Downspouts capture water traveling through a gutter system, and direct it away from the foundation of a home. Water is a precious natural resource and with this in mind, some homeowners attempt to reuse rainwater to irrigate their lawns and gardens. By capturing the runoff from the gutter and downspout system, a rain barrel stores water for reuse as needed. Thanks to rain barrels, almost any homeowner can easily reuse water that falls from the sky.
A rain barrel is an above-ground receptacle that can be attached to a downspout. It can be attached directly or connected to a downspout diverter. Installation of a diverter allows people who live in cold regions to suspend water harvesting efforts for the winter. A diverter also automatically directs water back into the gutter system before the rain barrel can overflow.
Rain barrels are designed to capture water, not debris, so the gutter system should be equipped with a filtering device. The downspout is then diverted into the rain barrel, maintaining downward slope towed this water receptacle. Plastic, metal, fiberglass, and concrete barrels are available, ranging in size from 50 to over 300 gallons.
A diverter fits directly on the downspout and features a hose that connects it to the rain barrel. The diverter should be the proper size for the downspout and the hose must be long enough to reach from the diverter to the rain barrel storing the water. A hose outlet may be on the side or at the bottom of the diverter unit.
Water collected in a rain barrel can be distributed to the lawn or garden through a garden hose, soaker hose, or watering can. Elevating the storage tank should naturally increase water pressure and a compatible pump does this mechanically. With a rain barrel installed at the end of it, a downspout becomes a recycling device. If you have any further questions about setting up a rain barrel with your gutter system, feel free to give us a call.