A good rain barrel diverter is one that is easy to maintain and collects rainwater and stormwater runoff without much hassle. It is the best solution for filling your rain reservoir without collecting debris at the top.
The downspout diverter is self-regulating and sealed system, that prevent overflows, keep mosquitoes out, and harvest water effectively.
Rather than have water collect in your gutters and having to monitor the container yourself, the rain barrel diffuser simplify the process of water saving. Whatever the case may be, be it for water irrigation to preventing stormwater runoff or roof draining, these kits simplify the process of rainwater collection.
So after measuring your rain it is a good idea to start collecting it, however, with so many models on the market, it might be difficult to make a decision that suits your home. Perhaps you are looking for filtering system, sustainable solution, simple arm design or just the best way to harvest rainwater for your garden irrigation? Even if you are just experimenting with simple rainwater collection system, there are some differences between each solution that you need to consider before buying one for your home.
Luckily, there are quite a few noteworthy products on the market.
Model Comparison table
Here you will find all the products outlined in our article. The table will help you make a simple comparison of each model. For more detailed information please scroll below.
Fiskars Rain Barrel DiverterPro
Fiskars DiverterPro targets debris while also directing overflow away from the house’s foundation. It has a patented design which fits as large as 3” x 4” down pipe without needing the extra purchase of an adapter. It also fits standard 2 x 3 inch downspouts. For a three-year warranty, this unit is a great deal and boasts excellent water capture. Not only is it very good in diverting water away from the basement or foundation, but it also manages to keep out unwanted material from entering the container. The product itself comes with all the parts needed for installation and connection to a rain reservoir. A plastic cover also allows for a clear observation of the diverter and basin. Due to its connections to multiple barrels, it works well during the winter.
Rain Barrel Kit
This kit is for creating your own rain barrel form any general purpose container or barrel.
It is useful in situation when you already have something laying around and you don’t want to spend additional funds on pre-made products.
It comes with standard hole saws for modifying the barrel and all other necessary parts.
It is very easy to install and works with 2/3 and 3/4 inch rectangular downspouts. The hose is accordion style so you have some margin when placing on site.
During the winter, if the temperatures drop low you can remove the diverter easily to prevent ice damage.
One downside of the model is the plastic spigot. Consider buying a brass one if you have a bigger container.
EarthMinded DIY Rain Barrel Diverter
This DIY model is meant for customizable installation, be it in the home or other building. It comes with everything even the saw drills. The is manual is easy to naavigate so installation can be expected to not be very time-consuming. It is designed to fit 3×4 inch rectangular down pipe. Therefore, to connect the EarthMinded DIY Diverter to anything other than a 3×4 downspout, you need to buy these additional diverter parts for 2×3, 3×4 and round down pipe.
Look out for debris after bigger storms, because the unit don’t come with filter. Best option will be to set gutter guards.
For the winter, when the diverter is not needed and is prone to freeze, the kit includes convenient winter cap.
The complete kit comes with a 31-inch filling hose, spigot, drain, saw set, seals, and screws. Rain barrel is not included. This solution is a good way to get your water harvesting system started, fitting into downspouts to reduce water bills while conserving water for various needs.
Inline Downspout Diverter
The Inline Downspout Diverter comes with a level that enables you to manually control the direction of the unwanted water into an existing downspout when the water butt is full. Product comes with a diverter, offset elbow or ledge jumper, and a standard elbow. Made in the USA, this model is for manual filling and requires you to place the water barrel in front of the pipe. If the level is not pulled, the tube will overflow and seep into the ground. It is made in 2×3 inch and 3×4 inch sizes so although you can control the water that enters the barrel, it has limited versatility. Its key feature is its ability to split the water stream, allowing multiple fillings in one sitting.
The Rainreserve diverter filters leaves and other debris before reaching the barrel or collection container quite effectively. It definitely helps with collecting water for gardening and other uses. The product does not come with the parts needed for a rain barrel, such as a hose or spigot. It is 12 inches in length by 6 inches in width by 13 inches in height.
