rainwater diverter

Hello,
I am going to connect my drain pipes to a water butt. What is the best diverter to use or are they more or less the same? Many diverters seem to use a narrow flexible pipe as feed/overflow to/from the water butt. I remember once seeing an advert for a diverter that used much bigger pipes, claiming that the narrow pipes got blocked easily or would become overwhelmed if there was a heavy downpour. Is this true or was it marketing spin?
I think that model used standard 32mm waste. Would it be easy to connect that to a water butt? Is there such a thing as a 32mm tank connector?
I can't remember the make of that diverter and have not found any from google. Does anyone know the make and whether it still exits?
I have found pages selling "rain sava". It is not explicitly stated but I think that sued standard overflow pipe; does it? If so, that would be useful if someone wanted to customise the installation and run long pipe runs as pipe and elbows etc. are readily available. Has anyone got any experience, good or bad, with the rain sava?
I have heard some people pump the water to a header tank in the loft to flush their toilets. I presume you run the pipe u[p the side of the house and into the eaves? How do you prevent the butt, pump, and pipe from freezing in the winter?
I have also read some web pages about people using a pump to deliver water at one bar so that the toilet fills up faster and apparently it can be connected to the washing machine if above one bar. How do you do this; what type of pump is required?
Thanks, Stephen.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 27 Aug 2009 10:28:52 +0100, Stephen wrote:

I'm taking the other option, and running *all* the drain into the water barrel, then just having an equal-diameter overflow into the drain below.
(that's partly because I've never seen a diverter on this side of the Pond anyway - at least not in any local DIY place. Plus I don't want something that might clog up, and a bit of flow through the barrel seems like a good idea anyway)
cheers
Jules
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 27 Aug 2009 09:03:34 -0500, Jules

What size pipes are you using? My problem is how to connect large pipes to a butt. I have seen tank connectors for 15, 20, and 22 mm pipe but nothing bigger. How will you connect 40 or 68 mm pipe to and from the butt? The reply about pond suppliers is interesting, I will look into that.
Thanks, Stephen
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 27 Aug 2009 22:48:53 +0100, Stephen wrote:

It's all (without going out to measure exactly - it's raining! :) 3x2" rectangular pipe here for downspouts.
For the spill-over to the drain I'll use 2" dia round plastic pipe (the internal diameter of which gives slightly more area than the rectangular 3x2") - purely as the fittings are readily available in DIY places (as plumbing / vent supplies) so I can cut a hole in the water butt and make a water-tight* join.
* of course the curvature of the barrel makes this more difficult, so I anticipate application of some goop or other to assist! :-) I suspect aquarium sealant might be best, as with the barrel full the bottom portion of the overflow seal will be submerged (and I don't think any of the conventional DIY sealants are intended for continuous submersion).
The rectangular pipe will just sit slightly into the water butt without being physically joined to it (although I'll make a regtangular slot in the cover); it'll be secured to the wall just above.
I think I'll put some mesh right at the top of the downspout in the gutter just to keep large items (leaves are the main worry) out of things - I've got scads of glavanised stuff sitting around which should do the job.

Interesting that there's no 2" equivalent (which is what, 50.8mm?)...
cheers
Jules
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 27 Aug 2009 17:37:43 -0500, Jules

How do you avoid overflowing into a drain? That way, you could avoid paying the water company for rainwater collection. Without digging a big hole and making a soak away, could you connect the overflow to a pipe in or on the soil with holes along the length, so that the water is "poured" over the whole garden, or wouldn't it drain fast enough?

I think aquarium sealant sounds perfect. OTOH if the butt is thin plastic, wouldn't it deform a little when you tighten the tank connector, reducing the gap you need to fill?

Direct fill seems to have gone out of favour, perhaps that's because the marketing departments want to sell us diverters? I suppose the disadvantages are all rubbish ends up in the butt and it can overflow, but in your case you have got those covered.

I think there is 50mm pipe. I have only ever used 32 and 40 at home and IIRC the drain pipes are 68 but there is 50mm waste used for some shower rooms, I think.
I received a new BES catalogue yesterday and sure enough they sell tank connectors for 32 and 40mm pipe. I could only find the brass equivalents for 15 and 22mm pipe when I looked on their web site. I guess I didn't look hard enough, though it's often been said their web site isn't as good as the paper catalogue.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Fri, 28 Aug 2009 09:47:16 +0100, Stephen wrote:

No water company here anyway - we've got a private well for supply, so the only charge is for the power to run the well pump.
The drain's something I need to add, too, as currently rainwater just spills across the land around the house and naturally soaks away, but I want to add something a bit more controlled (I've mentioned it elsewhere on here before; there's scope for having a 4" pipe or so running from the gutter outflow, under the driveway, and spilling out into the woodland beyond)

Actually I noticed the other day that the local DIY shed sells 4" pipe which is peppered with 1/2" holes all over it, presumably for this kind of purpose. Might be something to think about...

