An extremely efficient and simple method to divert and save water during a storm is with downspout diverters. Even for those who do not wish to save rainwater, a downspout diverter will redirect runoff water from the roof that is flowing through the downspout, to more desirable areas.
A downspout diverter box is attached to the downspout, and has one or two ports to which diverter hoses attach. These are flexible hoses that can carry the runoff to nearby gardens, lawns or rain barrels for rainwater collection. The purpose of a gutter downspout diverter is to redirect rainwater from the roof to the area most needed.
Downspout Diverter Kits
A rain barrel downspout diverter can be purchased alone or as a kit. This may include the rain barrel, attachment hoses or diverters, diverter box(es), and metal components for assembling. These kits are designed to enable the homeowner to install the complete system with a minimum of effort and time. Diverters and rain barrels can be purchased and set up separately. The rain barrels themselves are usually made from tough plastic composites with special features to keep rainwater clean.
A basic downspout diverter kit, consisting of a diverter box and hose and designed to be used with a rain barrel, can be purchased for under $20. Dual diverters or those with shut-off valves and other features cost between $30-$50, depending on manufacturer
Importance Of Downspout Diverter
Many geographical locations need rain, and battle drought. For the little rain certain locations do get, it is important to utilize runoff rain water for yard plants and trees, to minimize municipal water use. Capturing rainwater with a rain barrel downspout diverter provides an additional source of water for the homeowner. The downspout diverter can fill a 65 gallon rain barrel during a heavy storm, depending on water volume. The water diverter hoses can also deliver runoff water to underground culverts, underground rain barrels, or any area in the yard that needs extra moisture. These diverters keep water away from foundations and other sensitive areas that may get waterlogged. Water bills can also be reduced.
Downspout Diverter Designs
Several different designs of downspout diverters are available, with metal, plastic and resin components. While the purpose and function is essentially the same, volume of water, downspout size and shape, and use with or without a rain barrel will determine which system will offer the highest efficiency for the needs of the homeowner. Designs may utilize attachable hoses, or flexible diverters which appear to be extensions of the downspout, and will fit sizes 2″x3″ or 3″x4″ in round or rectangular shapes. A variety of colors may be available to match your gutter system, or they can be painted.
PVC that is UV resistant is the most reliable material for these systems, as they often sit in direct sunlight, and receive corrosive water runoff from the roof. Plastic and certain resins may be more sensitive to temperature, and therefore may crack with temperature extremes or severe winds.
Rain gutters can be painted to match or contrast with the color of the structure, so plan ahead to paint them ahead of the installation itself. This requires choosing the paint specifically intended for the type of gutters chosen, whether they be metal or plastic. Be sure there is a space where they can dry after painting. Choose brushes carefully, if used, and make sure spray-on paint is right for the job.
Downspout Diverter Accessories
Accessories are available to enhance the functioning of the gutter downspout diverter, and includes debris screens to keep large and small contaminants out of the water. The diverter function is further enhanced by shut-off valves, rain barrel accessories, gutter downspout diverter adapters, and “first flush” mechanisms which dispense with the initial runoff, keeping rainbarrel collections freer from toxins and chemicals from the roof.