What is a leader head?
A leader head is a device that is used in roof plumbing to capture storm water runoff from roofs, and funnels it into downspouts that take the water to the ground. Within the fields of architecture, building design and construction, a leader head is generally also known as a conductor head. Other names include rain head, leader box, collector, collector head, catch basin, bell, scupper head and scupper box. Leader heads are normally made from sheet metal such as copper and aluminum in the form of a box of varying shapes and sizes. The box is open at the top and has one or more outlets to which down pipes are attached.
Why use a leader head?
Leader heads are often used as architectural features on a building. Adding a conductor head or leader head will immediately add an instant curb appeal to any building and enhance the beauty and architectural style on a building. Besides being ornamental, leader heads or conductor heads also help drain water faster with less noise by letting air into the line. They allow merging several downspouts into one larger one, giving a cleaner look on the building. They can also act as clean out points for debris and overflow points for water.
The gargoyles found on older buildings were used as leader heads that collected water from the roof and divert it out over and away from the sides of the building. In general, leader heads will collect a large amount of water in various ways and keep the mortar on the building and around the building from eroding away as the water runs down the building. Apart from adding a finishing touch to a well installed gutter system, a leader head is very functional.
Where to install a leader head?
Leader heads or conductor heads are traditionally installed under the soffit. However if leader heads are placed at the end of a valley on the roof, much more water can be collected than a typical gutter due to the size of the leader head boxes. If used on a flat roof, they will collect water that passes through a parapet wall. They may also be used where two downspouts converge into one. Many custom homes use them at the top of the gutter for their beauty and uniqueness.