See other post; it's a bit more heavy-duty than a standard butt. It does deform a bit, though (but then probably enough that I'd have to make a new slightly-non-round lid given that the overflow - and deformation - would be right at the top)

Could me. Maybe direct-fill's a bit noisier too, and that was putting people off (which might be something I end up having to worry about - the barrel's right outside a ground-floor bedroom)

OK. Here it's 2" everywhere pretty much - white for venting / grey water, and black for the more icky stuff. That means there's a good range of fittings around though, and they cost peanuts.
cheers
Jules
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

<snip>
<snip>
If they are the standard water butts available in most garden centres the sides are quite flexible. I did similar to what you describe but used two butts to increase the water storage. I connected them together about 12 inches from the top with plastic pipe (about inch and a quarter I believe) and connectors bought from the hardware shop across the road. The sides are sufficiently flexible that, when the water gets to that depth and runs into the second butt, there is no leakage from the connections. The diverter I used was off the shelf from Homebase and uses a similar sized flexible connection into the side of the first butt near the top. The setup runs very well.
--
Keith W
Sunbury on Thames
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Fri, 28 Aug 2009 09:59:43 +0100, Keith W wrote:

Actually a bit more heavy-duty - it was once a plastic 55gal fuel drum. It had a good rinse out, then a good 8 months or so to acclimatize a bit, then I cut the top off the other day (and got rid of the big 'diesel' lettering on the side so it's now all plain white :-)
It does have some give in it, but the sides are around 1/4" thick (genuine water butts are probably 1/8th or even 1/16th)

I actually need another one, too, but I'll put that up where our barn is and collect water from there (and I'm tempted to see if I can hook up a washing machine pump so I can pump water via underground pipe to where our veggie garden is - there's no suitable way of collecting water right where that patch is at)

I suppose the other thing is that it doesn't need to be perfect - so long as 99% of the water's going where it should...
cheers
Jules
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Pond supplies are usually a good source of tank connectors and the like, eg http://www.cdaquatics.co.uk/catalog/-c-143_54_66_68.html
Matt
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 27 Aug 2009 07:10:22 -0700 (PDT), matthelliwell

Thanks very much. That's exactly what I needed, for someone to turn me around and point me in a new direction. I had stared and stared at plumbers merchants and only found connectors for standard 15, 20, and 22 mm pipe. Why did I not think of pond supplies before? The few filters I have seen look very much like header tanks with 32mm inlets and outlets. I am sure this will help me.
Thanks again, Stephen.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Wickes are good. They have cheaply priced diverters, butt linking kits and drain taps. Black plastic in green poly bags, near the garden hoses.
For butts, the guy who sells a vast range of IBCs, mango pickle tubs et al from the Forest of Dean is very good, if you're local.
There are two sorts of diverter: manual flap valves, and automatic spill weirs. Don't get a manual, you'll never bother to switch it. Automatic is also simpler, more reliable and cheaper to make.
Rain in a drainpipe mostly runs down the inner surface of the pipe (capillary effects), rather than cascading through the middle. The simplest diverter (which Wickes sell for less than the effort of making it) is a smaller pipe placed inside a piece of downspout, constructed to make a circular dam inside this surface. A side outlet takes water away from this dam and into the butt. If the butt is full, water in the pipe backs up and the weir of the dam overflows down the middle to the drainpipe's normal outlet. Similarly if the rain is torrential and too much for the narrow butt pipe.
If a manual diverter is set to "capture" and it's torrential, you get an uncontrolled overflow somewhere you don't expect.
One problem with the simple weirs is that they need to be around the same height as the water level in the butt. This only becomes a problem if you've no downspout adjacent to the butt, but instead want to have the butt in one place and the main downspout elsewehere (e.g. my workshop and its new gutters). With a manual divert valve it's easy, just place the diverter above the butt in a short stub of downpipe, then run more gutter sideways to the main downpipe. With an automatic weir you _can_ also do this, provided that you butt has a lid on it that's well-enough sealed to cause enough back-pressure in the hose to it that you can get the weir to overflow when the butt is full. Otherwise just let the butt overflow, if that's acceptable - it doesn't happen that often and it was raining heavily anyway!

Keep the leaves out.

You don't put that much water through them during a deluge. See above.

Wickes. Plenty of connector and hose bits.

