GUTTER, in building, a channel for collecting and con veying the water froin the roof, situated between the parapet and the inclined side of the covering, or between the inclined sides of a double roof, the intersection of the vertical plane of the wall and the inclined plane of the roof; or the two inclined planes forming horizontal lines. When two inclined sides of a roof meet each other at an internal angle, and form an inclined intersection to the horizon, the angle thus formed is called a valley. The external angles tOrmed by two inclined planes are called hipg; and hence hips are exactly the reverse of valleys. and thus We have the difference between glitters, hips, and valleys. The intersections of the plumes which form the sides of gutters are horizontal, hut the inter sections of the planes which form hips and valleys are inclined. Gutters for lead are formed partly by a boarding perpendicular to the plane of the walls, and partly by the inclined sides of the roof and the vertical planes of the walls, and are supported by horizontal bearers from the walls to the sides of the rafters, against which they are nailed at one end; the other end is supported close to the wall upon small posts or puncheons, which are notched and nailed to the bearers. The hoarding, which is supported by the bearers, and which stands perpendicular to the planes of the walls, forms the bottom of the gutter, and is laid with a declivity in the parallel direction of the plane of the wall, of about an inch in 10 feet, and with steps, called drips, at every 12 or 18 feet. The drips are formed in planes perpendicular to the horizon and to the walls, rising about two, or two inches and a hall, so as to add to the descent of the gutters, and at such distances from each other as are equal to the length of the sheets. Gutters are laid with lead of such weight, that the superficial foot contains from seven to twelve pounds, accord ing to the stress that is supposed to be on the surface. The sheets are laid from 12 to 18 feet in length, as the descent for the water may permit. When there is a sufficient cur rent for the water, shorter sheets of 12 feet in length are to be recommended in preference to longer ones, on account of the latter sometimes cracking by expansion, as all metals are liable to do. Cast lead is preferable to milled lead, as being more solid in its texture, and on this account is more to be dep,nded upon when it expands, so as to keep from tearing asunder; but milled lead is equally thick throughout, and has its surfitce regularly smooth, properties which are not to be found in east lead ; therefore, wherever beauty and neat ness of workmanship are required, milled lead must be employed. The goodness of east lead depends upon the
equality of its thickness, which cannot at all times be depended upon ; and it should be observed, that plumbers themselves are divided in their opinion whether cast or milled lead ought to have the preference.
In London, parapet walls and leaden gutters are indispen sable on account of the Building Act, as the numerous inhabitants are less liable to accidents from the trailing of broken slates or tiles; and in cases of fire in the lower part of the building, they are convenient for making an escape from the danger, and also for assisting in extinguishing the flames. Several attempts have been made to substitute copper, but this material has not been found to have the desired eflitct, though zinc has been extensively used of late years instead of lead. The water is conveyed from the gutters by leaden pipes. In the country. dripping eaves are much used, and are to be preferred in elevated situations, as in the winter season the gutters and pipes are frequently stopped by snow or frost, so as to bring down the ceilings and plastering, injure the walls, and rot the timber ; and thus nut only render the building unfit for living in, but reduce it to ruin in the course of a few years. On this account, many of the first-rate houses suffer much by the overflowing of the water, unless the gutters are so constructed, that the water may escape before it finds its way into the building. Gutters should never be soldered where it can be avoided, particularly when the soldering would make the sheets of unusual length, as iu this ease it would be impossible to ensure it from cracking; the expenses of repairing would be frequent. and the ultimate etfect ruinous. The thickest lead is used in gutters and flats, each generally of the same weight, while the hips and ridges are from five to six pounds to the foot, and most generally of milled lead.
Building Act relating to parapets and gutters. "If an external wall adjoin a gutter, then such external wall must be carried up, and remain one foot at the least above the highest part of such gutter. And the thickness of an external wall so carried up above the level of' the under side of the gutter-plate, and forming a parapet, must be at the least.
" In every such wall of the extra first-rate of the first class, and in every such wall of the first-rate of the second class, 13 inches thick ; and "In every other external wall, of whatever rate, or which ever class, Si inches thick."