Are you looking for a way to save water in times of drought or just to minimize your water usage? A rain barrel is good for the environment but also good for your bank balance, as it can help you save on municipal water use.
Sometimes, water usage is restricted at certain times due to drought, so it is vital that you have an alternative.
With almost every rain barrel set up, you will need to use a rain barrel diverter. This takes the water from the downspout and directs it into your barrel, where it can be stored for safe use.
Not sure where to start? We’ve looked at the best rain barrel diverters in this article.
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Let's take a quick glance at the products we will talk about here.
Benefits of a Rain Barrel Diverter
A rain barrel diverter is a sealed system that is designed to help you to collect rainwater. It can also prevent your barrel from overflowing. It has other benefits when it comes to preventing overflows and debris building up and can even keep mosquitos out by creating a sealed system.
A diverter makes the process of collecting water simpler and you don’t have to monitor for overflows yourself, as the rain barrel diverter will shut off the supply to the barrel and let the water continue to flow out of the downspout if it is full.
The systems can often filter the water, as well as prevent waste. There are many benefits to collecting rainwater. The water you collect is perfect for irrigation around your yard or for a number of other uses, too.
You can use it to wash your driveways or the exterior of your house, especially if it has been filtered during the process. The water may even be suitable for washing your pets!
Collecting a reserve of water when it rains means that it can be used instead of municipal water and there are usually no restrictions on using water you have collected yourself. Be careful, though, as you need to check that you are legally allowed to collect rainwater in your state.
What to Look For
There are certain features that set rain barrel diverters apart and things you should be on the lookout for when you buy one, whether you are buying a new barrel or retrofitting a diverter to an existing one.
- Ease of installation. Installing a diverter can be a difficult task if the design has not been well thought out. It should be simple to install the diverter, whatever style or design it comes in.
- Durability and stability. If the seal is broken with the barrel or if there is a leak, it can defeat the purpose of having a diverter and mean you have no control over the water. The diverter, as well as the barrel itself, should be able to stand up to weather conditions and other wear and tear.
- Filter. A filtration system can be a very useful feature for rain barrel diverters to have. They allow you to collect cleaner water and, though it won’t be as safe and clean as municipal water, filtered water can prevent blockages and buildup of unwanted leaves and debris.
- Fit. The diverter will usually be either 2x3 or 3x4 inches, depending on how big the downspout is. Most lead into a closed barrel container, though there are some models with arms that can lead water directly into an opening in the barrel.
Installing a Rain Barrel Diverter
Installation doesn’t mean having to buy a brand new rain barrel. You can add your diverter to existing guttering and an existing barrel.
There are some simple tips to follow for the installation. Of course, each model of diverter will have its own unique guide to help you to install it, but there are also some universal tips to make your life easier.
Try to elevate the barrel so it is sitting on stone, breeze blocks, wood, or concrete. Make sure your base is sturdy, whatever you choose. A full barrel weighs as much as two average-sized people! Once your barrel has been elevated, you can easily access it at the bottom.
Ensure that the diverter is installed higher on the downspout than the top of the barrel. This will allow for an effective flow of water through to the barrel.
For a full installation guide on connecting your barrel to your downspout, check out this video.
Types of Rain Barrel Diverter
There are two main types of diverter:
Y-shaped diverters are the basic version. They are quite reliable but tend not to have any extra features, such as filters. The two endpoints of the diverter are designed to let the water flow down to the end of the downspout into the barrel. These can be tricky to install and they are quite bulky.
Hose style diverters are designed for the downspout to be cut and have a hose that runs into the rain barrel. These often have a filter and, in the winter, you can cover the outlet to ensure there are no issues with freezing.
You may be able to use your own hose to run the water between the spout and the barrel, but, if you do, make sure you are using a top-quality hose, such as a Flexzilla.
Best Rain Barrel Diverters - Our Reviews
Save the Rain Water Metal Diverter
This is a simple barrel diverter that does an excellent job with either 2x3 or 3x4-inch downspouts. The metal diverter is designed to be durable and long-lasting, as well as relatively simple to install.
There are two different models of this product, so make sure you get the right one to fit your guttering.
