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Downpipes in Australia are pipes connected to the roof gutters to ensure rainwater is directed to a desired location. In most cases, they are connected to drainage pipes that lead to a region outside the property.

They are essential because they help direct water away from the roof, leading it to a soak away or soak well. This helps prevent rain from running off the roof and causing pooling effects or even collecting around the building and affecting the foundation of your structure.

In this article, we'll review some basic things you should know about downpipes. Continue reading to find out more about downpipes.

Downpipe Materials and Sizes

Downpipes in Australia are mostly made from steel, particularly zincalume, and come in different colours and sizes. There are also other alternative materials that are used in making downpipes, an example is stainless steel. You can also get some options made from PVC, which is common in other parts of the world, particularly in European countries.

You won't find PVC downpipes in Australia because of the hotter climate. As mentioned earlier, downpipes come in different sizes. The most common you'll find include:

  • Rectangular downpipe sizes: 125 x 100mm, 75 x 100mm, 50 x 100mm, and 45 x 95mm.
  • Circular downpipe sizes: 50 mm, 65 mm, 75 mm, 90 mm, 100 mm, 125 mm, and 150mm.
  • Square downpipe sizes: 100 x 100mm and 75 x 75mm. For commercial buildings, the standard option you'll find is 150 x 150mm.

While downpipes come in different sizes, you should note that roof plumbing companies majorly supply them in 2.4m or 1.8m lengths. However, there are custom alternatives that you can also consider to suit your preference. The critical thing to note is that the 1.8m length is ideal for single-storey buildings, while the 2.4m length is ideal for two-storey buildings.

Downpipes also come in different colours, which gives you options to choose from. Standard colours include ironstone, manor red, dune, wilderness, shale grey, bushland, monument, jasper, loft, and many more.

How Are Downpipes Fixed?

Downpipes are fixed in different ways, depending on the part of the building it is attached to. Here's what you should know about how downpipes are fixed:

Fixing downpipes to the gutter

Fixing downpipes to the gutter is done with a downpipe pop. This pop is installed to the base of the gutter, and the downpipe is fixed to the wall, after which it is riveted to the downpipe pop.

It's important to note that there's usually one rivet located at the front part of the downpipe, and this is via the pop. In some cases, they are beside the downside pop.

Fixing downpipes to the wall

Metal straps are used in fixing downpipes to the wall. The straps vary in shape and size, and the option you choose depends on the shape and size of the downpipe.

With square and rectangular downpipes, the straps are usually available in a flat format, but you can bend them to suit your preference. After bending it, all you have to do is fix the downpipe on the wall with the help of the bracket.

The approach is different for round downpipes, as the metal straps they feature are circular in shape. This allows you to slide the downpipe easily, after which you can fix it to the wall. Another interesting thing is that there are circle brackets that you can hang on the wall.

Essential Considerations for Downpipe Connections

For downpipes to work efficiently, it's essential to ensure that they are correctly connected. The presence of gaps or holes in the downpipes can cause leakage, or damage to your property, both of which can cause dampness and other similar issues.

It's important to always check your downpipes to ensure they are correctly fixed and in good condition. Don't wait until there is water buildup or a heavy storm before you discover that your downpipes are not working well.

Here are some essential things you should consider:

  • Guttering and downpipes work together, so the downpipe you choose should be based on the right eaves gutter section.
  • The downpipes should be placed close to the valley gutters. Therefore, ensuring you have the right overflow to the gutter is critical.
  • The security of downpipes should be the main thing on your mind. Always use the correct brackets and materials to fix the pipes. This ensures it can withstand wind, rust, and rain.
  • The downpipes need to fit up to twelve metres of the length of each pipe. Therefore, consider getting the proper measurements and how the downpipes will fit the gutters. This ensures that unnecessary pressure is not exerted on the drainage system.

Do Downpipes Need to Be Connected to Stormwater?

It's vital for downpipes to be connected to a soak well and stormwater to ensure that overflow on your property does not occur. It will also prevent other drainage problems like blocked gutters from occurring.

The connection between downpipes and stormwater helps provide an effective mechanism to channel stormwater from the downpipes down to the stormwater system. It's worth noting that the connections are of two types, which include the following:

Downpipe adapter or gooseneck connection

This is the most popular type of connection between downpipes and stormwater. It is called a gooseneck connection because the pipe connecting to the adapter resembles the neck of a goose. Downpipe adapters are readily available, and you can buy one from your local supplier.

Interestingly, downpipe adapters and goosenecks are easy to install and affordable. This connection is perfect in undercover areas that should be dry even when it's raining. Downpipes connected to the gooseneck also help prevent splashing, but only when a sufficient soak well is in place.

Collar and grate system

These are also known as grill systems, and the connection has been used for many years in connecting downpipes with stormwater. It is a connection that is used mainly in areas with frequent storms and heavy rainfall.

One of the selling points of this connection is that it enhances the escape of air that may be trapped during a downpour. The grate system allows water to overflow when there's a heavy storm. This helps to ensure that the stormwater tank is not subjected to much pressure to avoid problems.

Another reason why the open grate system is a popular option is because, unlike the gooseneck system, it doesn't protrude from the ground. This makes it a safe alternative to use on your property. Also, the collar and grate system is a conventional approach that enhances the aesthetic appeal of a property.

Why Connect Downpipes to Stormwater?

The main reason why downpipes need to be connected to stormwater is to ensure that the stormwater doesn't flood your home. Basically, you won't need to worry about pooling your home or the damage it can cause to your driveway, garden, lawn, floors, foundation, and basement wall.

Connecting downpipes to stormwater will also save you the money and time required for repairs caused by flood damage. When this type of damage affects your property, you may need to opt for a replacement without hesitation, especially for affected areas. Ultimately, the best thing is to be sure of the quality of the connection.

Ensuring Downpipes are Properly Connected

Always remember that downpipes should never be connected to the sewage system of your property. Also, ensure that the downpipe doesn't drain to the overflow gullies of your property. All of this can cause your sewage to overflow.

The best way to avoid this potential problem is to consult a professional to conduct a building inspection and check out the downpipe connection. This will help ensure everything is okay with your downpipes or rainwater downpipes. Inspections covering the downpipes are essential in ensuring there are no surprises with your downpipes in the future.

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