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Conserving and harvesting rainwater is a common and useful practice worldwide and nowadays, almost every home has a rain barrel for this purpose.
However, just the barrel on its own is not enough for harvesting rainwater so connecting a rain barrel diverter to your downspout will make the task of collecting rainwater easier and will also prevent water from overflowing and seeping into the basement or foundations of your house.
Rain barrel diverters play a big role in effectively using rainwater and will also save you money in the long run. If you’re searching for a good rain barrel diverter and you’re not really familiar with them, it’s easy to get confused with all the options available on the market.
That’s why we’ve prepared this guide including everything you need to know about these handy gadgets. But first, here’s a list of the 8 best rain barrel diverters on the market.
Rain Barrel Diverter Reviews
EarthMinded DIY Rain Barrel Diverter
- Comes with illustrated instructions
- Helps collect and conserve rainwater
- Features patented technology for overflow prevention
- Simple installation
- All parts included
If you’re someone who enjoys DIY projects, this diverter is just the one for you. The EarthMinded DIY Rain Barrel Diverter is a high-tech product that allows you to convert a container into a rain barrel in little time.
It comes complete with all the necessary parts for installation in your home, outbuilding or garage and its Patented FlexiFit technology makes the installation process extremely easy.
This kit includes a spigot for filling buckets or watering cans and once it’s set up, it’s perfectly sealed to prevent insects and mosquitoes from entering and contaminating the water. It also has a wintering hole cover which prevents freezing during the winter season.
Oatey Mystic Rainwater Collection System
- Two-piece design
- Includes 4 ft high flow hose
- Fits all standard downspouts
- Easy to install
- Very affordable
The Oatey Mystic Rainwater Collection System is designed specially to direct rainwater into barrels that can be used for watering gardens or lawns.
This system works by diverting the rainwater through the hose to a collecting container (the rain barrel). It comes with a built-in reservoir that’s quite unique since it channels water while also filtering out any debris, giving you clean rainwater for your watering needs.
This system is very easy to install, fitting comfortably on any standard 2 x 3 inch downspout and is made of UV-resistant materials which ensures its durability as well as its ability to last even during very strong winds. Overall, this is a reasonably priced and high-quality product.
Rain Barrel Downspout Diverter by Aquabarrel
- Features a long expandable hose
- Affordable pricing
- Works with standard downspouts
- Doesn’t include a filter so it may clog up
Here’s another top-end product that converts most rain barrels into a thoroughly sealed diverter that can be used to store and harvest rainwater.
This Downspout Diverter from Aquabarrel attaches easily to all standard 2 x 3 inch downspouts and all that’s required by you for installation is ensuring that it’s correctly fitted to the downspout. If it’s not attached properly, it won’t perform at its optimal level.
This Aquabarrel diverter will channel all the rainwater from gutters directly to your barrel. If the barrel fills up, the diverter has the ability to backflow the excess water into the downspout and from there, it will be directed away from the foundations of your home.
Although this model is a little pricey, its quality and performance make it well worth your money.
Save the Rain Water Metal Diverter by Great American
- Galvanized steel metal diverter
- Easy to detach if needed
- Takes pain well
- Needs to be closed manually
If you’re looking for a rain barrel diverter that won’t break the bank, consider this product from Great American which looks simple but is highly effective.
Constructed from galvanized steel which makes it strong and durable, this Save the Rain Metal Diverter functions best when the barrel is placed just in front of the downspout.
It stays open during the rainy season and if you need to store it away, its hinged design allows the diverter flap to be closed easily, so your downspout will return to its original function without needing to be reassembled.
As you can see, it’s the simplest product on our list to install as it doesn’t cause any hassle.
Offset Downspout Diverter for Rain Barrels from Gutterworks
- Customizable 4-piece arrangement
- Drains directly into buckets
- High-end price tag
- Fits rectangular downspouts
This Offset Diverter from Gutterworks is available in a range of finishes including royal brown, Grecian green and antique ivory so you can choose which matches your existing system the best.
This product should be set just in front of the downspout and the best thing about it is that you don’t need to do any drilling or cutting of the downspout to connect it. This makes the Offset Downspout by Gutterworks one of the easiest to install.
When the barrel is full, just flip the lever to run the unwanted water down the downspout and away from your home.
Although it may not look it, this diverter stays place even in the strong winds and won’t blow away or come off easily.
For a simple customizable 4-piece diverter with basic features, this product is quite expensive but other than that, it performs very well.
EarthMinded FlexiFit Diverter
1 used from $13.43
- Designed only for standard 3 x 4-inch rectangular downspouts
- Made from high-quality material
- Easy installation
- Automatic overflow protection
Here’s another top-notch diverter from EarthMinded that fits well with 3 x 4-inch rectangular downspouts and is very efficient at conserving water.