The product is designed for 2×3″ and 3×4″ gutter downspouts. Some rain water will still go to the pipe but most of it will go to the rain barrel.
Oatey Rainwater Collection System
This diverter system directs rainwater from downspouts into rain barrels for reuse. It is easily installable, fitting on a standard 2” by 3” residential waterspout or any water-carrying downpipes. The product comes with a manual as well as a 4’ high hose to connect the diverter to the rain barrel. It is therefore made up of a 2-piece design made of durable UV-resistant material which can be painted to match the downspout color. It can also be shut off manually by disconnecting the hose to the barrel with a nozzle stopper to halt the outflow.
Metal Diverter with Arm
The Save the Rain Water diverter comes in two dimensions. The smaller diverter comes in a size of 11L x 3W x 2.5H inches. The large diverter’s dimensions are 11L x 4W x 3H inches.
This diffuser is made of durable, galvanized steel intended to boost both strength and resistance during even the harshest weather storms. It allows for manual control of the diverter so you can keep the downspout in an open position and/or reroute water when the barrel overflows. Rather than use a hose or y-shape, the Save the Rain Water has arms for immediate collection of water. Therefore, it requires a water butt to store the water.
Although it does not come with any other tools or parts, it is dependable; it will channel your water from your downspout to your barrel or watering can effectively. Its durability is also enhanced by the diverter’s arm which allows water into any barrel or container with an open top.
Rain Water Diverter for Round Downspouts
This diverter fits as intended for both 3 and 4 inch round downspouts. Installation of this diverter is simple, just connect it into a downspout. A winter cover plate is included which helps switching between seasons. Harvesting rainwater is thus possible all year round. It comes with an instructional video but no other accessories. Ultimately, it is a good diverter for managing or inhibiting spills and leaks during water collection; however, it does not come with a filter for debris or leaves.
How does rainwater diverter works?
Collecting rainwater in barrels is a time honored tradition of water conservation. However, keeping the water in reservoirs can create challenges during both winter and summer seasons. During winter, the barrel may freeze, thereby freezing the water inside as well. During summer seasons, it can possibly overflow due to heavy rain. This overflow could easily leak into a house’s foundation or the basement. Such leaks can also be caused by the cistern itself, because the downspout simply pours water into the container without any real restrictions. Without constant maintenance, it would be impossible to stop runoff or leaks this way –yet, this where diverters come in handy.
What it is used for?
They keep rain barrels from being tested to their limit by the climate and overflow by directing just rainwater from the pipe into a reservoir. As it fills up, the diverter returns the water through the downspout to drain it away from the basement or house foundation. Implementing a such device as a measure of water conservation allows for a greater volume of water to be collected and for it to not go to waste.
In order to set up a proper system of rainwater conservation, the barrel and diverter are usually bought as separate kits. Depending on the household’s downspout fixture, different models may be needed. Often, any rain barrel or plastic container will do. However it is important to be specific since they keep the water clean and protected in the barrel. Many models prevent overflows that can damage the foundation of your home; the unit will automatically pass any excess water via the downspout. Often times it may or may not have a filter for debris, a hose, or a kit for installation.
What is the collected water used for?
Once the water is collected it can be used for several purposes. The water can be used to water your lawn or garden by creating a garden irrigation system of sorts. If you connect the barrel to an irrigation or sprinkler system, you also save both money and water. You can wash your vehicles, driveways, sidewalks, or even your pets with the water depending on its lack of leaves or debris. Once passed through a diverter or connecting hose, you can refill your fountains and fish ponds. Sometimes, you can even collect as much water to be able to fill some parts of your swimming pool. In many aspects, you can use the conserved water instead of tap water for washing clothes or watering plants. If properly filtered and disinfected, you can also use the water for consumption through cooking or drinking.
Types of Models
For the most part, you cannot expect all the water to flow into the barrel. Sometimes, the diverter ends up leading the water elsewhere through the downspout. It all depends on which model you are using and what is their use-case is.
