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rain barrels
rain storm
rain water
heavy rain
breeding ground
gutter
mosquitoes
What's A Rain Barrel Diverter And Do I Need One?
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What\'s A Rain Barrel Diverter And Do I Need One?

Rain barrels are a handy way to save plant-loving rain water for gardens and planters and a smart way to conserve water. Before purchasing one, however, do consider what type rain barrel is right for you and your family because the style barrel you select will dictate whether or not you'll need a rain barrel diverter.

Just as its name implies, a rain barrel diverter, or downspout diverter, simply directs rain from your roof into your rain barrel. It diverts the flow of rain from the downspout into the barrel. Not all barrels are created equally; some need a little more help gathering up the rain and require a diverter.

Open-topped rain barrels don't need diverters

Rain barrels with no lid or with an open top design are easy to set up. Simply place the open barrel in the right spot: catch the rain coming from a leaky gutter, under a shortened downspout, or use a downspout extender to channel rain to the barrel. You can also use a rain chain to direct the rain into the barrel. These methods work easily and add little additional expense to your rain barrel purchase.

The open rain barrel has drawbacks, however. It can pose a danger to small children, be a breeding ground for pesky mosquitoes, and produce overflow puddles during high surges of rainfall..

Why enclosed rain barrels need diverters

The enclosed style rain barrel is safer for families with small children but doesn’t capture the rain as easily as the open-top style barrel. These barrels need a special rain barrel diverter attached to the downspout to channel the rain from the roof into the barrel.

The beauty of this devices is that it diverts rain into the barrel until the barrel is full then automatically directs the water back through the downspout and away from the home. Some come with removable filters to keep gutter debris from entering the barrel.

Benefits of Rain Barrel Diverters

  • Redirects rain back through downspout when barrel is full
  • No barrel overflow during heavy rain storm
  • Keeps insects and debris out of barrel
  • Enclosed barrels are safer for small children
  • Downspouts remain functional.

What to look for in rain barrel diverters

• How far from the downspout will your barrel be placed? Some diverters come with 7 ft hoses, others are only 3 ft.

• On what side of the downspout will the barrel be placed? Some models only have outlets on the right or left side. Some have outlets on both sides.

• What size downspouts do you have? Many homes have the standard 2”x3” downspouts, some have the larger 3”x4” size. Check to make sure your divert kit will fit the size you need.

• Does color matter? Some models only come in black, others green. Since white is the most common downspout color, color choice might pose a problem.

Diverters are a good solution for enclosed rain barrel designs. Finding the right rain barrel diverter for your barrel should be easy as long as you consider the placement of your barrel, the size of your downspout and the desired color.


Street Talk

Great idea! I am sold on trying this during the summer months this year.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Shawn, that's great. Your plants will love you.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Great idea for areas where drought is prevalent. Great article, well done!

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Thanks, Theo!

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Lots of folks here in the southwest use rain barrels. As for us here at the ranch we just installed a 10,000 gal grey/rain water cistern. All water goes into the tank from the house, shop and barn. Well except for the toilet... Now all we need is some water to fill it.... Drought has been terrible. Great article.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Pat, your cistern is a great idea. I know what you mean about the drought. We've had a bad one this year in the midwest and this winter still little precipitation. Bet you'll love saving water this year. every drop counts.Thanks for your visit and comment.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Great idea and a great article! We just built a green house and I reading this article gave me an idea of how to divert the rainwater and then distribute in my green house. Thanks so much :-)

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Oh Judith, I'm so jealous. Bet you're going to love it. You'll have to write about it (when you have a minute of spare time) thanks for reading.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

That is a pretty cool idea with the diverter. How does it work? Do you cut your downspout and stick the two ends into the diverter?

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Yes, you make 2 cuts in the downspout and stick it in. If you have the open topped rain barrel you can just make two cuts in the down spout and use one of those downspout extenders to direct the rain. It's much cheaper if you have that style barrel. thanks for coming by and commenting, my friend.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

I think rain barrels are a great idea and the diverter makes it easy to use

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Hi John. Yes, I love saving water for my garden and it's so easy too. thanks for reading and commenting.

Reply
  about 9 years ago
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