Harvesting and conserving rainwater has been a common practice in the United States for many years. It’s almost impossible to come across a home that doesn’t have a rain barrel for saving the collected rainwater.
However, a rain barrel alone isn’t enough for harvesting rainwater. Adding a diverter to your downspout gutter system makes it even easier to harvest this water. The best rain barrel diverter helps prevent overflow in your rain barrel. It automatically channels the excess water once your barrels are full—preventing overflow that can cause costly damages to your basement or house foundation.
If you’re not familiar with these diverters, choosing the right model for you might not be a walk in the park. You’ll get easily confused with the multiple options available on the market. Lucky for you, our in-depth guide below will help you choose the most suitable model for you (plus, we’ll give you a list of the 10 top-rated diverters on the market right now).
Why Use a Rain Barrel Diverter?
A rain barrel diverter is a crucial tool for any homeowner who wants to hassle-freely and effectively harvest and conserve the rainwater.
How it makes harvesting rainwater easier?
Well, a typical rain barrel diverter connects to your downspout system and then channels water to your rain barrel until it gets full.
Once your barrel gets full, the divert will then automatically start sending the excess/unwanted water through downspout and away from your home foundation. This way, it’ll help prevent the foundation from getting damaged and costing you money to repair it.
Aside from facilitating effective water entry into your barrel, a diverter provides you with additional benefits as listed below:
Even if you’re not interested in harvesting rainwater or don’t have rain barrels, we still advise you to fit a diverter in your home downspout system. This is crucial to help channels water at least 10ft away from your home—to save your foundation and basement from damages.
As we’ve just said in the intro, the market has all sorts of rain barrel diverters to ensure you find the most suitable model for your specific needs. Whether you have a round or rectangular downspout, you’ll surely find a diverter for you.
Let’s take a closer look at the 10 top-rated rain barrel downspout diverter models you can get on the market today…
Our Best Rain Barrel Diverter Picks:
1. Fiskars Rain Barrel DiverterPro Kit
Fiskars Rain Barrel DiverterPro Kit is one of the most popular diverters on the market today. It does an excellent job at filtering out all the debris to ensure they don’t end up in your collected rainwater. It channels the excess rainwater from your house to prevent damages to your foundation/basement.
This model boasts of a patented design which enables it to easily improve rainwater capture rate in the event of heavy rains, say in the summer. The smart design also allows the diverter to easily connect to multiple rain barrels—making it suitable for homeowners who want to harvest more than one barrels of rainwater at the same.
Another reason why many people love this diverter is that it comes with an easy to clean filter. This filter is the one tasked with keeping off debris present in the runoff water from entering your barrels. And when the cleaning time comes, you can easily remove it (yes, it’s fully removable) for easy, quick cleaning.
The best part about this divert is that it works with all the standard downspout systems. It can work with the 2 x 3 inch as well as the 3 x 4-inch downspouts. Two couplers for 2 x 3 inch and 3 x 4-inch downspouts are included in the box to make the installation hassle-free. Other items included in the box are the connector hose, filter, and rain barrel connector.
2. Oatey Mystic Rainwater Collection System
Oatey Mystic Rainwater Collection System is another popular diverter you’ll find on the market today. Like the above model, this system will also effectively direct rainwater from the downspout and into your collection barrels. It ensures that maximum amount of rainwater runs through the hose and into your barrels.
It features unique built-in reservoirs which excellently channel rainwater flow from the downspout side while allowing all the debris to flow down the center and out through the spout. This way, you can rest assured that all the rainwater you collect in your barrels will have no sediments.
Installing this system into your downspout system is super-easy and fast for everyone. It’s designed to easily work with the standard 2'' by 3'' residential downspouts. A set of step-by-step instructions are included in the box to help you install it without any problems.
For the construction part, this system features a durable two-piece design made from the tough, UV-resistant PVC plastic material. If you want to, you can paint this material to match your downspout color.
3. EarthMinded DIY Rain Barrel Diverter
If you love to Do It Yourself, this gutter downspout diverter is for you! The EarthMinded DIY Rain Barrel Diverter is a state-of-the-art kit that allows you to easily create your own rain barrel in a matter of minutes. The kit comes with ALL the parts you need to build and install a rainwater collection system at your home, outbuilding, garage, etc.
The manufacturer of this system uses their patented FlexiFit diverter technology to enable it to install easily and quickly. You just need to drill a hole, and it’ll fit into all the standard 2” x 3” and 3” x 4” rectangular downspouts.
Once you’ve successfully put it in place, this diverter will do its intended job of sending the chemical-free rainwater into your water barrels. And when the barrel gets full, it’ll automatically pass the excess water through the downspout and away from your house foundation and basement.
The kit features a spigot designed to fill watering cans and a connection for the soaker hose. It forms a completely sealed design that helps stop the entry of mosquitos, pasts, and algae-causing sunlight from entering into your collected rainwater in the barrels.
The diverter is also easy to remove from your downspout system when not in use. It comes with a winterizing hole cover to prevent freezing in the winter. The illustrated instructions that come with the package make the installation of this diverter quite easy and quick.
4. Aquabarrel Rain Barrel Downspout Diverter Kit
Here’s another great kit that’ll let you convert a barrel or any other container into a wholly sealed rain barrel for harvesting and storing rainwater.