It needs to be installed on the narrow side of the downspout, allowing water to be collected from the inner wall surface of the downspout, resulting in greater water collection.
The patented FlexiFit technology prevents water from overflowing since it automatically passes any excess water out of the downspout. It also reduces the risk of damage to the foundations of your home.
Although it’s very easy to install and use, this diverter does not work with 2 x 3-inch or square downspouts, so make sure you check the dimensions of your downspout before you make your purchase.
Rainwater Harvest Diverter
- No need to cut downspouts
- All parts included
- Fits standard 2 x 3-inch gutter downpipes
- Installation sheet in English and Spanish
The Rainwater Harvest Diverter is an environmentally friendly and high-quality product that saves water while also cutting down on your power bill.
Made in France with durable, UV resistant plastic, this diverter easily fits 2 x 3-inch standard gutter downpipes and is easy to install. Like with some diverters, you won’t need to cut your downspout to connect this model, but you will need to drill a few holes to hold it in place.
This product comes with all the necessary parts for installation including 4 self-drilling screws, a gasket and 1 bailer with a tap.
It even has a hole saw so there’s no need to search for tools to install it. Since it’s fixed to the downspout with screws, it’s very sturdy and you won’t have to worry about it coming off even during the heaviest of rain.
Algreen 81052 Rain Barrel Deluxe Diverter Kit
- Kink-free tubing
- Works with Algreen rain barrels
- Detailed instruction manual included
- Easy to assemble
The Algreen 81052 Deluxe Diverter Kit is an excellent, hose model product that works great with any Algreen rain barrel.
It includes all the necessary parts and tools for installation such as 1 universal downspout diverter, kink-free tubing, 1 hole saw, 2 hose clamps and 2 assembly screws.
This kit comes with a detailed instruction manual that makes the assembling process very easy especially if you’re new at this.
Since all components of this diverter are made of high-quality plastic, it’s has enhanced durability and is built to last. Although it may look like a very simple product, it works brilliantly and is well worth your money.
What’s a Rain Barrel Diverter?
A rain barrel diverter is a device used to direct water from your downspout and into your rain barrel for the purpose of water conservation and reusing.
It’s connected to the downspout and once the barrel is full, it automatically sends the water back to the downspout and directs it well away from the basement or foundation of your house.
The rainwater that’s collected can then be used for several purposes such as irrigating the garden or lawn, washing your vehicle, driveways, sidewalks or even your pets (if the water is free of debris).
A rain barrel without a diverter can overflow, impacting your house and garden. It can affect the foundation and walls of your home, resulting in damage, mold and fungi growth. However, by installing a diverter, you can easily avoid these impacts by removing excess water ponding around.
These devices are uncomplicated, simple objects that can easily be fitted to your downspout with a little DIY knowledge or with the help of a plumber.
Types of Rain Barrel Diverters
There are two types of commonly used rain barrel diverters: Y connectors and hose models. Let’s take a look at the difference between the two.
- Y Connectors
These are the most basic type of diverter. It has an arm which directs the water to the barrel below.
Although this model doesn’t have a filtering system for debris, they still work very well and are durable and reliable. They last longer since they don’t come with extra parts that could get lost, dysfunctional or corroded.
The endpoints of the Y shaped diverter channels rainwater to the barrel or wherever you decide to terminate the downspout.
Installing it can be a bit difficult because of its shape and during winter there is a possibility that it could freeze since these models are a little bulky.
- Hose Models
This type of diverter is perfect for use during the summer. To attach a hose model diverter, you’ll need to cut the downspout and connect the diverter with a connecting hose.
Hose diverters (also called ‘inline’ diverters) are quite easy to maintain during winter since you just have to cover the outlet to prevent it from freezing.
When you leave the spigot open and ‘winterize’ the barrel, no water can get in so there’s no chance of it freezing.
How to Choose a Rain Barrel Diverter
Rain barrel diverters are useful tools to have so when choosing one, it’s important to take the following factors into consideration to make sure you buy the best quality model to suit your needs.
Here’s what to look out for when choosing the right rain barrel diverter for your home.
- Size – don’t forget to check the size of your existing downspout system so that you can choose the right sized diverter for it. Most diverters come in 2 x 3 inches and 3 x 4 inches, but double check to make sure or you might end up buying the wrong product.
- Design – rain barrel diverters are available in various designs. You’re likely to come across models that fit circular and rectangular downspouts so when making your purchase, ensure that the design will match the one of the downspout you have.
- Material – choose a diverter that’s made from durable and sturdy materials with the ability to withstand heavy rains and extreme weather conditions so that you’ll get optimal performance for a longer period of time. Therefore, don’t choose a cheap product that’s made of low-quality materials since it might get damaged quickly.
