Although I collect rain water from the two patio scuppers, when it comes to collecting rain water, more is always better.
Despite the repeated hoopla about an El Nino winter, I never got around to adding downspout diverters to the eight, yes, eight downspouts on the house. A eye problem intervened for months--a fairly good excuse. Finally I ordered a diverter, as a test, even if our egregiously disappointing rainy season is pretty much over.
We interrupt this downspout post for another diversion:
Clematis 'Etoile Violette'
For some reason big-box stores only offer the cheesiest of flimsy plastic diverters. Not Acceptable. I searched on line and ordered an aluminium one of the same size as our downspouts. With...
- hack saw (to cut the existing downspout)
- measuring tape (to measure where the cuts should go)
- pencil (to mark the measure)
- drill (to fasten new pieces to existing spout with provided screws)
- needle nosed pliers (to fold the corners of spout so they fit into each other)
- foul language (to, well, you know, make it work)...
Voila! Presto! Cheers! Success! The tricky part was folding the corners of the spout with the needle-nosed pliers. It takes practice to make a clean fold without ruining the rectangular shape of the spout material. It took about three tries to get the fold right.
That shiny metal lever in the next photo switches the diverter from "continue on down the drain" to "fill the rain barrel". This is the "continue" position:
Add a 44 gallon trash container to collect 50 gallons of rain (what's with the sizing on trash barrels, anyway?), flip the lever to "fill", and it's in business:
Miracle of miracles, we got a little rain on Thursday. And Friday. It wasn't too late, after all, to collect a little more free water.
It actually rained more than this. Not that much more, though.
The diverter works! It diverts! Unfortunately, there is only one other spout to which I can add a diverter. Six of the spouts are sited in corners, and being in a corner, the angles of the above diverter won't fit. I'll have to find another solution for those downspouts. The sky must also learn to cooperate. El Nino is once again El No Show.
Hey, how about diverting some koi food over here, eh?
The type of diverter I used is very simple and I must move the lever back to "continue to drain" when the barrel is full (full--yeah, dream on). Some types of diverters will filter the water free of leaves via a screen, run the water a bit before diverting so the dirtiest bit doesn't go into the barrel, and sense when the barrel is full to automatically flip back to "continue", but these features are not so necessary, in my opinion, in this climate where rain is concentrated into a few months of the year (or never arrives at all). In a climate where it rains year round, and rains quite a lot, and, you know, actually rains, those sorts of features are more necessary.
Hey El Nino, I'm ready now. All you need to do is finally, finally show up. Which you didn't. Again.
I close this downspout diverter post with something more diverting. The first Itoh Peony just opened.
Because downspouts are not as pretty as flowers, how about a few shots of drippy flowers? We did get drizzle.
'Perle d'Azur' Clematis
Ah, now that's diverting.