If you don’t mind a diverter that isn’t able to filter the water and you are just looking for a simple yet rugged way to install a simple product to divert your rainwater, this could be the answer. Installed correctly, there is no reason this galvanized metal model won’t last years.
Gardener's Supply Company Downspout Diverter
This is a hose style diverter, designed with some smart features, including overflow protection. This was originally made to fit British-style guttering, but it has been adapted for the sizes of gutters in the US.
If your area is susceptible to heavy rain, this may not be the best option for you, as it can alter the capacity of your downspout. However, if heavy rain is rare in your location, the Gardener's Supply Company Downspout Diverter could be a good option for fitting a diverter to your rain barrel.
EarthMinded DIY Rain Barrel Diverter Kit
What better way to get a diverter that works perfectly with your own barrel and guttering than to take a DIY approach? With the EarthMinded kit, you are expected to make the connections yourself, rather than it being ready-made, ensuring maximum effectiveness.
If you are happy to do a little bit of work to make sure you have a diverter functioning to its full potential, this flexible kit can be an effective way for you to install a diverter and save rainwater.
Inline Downspout Diverter for Rain Barrels
This is a very simple, Y-shaped diverter, which works with all different styles and sizes of downspout. It is made in the USA and offers plenty of durability, meaning it should last many years.
The Inline Downspout Diverter for Rain Barrels is an incredibly simple model, which doesn’t have any features to prevent overflows or to filter the water. It can simply be switched via a lever to start collecting rainwater.
The multiple designs and sizes mean that you should have no compatibility issues if you go for this diverter.
Oatey Mystic Rainwater Collection System
The Oatey Rainwater Collection System is slightly different than the other models on the list. The two-part design needs to be installed into a downspout. The idea is to saw through the downspout and then attach the upper and lower parts where the gap has been created. The system then directs water via a hose into your barrel.
It is a slightly smaller system and designed for residential guttering. The collection system only works with 2x3-inch guttering, rather than 3x4.
The customizable design of this diverter is appealing to some -- nobody wants an ugly diverter that doesn’t fit your color scheme. If you have a smaller, 2x3-inch downspout this could be an option for you.
The plastic design also means this is one of the more affordable diverters on the market, so if you are on a budget, you might want to consider the Oatey Mystic Rainwater Collection System.
Fiskars Rain Barrel Diverter Pro Kit
This is another kit that allows you to divert water into your rain barrel out of the downspout, but it has more features than a lot of the other options. Fiskars is a big brand in the area of garden equipment and this is a good example of the quality the brand offers.
The Fiskars DiverterPro Kit can handle even difficult, rainy conditions. It also has a filter system, something not many of the best diverters offer.
If you are looking for a rain barrel diverter that has a way to filter water and prevent overflows, the Fiskars option could be worth exploring. The clever design can cope with heavy rain and it is also pretty robust when winter comes around.No products found.
EMSCO Rain Barrel Downspout Diverter Kit
This is a simple plastic diverter kit that is affordable and allows you to attach it to either 3x4 or 2x3-inch downspouts. Though not as rugged as some of the other options, it is good value for money and, if installed correctly, it can do a good job with your rain barrel.
Though it isn’t the very best model on the market today, the EMSCO Rain Barrel Downspout Diverter Kit is affordable and allows you to attach or retrofit it to your own barrel with relative ease. If you need something to handle slightly more water flow, it could be worth paying a little more for the extra features of some of the competing diverters.
Which One Did We Choose?
Though it is important to match your diverter to your own specific needs and understand which features are most important to you, there is a clear model we recommend as the best.
The EarthMinded DIY Diverter Kit from Amazon stands out as being flexible and suiting the needs of virtually any customer. It can be installed pretty easily and even has a patented FlexiFit diverter, which can prevent overflowing water.
Once installed, this diverter remains firmly in place and the components are quality enough to last many years. It comes with a winter hole cover, so you can effectively retire your diverter for those cold winter months when doing a weatherization of your garden.
For more garden tools, check this post by anestwithayard.com.
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Last update on 2020-09-21 at 19:09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API