Scupper vs. Downspout

By Jaxson

  • Scupper

    A scupper is an opening in the side walls of a vessel or an open-air structure, that allows water to drain instead of pooling within the bulwark or gunwales (of a vessel), or curbing or walls (of a building).

    There are two main kinds of scuppers:

    Ships have scuppers at deck level, to allow for ocean or rainwater drain off.

    Buildings with railed rooftops can construct scuppers to let rainwater drain off, instead of pooling within the railing of the roof. Scuppers can also be placed in a parapet, for the same purpose.

  • Downspout

    A downspout, waterspout, downpipe, drain spout, roof drain pipe, leader is a pipe for carrying rainwater from a rain gutter.

    Downspouts are usually vertical and usually extend down to ground level. The water is directed away from the building’s foundation, to protect the foundations from water damage. The water is usually piped to a sewer, or let into the ground through seepage.

    The first ever downspout to be installed was in 1240 on the Tower of London, as it was whitewashed and the newly painted walls had to be protected from the rain.

    Decorative heads are sometimes added, these being low-height gargoyles.

  • Scupper (noun)

    A drainage hole on the deck of a ship.

  • Scupper (noun)

    A similar opening in a wall or parapet that allows water to drain from a roof.

  • Scupper (verb)

    Thwart or destroy, especially something belonging or pertaining to another; compare scuttle.

    “The bad media coverage scuppered his chances of being elected.”

  • Downspout (noun)

    A vertical pipe or conduit that carries rainwater from the scupper, guttering of a building to a lower roof level, drain, ground or storm water runoff system.

  • Downspout (noun)

    a downpipe.

Oxford Dictionary

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