- Ease of installation – this is one of the most important points to consider. Opt for a diverter that’s easy to install since the last thing you’d want to do is spend hours trying to install it by yourself and finally resort to seeking professional help. The ideal diverter model should take less than 5 minutes to install. If you’re going for a DIY kit, make sure it comes with all the required parts for easy and seamless installation.
How to Install a Rain Barrel Diverter
Installing a rain barrel diverter isn’t a complicated process and shouldn’t take you a lot of time. If you’ve got your rain barrel and purchased your diverter, then next step is to install it correctly.
The diverter kit you’ve purchased should include the diverter component that’s going to be inserted into the downspout as well as the hose which connects it to the barrel.
The kit should also include screws, caps for the diverter’s side spout and a couple as well. Some kits even include a hole saw in case you need to drill holes into your downspout.
Generally, you would require some basic tools. These could include:
- A screwdriver
- A tape measure
- A level
- A hacksaw
- A knife
- Pair of scissors
- Silicon seal
- The diverter and its components
Now that you’ve got your kit ready and you’ve decided where your barrel should go, let’s go ahead and set up your new diverter.
- First, make sure your barrel is elevated off the ground with enough room to connect a hose to the spigot on the bottom. Once the diverter hose is attached to the barrel, both the diverter and the barrel should be at equal height so that water will not run uphill.
- Using a level, mark the height of the barrel on the downspout. If the barrel hasn’t got a hole, drill one in the side and insert the couplet.
- Following the instruction manual, mark the bottom and top cut points on the downspout. This is the outline of the area that’s going to be removed and replaced by the diverter.
- Using a hacksaw, make the cuts in the downspout, removing that segment of it.
- Replace the cut-off section with the diverter and screw it in according to the instructions.
- Cut the hose to the right length to reach the water barrel. If it has too much slack, the water won’t flow properly so watch out for that.
- Attach one end of the hose to the couplet on the side of the barrel and the other end to the diverter and that’s it. You’re done!
Pros and Cons of Rain Barrel Diverters
Although rain barrel diverters are not a mandatory requirement for rain barrels, they are very useful and come with many benefits. In fact, they hardly have any disadvantages at all.
Checking out the various benefits of rain barrel diverters may help you decide if you actually need one and whether to go for it.
Pros of Rain Barrel Diverters
- Saves water – Diverters help with conservation of H2O, one of our most precious natural resources. You will be able to make the most of your rainwater gushing down the downspout. While rainwater harvesting is one of the oldest methods of water conservation and usage, always double check the state regulations regarding rainwater harvesting as this can vary. Some states have prohibited rainwater harvesting so check this first to avoid getting penalized. Once you’ve harvested rainwater, you can use it for a variety of functions.
- Keeps your rainwater clean – Diverters create a sealed system, preventing insects and mosquitoes from getting inside the rain barrel. This ensures that your water is protected from unnecessary contamination.
- Diverters save you money – Using a rain barrel with diverter ensures that you make the most of your rainfall and creates an independent water supply for your home. The less municipal water you use, the lower your water bill.
- They’re easy to maintain – Once you’ve set up your diverter, there’s little to do but to ensure that it’s functioning correctly with no clogging. Also, since diverters self-regulate, you won’t need an overflow hose. Simply check on it every now and then.
- Diverters filter out debris from water – Some diverters come with a filter to remove large particles and debris from the rainwater. However, not all have this option so double check prior to purchase. If the model doesn’t have one, you may need to purchase a gutter guard to keep out leaves, twigs and insects from getting into the water and clogging it up.
- Diverters protect your house – A rain barrel without a diverter will overflow easily, collecting on the ground to create ponding. This can damage the foundation of your home and cause algae and mold to grow on the walls. By using a diverter, the water is directed away from the area and overflow is taken care off. Your house remains protected.
- Independent water supply – Having a rain barrel is useful for dry areas and in emergency situations, as long as the state regulations allow you to have one. By installing a diverter, you’re making this system even more efficient.
Cons of Rain Barrel Diverters
- Sometimes complicated to install – This depends on your specific piping and downspout, but some rain barrel diverters can be complicated and will require professional plumbing. This can get expensive and take time. However, once installed, there’s little to do.
- High-quality models can be pricey – In general, rain barrel diverters cost around $20 to $30, but some higher quality models can cost upwards of $40. In the large scale of things, this is a small cost to pay and it’s well worth its price. But for some people, it might make more sense to create a DIY rain barrel diverter instead of spending money buying one.
The Bottom Line
Although it can be quite overwhelming to choose the best rain barrel diverter from all the numerous models that are available, it’s best to do some research before buying one.
All the models we’ve listed above are durable and efficient products that are made to last for years, making them excellent choices. We strongly advise you to steer away from very cheap diverters since they can be made of low-quality material and can wear out quickly. If you’re looking for a high-quality rain barrel, check out our in-depth article reviewing the best rain barrels on the market.