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4 Common Gutter Problems with a Portable Seamless Rollforming Machine

Every portable gutter machine user will run into a problem/issue with the equipment at some point during operation. Check out the top four most common gutter machine issues and how to fix each one.

seamless gutter machine
Nearly every product, no matter how much it costs or how well it’s maintained, will run into a problem at some point during use.

A portable seamless gutter machine is no different.

Luckily, most seamless gutter machine problems are known or have happened to someone else, which means there are tried and true ways of fixing the issue.

At New Tech Machinery (NTM), our dedicated Service Department assists industry professionals with any machine problems and/or adjustments that a machine operator might experience. Beyond that, we also think it’s crucial to educate gutter machine owners about the four most common seamless gutter machine problems and how to remedy each one.

HELPFUL HINT: Before making any adjustments to the gutter machine, measure the position of each component, write it down, and mark all adjusting bolts before moving them. That way you know that if your adjustment makes things worse or if you turn something the wrong way, you can always get back to where you started using the markings.

 

Problem #1 – Hem/Lip on Gutter is Rippled

diagram gutter machine problems
One of the most significant problems that can occur with a machine when forming gutters is the lip (sometimes called the hem) comes out rippled or distorted instead of straight.

Why it happens: The most notable cause for this unsightly ripple is that there is too large of a lip, which gives the metal more opportunity to become distorted as the coil rolls through the forming stations. Keep in mind, the recommended lip on a gutter is around 1/4" to 5/16” maximum and turned under.

How to fix it: On an NTM MACH II™ Gutter Machine, the easiest way to fix the problem is to move the Face/Right Entry, Back/Left Entry, and Post Entry Guides to the left. We outline the process in precise detail based on the sizing and configuration of your machine in the Entry Guide Assembly Section of your manual.

***Depending on what year your machine was manufactured, there are differences in the parts that need to be adjusted:

  • Machine manufactured in December 2014 or EARLIER: The last 4 digits of your machine’s serial number will give you the month and year it was produced. If the last 4 digits are 1214 (December 2014) or earlier, you will not have the Post Entry Guides to move.
  • Machine manufactured in January 2015 or LATER: If these 4 digits are 0115 (January 2015) or later, you will have the Post Guide Assembly.

 


Download the free e-book about buying and owning a portable gutter machine

 

Problem #2 - The Lip/Hem on the Gutter is Too Small

The opposite problem is that the gutter lip/hem comes out too small, or less than the minimum recommended ¼”. While having a small lip helps reduce the waviness that it could cause, it’s still important to make sure it’s large enough to function and install correctly.

For reference, a lip that is too long or too short can cause the gutter to go up/into the building (too short of a lip) or down/away from the building (too long of a lip). Plus, the amount of lip directly affects how fasteners fit into the gutter.

Why it happens: If the lip is too short after rollforming, the way to correct the issue is to move the Face/Right Entry Guide, Back/Left Entry Guide, and the Post Guide to the right.

How to fix it: To correct this the Face/Right, Back/Left Entry Guide, and Post Guide will need to be moved to the right. The Face/Right Entry Guide controls the amount of material that is fed into the face roller and box assembly. It should be moved only to increase or decrease the amount of lip turned under. If an adjustment is made on the Face/Right Entry Guide, an adjustment must be made on the to the Post Guide on the first skate assembly as well as the Back/Left Entry Guide, using the coil as a guide. There should be no visible space between the entry guides and the coil. The guides should also not be so tight as to cause the gutter material to bind in the entry guide assembly.

***The differing serial numbers applies here as well. See explanation above.

 

Problem #3 – The Gutter Runs Away from the Building Edge

Another common problem that could occur when rollforming a gutter is that the edge of the gutter runs away from the building. Imagine holding the rollformed gutter against the fascia board on the side of a building. If the center of the gutter touches the fascia and the ends of the same piece of gutter do not, it is running away from the building.

Why it happens: In the gutter box, the Swing Shaft Adjustment (green station) that is used to apply pressure to the gutter head is out of tolerance, which is causing an outward curving of the gutter.

NTM Mach II Gutter Machine
How to fix it: For an NTM MACH II Gutter Machine, the most common adjustment used to straighten the gutter involves adjusting the Swing Shaft Adjustment assembly, which is color-coded green. To make the gutter run straight:

  1. Loosen the two “J” bolts (green holding screws) on top of the box assembly.
  2. Turn the adjusting screw/bolt CLOCKWISE a quarter of a turn at a time to correct away from the building.
  3. After making an adjustment, run an 8’ long test gutter and check for straightness
  4. If needed, adjust further by repeating the steps above, or refer to the Gutter Box Adjustments section of your manual for more information.

Check out our video tutorial explaining how to adjust the green station of the swing shaft on the Mach II 5"/6" Combo Machine. This might help fix the problem of your gutter running away from the building edge.

 

Problem #4 – The Gutter Runs Into the Building Edge

You could also experience the opposite issue where the gutter runs into the building. This means that when the gutter is held against the fascia board, the ends of the gutter will touch the structure and the center does not.

Why it happens: In the gutter box, the Swing Shaft Adjustment that is used to apply pressure to the gutter head (photo) is out of tolerance, which is causing an inward curving of the gutter.

How to fix it: Similar to the process outline in problem #3, the only difference is the direction to turn the screw. To make the gutter run straight:

  1. Loosen the two “J” bolts green holding screws on top of box assembly.
  2. Turn the adjusting screw/bolt COUNTERCLOCKWISE a quarter of a turn at a time to correct the gutter running into the building.
  3. After making an adjustment, run an 8’ long test panel and check for straightness
  4. If needed, adjust further by repeating the steps above, or refer to the Gutter Box Adjustments section of your manual for more information.

 

Final Thoughts

different gutter machine profiles
Is a gutter machine a perfect invention that won’t ever have problems? No – nothing is. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to fix it and get it back into proper working condition and producing high-quality gutters for your customers.

The easiest way to help prevent potential issues from turning into full-blown problems is to stay educated on how to maintain your machine, keep your machine manual handy, and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. (Note: If you have an NTM gutter machine, make sure your manual is the most updated version. Every current manual is available for download on the NTM website.

Here at New Tech Machinery, we have a full-time service department dedicated to helping you solve any and all rollforming machine problems or issues. Our technicians are available Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. MST to answer your questions and deliver solutions.


Download the Steps to Safe Machine Operation Infographic!

NOTE: When inquiring for service, make sure you have your machine model number, serial number, and manual readily available. This will allow your technician to provide you with the correct information for your particular machine and get your machine up and running again.

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Julianne Calapa

Julianne CalapaJulianne Calapa

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