Years ago, I set up a rain barrel here at Chateau Right, to collect fifty-odd gallons of rainwater at a time that I could use to water the plants in direst need during a prolonged drought. (Yes, I do have running water on the property, but it comes from a well, so I’m careful.)
On this first rain barrel, I installed the Fiskars DiverterPro. (Fiskars are the scissor and garden tool people. I’ve never been much of a fan of either of those products, finding them generally weak and shoddy, but I really liked this one. Installed, it looked like this. (Image from the New World Climate website. They considered it one of the best of its kind in 2018, I did too):
One of the things I most liked about it was the transparent plastic lift-up lid. If any leaves or bits of foliage got down the downspout, they’d be trapped on the filter, and you could just lift the lid and clean them out. As with most quality items of this sort, it reverted to sending the water directly down the spout when the barrel was full.
So, when I bought a couple more barrels (I have steeply-pitched roofs, and lots of opportunities to collect rainwater), I thought I’d just pick up a couple more of the same, and I’d be all set.
I was dismayed to find that Fiskars has stopped making them, and that I couldn’t find any, anywhere. So I went on the hunt for a replacement.
I’ve looked at, and ordered, several over the past couple of years, and I’ve found them all wanting for one reason or another. Perhaps the instructions were incomprehensible, and I simply couldn’t figure out how they worked. (I’m not stupid, so I consider this a flaw on the product’s part, not on mine.) Or perhaps they had two components, and snaking hoses everywhere: one to divert the water into the barrel, and another to send the overflow back down the spout once the barrel was full. Some of them were just plain ugly, something I also can’t hack.
Then I discovered this one which, installed, looks like this:
While it doesn’t have the nice “cleanout” feature of the Fiskars (I’m going to have to go up the ladder and stick one of those strainers in at the top of the downspout to make sure stuff doesn’t get stuck in the thing), it’s easy to install, its lines are clean, its unobtrusive, and–when the barrel is full–it switches to diverting the water down the spout. So, overall, it wins on points.
A search for “Earthminded Flexifit Diverter” should bring up purchasing options, if you’re looking for such a thing.