A downspout diverter is an optional accessory for those of you with rain barrels. They will direct the flow of water to a rain barrel on one side or down to the ground through your downspout with just a flip of a lever. Just add extensions and elbows to get the water to flow to your rain barrel or onto the ground.
Most of the higher quality rain barrels come with an overflow hose but you may want to use one of these diverters to prevent water from entering the rain barrel during times of heavy rain when your barrel is full or in winter months to prevent water in the barrel from freezing.
Diverters usually only come in white so you will need to paint them the same color as your existing downspouts. Tip... its easier to paint them before installation.
A diverter is made from aluminum downspout material and looks like an upside down "Y". It is available in two sizes to fit 2x3 or 3x4 downspouts.
There is a lever on the front of the diverter that moves a plate inside so the rain water can be channeled down one side or the other.
Diverters are relatively easy to install using the instructions below and can be installed during the gutter installation or at a later time.
Aquabarrel Rain Harvesting and Rain Barrel Supplies has a great selection of downspout diverters and other rain barrel accessories.
The first thing to do is set the height of the diverter. Make sure that the ground in front of the downspout is flat and level then place the rain barrel in front of the downspout.
Install an "A" elbow onto one leg of the diverter, then place it up against the downspout and raise it to about one inch above the rain barrel and make a mark on the downspout.
Measure one inch below the mark you just made and cut the downspout with a hack saw.
Remove the cut off section of the downspout. Use needle nose pliers to crimp the corners of the remaining section of downspout on the house so that it will slide into the diverter.
Slide the diverter onto the downspout and line it up to the first line that you made. Secure with zip screws or pop rivets on the front and sides.
Set the rain barrel under the diverter so that the intake screen lines up with the "A" elbow and verify that you have clearance.
Make a mark on the remaining leg of the diverter one inch above the bottom edge.
Install another "A" elbow on the piece of downspout that you cut off and secure with fasteners.
Hold it up to the front of the remaining leg of the diverter so that the bottom of the elbow is about three to four inches above the ground .
Transfer the mark you made on the diverter to the downspout and cut off excess.
Slide the lower downspout section onto the diverter and line it up to your mark. Install fasteners.
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