Faulty Rainhead causes backflow roof leak

The faulty rainhead with the horizontal and vertical downpipes both seen. The close up view shows the gap.

Rainheads are an important design feature for buildings where internal box or trough gutters are used. A rainhead or sump is a metal or plastic container located between the gutter and downpipe that aids the flow of water away from the roof.

Recently at a house in Camberwell, Melbourne, our gutter cleaners discovered the cause of another roof leak. The rainhead in these photos has been cut out and installed in an unsuitable manner. The photos in this article were all taken at the Camberwell address. When installing rain heads into roof guttering the plumbers must cut out the sheet metal to accommodate other plumbing fixtures like the guttering itself or the downpipes. In the case of this rainhead there are 2 different downpipes connected to it. The downpipe at the bottom travelling vertically down is not the problem.

After getting a torch inside the rainhead and inspecting the roof we determined the cause of the backflow at this property. The plumbers have left a large hole for the first downpipe and have failed to properly seal up the gap. During heavy rain the massive volume of rain coming off the tiled roof is too overwhelming for the small rainhead and a quanitiy of water is backflowing into the roof behind.

The trough below this tiled roof area must catch a tremendous amount of water in a big storm.

The area of roof seen in the above photo is draining onto a section of trough gutter that then flows towards a rainhead via a downpipe.

This photo shows part of the trough.


With the camera in much closer we can see the point of backflow. This hole should never have been cut so large. The homeowner will require another plumber to fix this problem.

We are experienced gutter cleaners of many years and can recommend improvement ideas for your roof. We look forward to cleaning your gutters in Melbourne. Please call (03) 9899-5886