Leader heads have a number of different names including conductor heads, scupper boxes, rain collectors, collector heads, rainwater heads and conductor boxes. Typically in the shape of a box, a leader head is designed to collect rainwater and guide it to another level of the roof or to the downspout where the water is channeled to the ground.
They are used when the downpipe can’t be directly connected to the gutter because of the roof’s configuration or the architectural design; any part of the structure that can’t accommodate standard, full-size gutters. Leader heads are placed at the end of or under a roof valley to catch rain water. On a flat roof, a leader head is needed when a scupper (drain passing through a parapet wall) is part of the roofing system. Where two downpipes are required to merge into one, a conductor head safely directs water into the downspout.
A conductor box or leader head serves several functions and include:
- collecting runoff
- overflow protection
- allowing more air flow into the system
- concealing unsightly connections or joints
Leader heads are made from a variety of materials, anything from copper to galvanized steel to aluminum to clay. There are a variety of stock leader heads available, depending on the application. They can also be custom fabricated to architectural specifications.
While leader heads have a functional purpose, they can also be used to enhance the esthetics of a gutter system. Decorative conductor heads come in a wide range of shapes and designs. A popular choice for high-end or custom homes is copper leader heads that add beauty and individuality to the home’s exterior.