete. In most cases, you’ll need a drill and some screws. Before you start, it’s important to make sure you have the correct size adapter for your gutters.

Measure the width and depth of your downspout and the drainage pipe diameter and purchase an adapter that matches both. For example, if your downspout is 2″x3″ and the pipe is 4″, you will need a 2″x3″x4″ adapter. Once you’ve got the right one, follow these steps to install it:

  1. Place the adapter against the side of the house so that the open end is pointing down. Make sure it’s level and in the correct position before marking where you’ll need to drill holes.
  2. Use a drill to make pilot holes through the adapter and into the side of the house. These should line up with the pre-drilled holes in your downspout.
  3. Screw the adapter into place using screws that are long enough to go through both the adapter and at least one inch of siding.
  4. Line up your downspout with the adapter and screw it into place using the same type of screws. Be sure not to overtighten these, or you could strip the threads.
  5. Attach the drainage pipe to the other end of the adapter using screws or a hose clamp, depending on what type of pipe you’re using. Again, be careful not to overtighten these.
  6. Test your work by running some water through the gutters and down the downspout. If everything is installed correctly, the water should flow freely through the adapter and into the pipe without any leaks.

That’s all there is to it – with just a few simple tools and supplies, you can easily install a gutter downspout adapter on your own. However, if you’ve never done it before, it will take you a bit longer to do the first few.

How Do You Install a Gutter Downspout to Gutters?

Installing a gutter downspout to your gutters is a bit more difficult. You’ll need a ladder, hacksaw, gutter crimper, one elbow (or more), downspout screws, and a power drill. And don’t forget work gloves – gutters can be sharp.

  1. Place an elbow at the gutter’s drain hole if you need to angle the downspout under a roof overhang.
  2. Connect the elbow to a downspout sleeve and fit it to the gutter.
  3. Position the second elbow against the wall and measure from the bottom hole of the top elbow to its top hole.
  4. Add 4-inches to the measurement and use a hacksaw to cut a downspout section to that length (the four extra inches is for the overlap connection of the two pieces.
  5. Crimp the edges of the section you cut with a crimper and connect it to the second elbow.
  6. Take the downspout section that is now connected to the second elbow and insert it into the top elbow. It should fit loosely while you move on to the next few steps.
  7. Measure from the bottom of the second elbow to the ground and reduce the measurement by 7-inches. Leaving 7-inches will allow you room to install an angled horizontal section directed away from your home.
  8. Cut the longer downspout section with the hacksaw and slip it into the bottom of the second elbow.
  9. Secure it with downspout straps above and below the joint with the bottom elbow and connect the straps to the downspout with screws.
  10. Screw the straps into the side of your home. Depending on your home’s siding, you may need anchors.
  11. Attach a bottom elbow to direct water away from your home and foundation.
  12. Ensure all joints and screws are secure.
  13. Run water through the gutters with a hose or wait for it to rain to check your work.

These steps could vary slightly depending on what type of gutters your home has. For example, if you have copper gutters, typically, you would braze or solder the connections between gutters, elbows, and downspouts.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a downspout and a downspout adapter?

A downspout is a pipe that carries water from the gutter to the ground or a drain. A downspout adapter is a fitting that attaches the downspout to the gutter. Both are necessary components if you’re installing a new downspout or repairing an old one.

How do I improve downspout drainage?

There are a few things you can do to improve gutter and downspout drainage. First, make sure your gutters and downspouts are clean and free of debris. Second, check the slope of your gutters – they should be sloped slightly so water can run off easily. Finally, make sure your downspouts are installed correctly and draining properly.

Can you install downspouts without an adapter?

You can install downspouts without an adapter, but most gutter pros don’t recommend it. Adapters help to create a watertight seal between the downspout and gutter, which prevents leaks. Plus, they provide a secure connection that won’t shift and come loose.

Are plastic downspout adapters good?

Yes, plastic downspout adapters are good. They’re durable, weather-resistant, and easy to install. Plus, they’re less expensive than metal adapters. However, if you have metal gutters and downspouts, a metal (aluminum, zinc, copper, stainless steel, etc.) adapter is a better choice if you want to match the appearance the best.

How we Ranked, Reviewed, and Tested the Best Gutter Guards

Here, we’ve broken down our rating methodology for gutter guards. You should know that we’ve taken the utmost care to provide the most up-to-date information and to ensure that you make the best choice for your budgetary and home maintenance needs.

Why Trust House Method? Our Gutter Ranking Methodology

At House Method, transparency and trust are our most important values for the reader. We’ve done the homework for you and have researched over 50 gutter guards so you can have the information you need to make the best choice for your home. That’s why we took the time to create an objective rating system and score each gutter guard and gutter guard provider company according to our gutter ranking methodology.

We also dug into the details of each gutter guard to ensure that you could make the best decisions for your home and keep your gutters debris-free for years to come.

To make the most of our research, we developed a formula to objectively determine the best gutter guards based on the following criteria:

  • Material: Material durability was the single most important factor that went into our rating methodology for gutter guards. Whether they were stainless steel micro-mesh or plastic screening, we gave an in-depth rating for this criteria.
  • Debris Resistance: Our testing served as the primary evaluator for this factor. We curated a rating based on customer testimonials and our own in-house testing here.
  • Ease of Installation: Most of the gutter guard options listed have some DIY component involved. For this reason, guards that required the fewest specialty tools got the highest rating here.
  • Cost: How reasonable are prices in comparison to the industry average? We compared the costs of each company to competitors.
  • Warranty terms: We looked into the warranty of lifetime warranty terms if it is offered by the provider.
  • Trust: What do customers rate the company? We looked into what customers are saying about their experience with the company.
  • Buying process: if the gutter guard is a DIY installation, how easy is the buying process? We looked for shipping costs and shipping time, as well as where the product can be bought from.

More Gutter Resources

Roofing

Cheapest Roofing Materials for Roof Replacement (2022)

Want to know the most affordable roofing material to save money on your roof project?

Roofing

How Long Does a Roof Last?

The typical life span of a roof is between 25 to 50 years, but its materials, environment, and upkeep can make a huge difference.

Gutters

LeafFilter Review | Services, Product, & Cost Guide (2022)

Find out everything you need to know about LeafFilter gutter guards with our LeafFilter review. Read on for cost estimates, installation details, and more!

Gutters

LeafFilter Cost | Is LeafFilter Worth the Price?

LeafFilter offers one of the best gutter guards on the market but is known to be on the pricey side. Read on to learn more about what these gutter guards cost.

Gutters

Gutter Installation or Replacement Cost (2022)

Calculate the cost to get gutters installed or replaced with this in-depth guide that breaks down gutters' installation cost per foot, materials, styles, and more.

Gutters

16 Ways To Keep Your Gutters Clean Through Each Season

Ensuring your gutters are free of clutter is essential for them to work correctly. This article offers tips on cleaning out gutters for each season.

Gutters

5 Best Mesh Gutter Guards (2022 Review)

Mesh gutter guards can keep your gutters clear of most debris types. We've outlined the best mesh gutter guards for both DIY and professional installation here.

Gutters

Gutter Helmet vs. LeafFilter (2022)

Our comparison of Gutter Helmet vs. LeafFilter breaks down everything you need to know from services to cost to help you choose the right company for your home.

Gutters

5 Best Micro-Mesh Gutter Guards (2022 Review)

Micromesh gutter guards protect gutters from the widest spectrum of debris and pests. We've outlined the best micromesh gutter guards for you in this article.