Replacing sections of an existing guttering system on a property can be a relatively straightforward job, however to avoid facing fitting issues, before you get started on the repairs you need to ensure that you purchase compatible guttering, as not all gutter pipes and fittings are the same. Here at EasyMerchant, we’re often asked how to identify the exact type of gutters that have been used on the roof or buildings that our customers are working on, so we’ve put together this guide which aims to help you order the right replacement pipes or part, or a compatible alternative.
As an initial step, you need to closely look at the existing guttering and try to locate either a product code, which nearly all gutter systems are stamped with during the production process, or a manufacturer logo or name. Usually, you can find this information on a gutter fitting – either on the bottom or the outside of the fitting – or on downpipes, and it is worth keeping in mind that the details you’re looking for could be facing the wall, so you may need to remove a length of gutter to check for the details more thoroughly. You might also need to clean the guttering and remove any debris to more easily locate the product code, logo or brand name, and once you’ve found the info, make sure you have a pen and paper to hand (or a camera phone) so you can make a note of it.
Matching the Code
If you’ve found a product code on the guttering, this can sometimes be enough to help you correctly identify the correct manufacturer and find the right guttering. Check the first two letters/digits of the code to see if it corresponds with any of the brands listed below:
- BR – Brett Martin
- FDF – Freeflow
- FOG – Freeflow
- FRR – Freeflow
- FRS – Freeflow
- OT – Osma / Wavin
- R – FloPlast, Polypipe or Marley (needs to be confirmed by logo)
- RC – Marley Plumbing & Drainage (needs to be confirmed via logo)
- RD – Polypipe (needs to be confirmed via logo)
- RG – Marley Plumbing & Drainage (needs to be confirmed via logo)
- RH – Polypipe (needs to be confirmed via logo)
- RL – Polypipe (needs to be confirmed via logo)
- RM – Polypipe (needs to be confirmed via logo)
- ROG – Polypipe (needs to be confirmed via logo)
- RR – Polypipe (needs to be confirmed via logo)
- RS – Polypipe (needs to be confirmed via logo)
- VR – Hunter Plastics
- WR – Hunter Plastics
- 4T – Osma / Wavin
- 5T – Osma / Wavin
- 7T – Osma / Wavin
- 8T – Osma / Wavin
- 9T – Osma / Wavin
- AO – Aquaflow
- AB – Aquaflow
- AK – Aquaflow
- AC – Aquaflow
- AO – Aquaflow
- AU – Aquaflow
Brand Names and Logos
If it is not possible to use the product code alone to ascertain the type of gutter pipes and fittings, the next step is to try to identify any brand name or logo that you’ve located somewhere on a gutter section. Every guttering manufacturer in the United Kingdom – and the majority of international manufacturers – print either their logo or their business name on their fittings, however it can sometimes be stamped on the inside of a gutter or part, or near a threaded area, so it might not be immediately visible.
In the event that you can find a logo but can’t fully read it due to wear and tear, or it only features a motif element rather than the entire brand name, here are the full version logos of some of the most widely used manufacturers which may help with the identification process:
It is also worth noting that as PVC guttering tends to last for many years – and several decades if you’re dealing with aluminium guttering, cast iron guttering or copper guttering – you may find a brand name or logo of a company that is unfortunately no longer in business, or has been taken over by an existing manufacturer. Where this is the case, it’s possible that your discontinued guttering is compatible with products that are currently in production by market leading brands – for example, several of the gutter pipes made by manufacturers Hepworth or Marshall Tufflex – both of which are no longer operating – can be successfully replaced with FloPlast products, and both Polypipe and Freeflow offer compatible alternatives for a wide number of downpipe products for other discontinued ranges.
Guttering Profiles and Materials
In addition, it is essential that you know the correct gutter profile that you require as there are a range of gutter profile types available in the UK, including Victorian inspired ogee, half round, box or square, and deep flow gutter profiles. Each guttering profile doesn’t just have a different style and appearance to suit the specific aesthetic or period style of different homes and properties, the shape variations can also impact the rainfall volume they can handle. The production material of your guttering matters too as aluminium gutters, cast-iron gutters, copper gutters, and PVC gutters all offer distinct pros and cons too in terms of maintenance, finish, longevity, budget, cleaning and corrosion – you can find out more about the range of gutter profiles and materials that are most commonly used for commercial and residential properties across England via this EasyMerchant blog post.
At EasyMerchant we offer a wide selection of guttering products in a choice of materials, colours and styles produced by the UK’s most trusted brands. If after following this guide you’re still unable to identify the type of guttering you need to replace, we’re also on hand to answer questions and offer expert advice where we can, and we’ll do everything we can to help you find the right materials for the construction or DIY project that you’re working on. We always recommend that where possible, you should use guttering from the same brand when carrying out a repair, however where it isn’t going to be possible to achieve compatibility for your pipe fittings (which is usually due to their age and lack of availability), we can also offer guidance on choosing adaptors as an alternative solution.