- Place your water butt on a stand.
- Make sure it’s on a flat, solid surface.
- Cut the downpipe level with the hole at the top of your water butt.
- Attach a diverter, and pipe hose between the downpipe and hole.
- Keep your water butt clean with a liquid treatment product.
Having a water butt means you can collect rainwater to water your garden in a more eco-friendly and cost-effective way but it's important to fit and maintain them correctly. Here we’ll share step-by-step instructions on how to fit a water butt and stop it getting smelly.
How to fit a rainwater diverter: a guide to fitting a water butt to the outside of your home
With these simple steps, we’ll show you an easy guide for how to fit a rainwater diverter kit to your home:
- Choose the downpipe you wish to use.
- Place your water butt or barrel a maximum of 50cm away from the downpipe.
- Make sure your butt is placed on a base. Some will come with a stand; others may need you to improvise. Ensure whatever you us is sturdy enough to hold up the butt.
- Always rest your base or support on a solid, flat surface. Ensure it will be able to withstand the pressure of bearing the weight of the butt when it is full of water.
- Remove the temporary plug in the hole at the top of your water butt. If it doesn’t have one, drill a hole instead. The hole should be on the side nearest the downpipe, around 6-10cm below the top of the butt.
- Use a spirit level to mark the downpipe directly across from the hole you created.
- Use a hacksaw to cut through the downpipe.
- Fit the diverter between the two pieces of downpipe.
- Pull the splash seal over the outer area of the diverter.
- Connect the flexible pipe hose between the diverter attached to the downpipe and the hole on your butt.
- Place the lid on top of your water butt.
- Apply a child-proof lock.
Now, when it rains your butt or barrel will start storing rainwater for all your gardening needs
How to clean your water butt: an easy step-by-step guide
With the following steps we’ll show you how to keep your water butt clean and the water as fresh as possible:
- Use a garden hose or a jet hose to spray down the outside of your water butt and keep it clean.
- Make sure you keep the lid sealed shut to prevent dirt and grime getting inside.
- Use a liquid treatment product inside the butt to keep it clean during use. These usually come in tablet or liquid form and are great for: 1) restoring the natural balance of water, 2) preventing scum build-up, 3) getting rid of unpleasant odours, and 4) keeping the water free of algae and slime.
- Always follow the instructions from the manufacturer when using these products.
- To prevent your water butt splitting, empty the water before the winter cold sets in.
- The best time to clean inside your water butt is when you empty it for winter.
- Use a hose to spray out the inside of your water butt, this should be enough if you have ensured it remained sealed and used a liquid treatment product.
- If you do have any grim build-up inside your water butt, scrub it with a stiff-bristled brush before hosing it down.
With these tips how to install a water butt and how to keep it clean, you can get started on your rainwater collection with the next downpour!