Y connectors are the most basic type of unit. They include an arm that directs water to a barrel or container below. They work very well, even though they don’t really have much of a filter for debris. In terms of durability and installation, y-shaped ones last longer because they do not come with additional external parts that could eventually get lost, corroded or dysfunctional.
The dual end-points of y-shaped diverters channel the water to the rain barrel as well as wherever you choose to terminate the downspout. Installation can be challenging in terms of having to offset it from a straight path because of its shape. During winter, there are chances of it freezing since these types of models are usually bulky.
These models rely in the downspout being cut after which a diverter is inserted with a connecting hose. They often also called “inline” The hose lets water into the rain barrel. They are easy to maintain during the winter because you simply cover the outlet during winter time. Either way, once you leave the spigot open and winterize a barrel, no water gets in. They are best used during the summer.
Diverters can be 2 x 3 inches or 3 x 4 inches depending on the size of the downspout, this also accounts for their shape which can be round or rectangle.
For the most part they lead to closed container. However, models with arms need a one with an opening at the top so the water flows directly.
Once you have your rain barrel set up and built, it’s time to install your new device. Most of the time this process is DIY style. Obviously, each one has different instructions, but they function very similarly at the fundamental level. For example, they have lips that connects to the downspout and also clings to the wall. Once the water butt is full, the water cannot overflow; instead, it goes through another channel depending on where you set that up.
Diverters can be installed by drilling a hole or remove the section of the downspout. However, it all depends on the dimensions and model – if it does not fit your size, you will need to buy an extra accessory to allow for a proper fit.
What one usually need?
- You are going to need a few of them to get proper installation and work with your rain barrel.
- The diverter itself, of course, along with the kit
- Silicon seal
- A utility knife
- A hacksaw to cut through the metal gutter
- Tape measure
- Remember, because you are using tools, you should also have safety glasses and gloves
Choosing the Location of Your Diverter and Rain Barrel
Your rain barrel should sit on some stone, wood, or concrete to ensure there’s a proper foundation. A rain barrel filled up with water can weigh up to 400 pounds, so ensure that it is a good location where it won’t tip over. It’s also a good idea to elevate the rain barrel so you can stick a hose under the bottom for easy access.
To install, you have to remove a section of the down pipe or insert it on the bottom if your downspout allows it. First thing you need to do is determine where to place the diverter. If it is too high or too low, it will now flow well into the rain barrel.
Measure the top of the barrel – mark the first line. This is the appropriate section where you will be inserting your diverter. If possible, remove your downspout so you can make precise cuts. However, read the instructions of your model to find the proper location.
Converting Containers to Rain Barrels
As has already been discussed, there are many benefits to having a rain barrel which collects water. Not only will it save you money, but it will allow you to properly irrigate your garden, fountains, or any fixtures you have on your property; on top of that, you can also use the extra water to clean your car, clothes, or anything you want given that the debris is properly removed and accounted for. Therefore, having your own supply of water that you collect has many tangible benefits and can be incorporated into the routine of your living situation quite easily.
A rain barrel can be located at any downspout around the home, garage, or near a building but it must be on a flat, firm surface.
Rain barrels can thus be any size depending on how much water you are planning to store. Barrels can be made of plastic, rubber, or even wood. Metal is not recommended although it is sometimes used nonetheless. The barrel needs to be sealed to prevent rusting, leaks, contamination by bugs, and any decaying debris in the water.
The process of converting a regular barrel to a rain barrel is simple:
- Cut a hole at the top of the barrel which the rainwater will flow into.
- Place a mesh screen over this surface so nothing can enter but liquids.
- Drill a spigot at the bottom of the container and leave enough room so a bucket can fit under it. A common spigot is about ¾ of an inch.
- Insert the spigot into the barrel, screw it in, and tape it to make sure its water tight.
- Place it in an ideal location next to your downspout where it can stay upright, flat on the ground, and where it won’t leak.
- You have a rain barrel.