Rain Sava is good, but expensive. It's an automatic weir, with a sliding bit for manual shutoff too (seems pointless IMHO)

"Grey water" is a big topic these days. IMHO it needs more storage volume than I can warrant. My system (planned) is recycling the shower waste (re-filled daily) so can be smaller than a system that must wait for rainstorms.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Andy Dingley wrote:

<SNIP>
Came across one a few weeks ago where the downpipe above the weir diverter was blocked solid with a plug of leaves a good 6" long.
Original call was 'gutter overflowing' but when I looked it was as clear as a bell. Lady mentioned in passing that despite the recent rain the water butt was empty, which gave me the clue on where to look.
--
Dave - The Medway Handyman
www.medwayhandyman.co.uk
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 27 Aug 2009 16:22:01 GMT, "The Medway Handyman"

Never had leaves in ours - touch wood - but often algae, moss, etc. Man on ladder scoops it out for us once a year (not brave enough to go that high myself)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

But don't you need to climb up there to clear the strainer once a year? I have seen some expensive (40ish) diverters with integral filters. I guess they save perching on ladders.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Fri, 28 Aug 2009 08:33:07 +0000, Huge wrote:

Yes, I should mention that mine's that way, too...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Aug 27, 5:22pm, "The Medway Handyman"

Yes, one of ours at home was like this the other week. What I hadn't realised was that there was a good few feet of water above the leaves / moss blockage; so the instant I cleared the blockage the downpipe emptied onto the top of the water butt then rebounded all over yours truly. Kept SWMBO amused for a while :-/
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
airsmoothed wrote:

Funny enough, exactly the same thing happened to me :-) Amused the customer no end :-(
--
Dave - The Medway Handyman
www.medwayhandyman.co.uk
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
In message

Choose a length of gutter not likely to collect leaves.

B+Q do a diverter 7ukp or so. The hose is not a tight fit to the spigots and will drip when the butt is full.
regards
--
Tim Lamb

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 27 Aug 2009 08:14:35 -0700 (PDT), Andy Dingley

I was thinking of the weir type. I have seen manual diverters but I hadn't thought of them for rain water, I thought they were more about choosing whether to recycle or reject bath water.

That last sentence "if the rain is torrential and too much for the narrow pipe" is what the advertisers used to sell their (still unknown) diverter with the 32mm waste pipe. Does this mean there is an advantage to having a larger pipe to the water butt?
Is the pipe to the butt connected below the weir or aligned with it? I have a diverter for square pipe and would like to buy one that fits round pipe (I know I could get adaptors but there's no need to make it look more ugly than it already does!). On this particular diverter, the tee is aligned with the weir so the pipe could never get more than half full. This seems to defeat the object of using any diameter of pipe if half of it never gets used to carry water.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

As others have said in almost all situations the water runs on the inside walls of the downpipe and will be collected provided the connecting pipe to the butt is not blocked. In heavy "flash" storms you'll not collect everything you could but that probably doesn't matter in terms of water collection.
One inherent problem however is that this type of diverter is a constriction in the downpipe which means that stuff, like typically a blob of moss, can be small enough to enter the top of the pipe but big enough to not get past the fitting. The result is a fountain as the pipe fills with water which is forced out of joints. This seems to be not that uncommon with this setup as I've seen a few doing this including one of mine.
A more interesting consideration (for weird definitions of "interesting") is where the contaminants go. In the system described above most of the contaminants seem to end up not going into the butt but going down the downpipe into the ground, probably to a soakaway as that's the "normal" setup. Over the years the soakaway silts up and becomes less effective although how big a problem this is depends on how much excess capacity it was originally built with as well as it's design. In a system where the incoming downpipe goes directly into the butt and the butt overflows into the lower part of the downpipe the butt acts as a separator and collects the contaminants. That's how one of mine is set up and I collect a good few cms each year which need to be cleaned out and oh-my, does it smell (to be fair that butt collects from a large roof with concrete tiles which spall, so much of it is fine sandy sediment but there's also a lot of organic matter too).
The butt described above is fed from a diverter which I'd love to be able to buy but which seems no longer to be sold. It is a Y-shaped fitting, sort of a straight downpipe with another pipe sticking out at about 45 degrees and pointing downwards IYSWIM. It fits into the side of the butt near the top. Inside the fitting there is a fixed flat plate in the center line of the 45 degree pipe such that water coming down the pipe is forced out of the exit pipe and into the butt, when the butt is full water spills under the plate and down the downpipe into the ground. Obviously it collects every last drop of water. Anyone know if they are available anywhere? (The backup plan is to make one from fittings when I get time).
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.