As you’d expect with any other gutter downspout diverter, this model attaches directly to your downspout system (it connects to the 2 by 3-in downspout types, so be sure to confirm your downspout size first). Though the manufacturer doesn’t include the instructions for this diverter, it’s quite easy to install. You just make sure you correctly center it on the downspout to ensure it works as expected.
Once you have this diverter up and running, it’ll channel the rainwater from the gutters and into your rain barrel. When the barrel gets full, the diverter will then backflow the excess water to the downspout—where it’ll be channeled away from your home foundation.
Keep in mind that this diverter is also easy to detach from the barrel whenever you want to clean your barrel. Even better, you can easily remove the hose attached to the gutter and cap it off when not in use.
5. EarthMinded DIY Rain Barrel Diverter
Are you looking for a good diverter kit to pair with your 3 x 4-inch downspout? If yes, you can’t go wrong with this EarthMinded DIY Rain Barrel Diverter. Like our previously discussed diverter from the same manufacturer, this model comes as a complete kit that lets you convert any barrel/container into a complete rain barrel in a matter of minutes.
This diverter is extremely easy to install and should take you a maximum of 15 minutes. This is especially true when you consider the illustrated set of instructions included in the package to guide you through the installation process. The kit comes with all the necessary parts for hassle-free installation.
Like all the other diverters we’ve featured in this post, this model sends the rainwater directly into your barrel. When your barrels are full, it’ll then automatically divert all the excess water through the downspout, where it’ll be channeled far from your home foundation.
When not in use, you can easily detach this divert from your gutter system for cleaning or storage. The winterizing hole cover included in the kit ensures that this diverter is hassle-free to maintain during winter.
6. Gutterworks Inline Downspout Diverter for Rain Barrels
We have this Gutterworks inline rain barrel diverter which comes with a lever to enable you to manually control the flow direction of excess water into the downspout when your rain barrels become full.
The distinct feature of this diverter is its ability to split the water stream—making it possible to fill more than one rain barrels in a single sitting.
The complete package comprises of the diverter, offset elbow/ledge jumper, and a standard elbow. Proudly made in the USA, this diverter is intended for manually filling your rain barrels. It requires you to place the container in front of the pipe.
Since this inline diverter comes in two size options— 2×3 inch and 3×4 inch—you’ll be able to find a model that fits your existing downspout system.
You don’t have to worry about putting up this system as it’s easy and quick to install. You also have nothing to worry about when winter comes as you can easily put the full flow to the downspout.
Beware: Due to the manual operation nature of this diverter, failing to pull the lever will lead to an overflow and water will seep into the ground.
7. Algreen 81052 Rain Barrel Deluxe Diverter Kit
The last rain barrel downspout diverter on our list is the Algreen 81052 Rain Barrel Deluxe Diverter Kit. This complete kit comes with everything you need (including one hole saw, two assembly screws, and two hose clamps) to help you easily connect it to your existing downspout.
Combine these parts with the detailed set of instructions it comes with, and it’ll take you less than 5 minutes to install.
When there’s a downpour, this system will effectively channel all the rainwater into your rain barrel until it gets full. Then, it’ll direct the flow of the unwanted away from your barrel and to the downspout. This way, it’ll be directed away to prevent any costly damages to your home foundation or even basement.
The fact that this kit has a universal downspout diverts means it can work with all the standard downspout types.
Key Factors To Look For Before Buying!
When buying a diverter, make sure you focus on the critical factors outlined below to ensure you get the best rain barrel diverter for your specific needs:
Type of diverter
First, you’ll need to determine what type of rain barrel divert you want to buy.
We can group the diverters into two main types namely:
1. Hose or inline rain barrel diverter
This is the type of model which require you to cut your downspout and then insert the diverter with the connecting hose.
Many homeowners prefer an inline diverter because it’s extremely easy to maintain during winter as you can simply cover its outlet to prevent water from getting in.
2. Y-connector rain barrel diverter
As the name suggests, a Y-connecter features an arm for directing eater into your rain barrel. Because this model doesn’t come with many external parts that can easily get lost, dysfunctional or corroded, it usually lasts longer and is also easy to install.
Due to its shape, however, a Y-connector might be a bit challenging to install because you’ll need to offset it from a straight path. They might also easily freeze during winter due to the bulkiness associated with them.
You should also look at the size of the diverter you plan to buy to ensure it’ll fit in your existing downspout system.
The diverters usually come in sizes 2 x 3 inches or 3 x 4 inches. And the ideal size for you should be directly dependent on your residential downspout size.
If you buy the wrong size of a diverter, it’ll not work according to your expectations!
Ease of installation
You should also ensure that the diverter you buy is extremely easy to install. An ideal model should take you around 10-20 seconds to set up.
If you’re buying a DIY diverter kit, makes sure it comes with all the parts needs for complete installation. This will help ensure you’ll not have any problems once you start putting it up.
Also, check that the diverter you buy comes with a set of detailed, well-illustrated instructions to guide you through the installation process.
If the manual isn’t included in the package, make sure you can at least access it online or from the manufacturer upon request.
Ease of maintenance
It’s important to take care of your rain barrel diverter, especially during the winter months, to ensure it doesn’t get winterized/damaged.
That being said, we have noted that the best models come with a winter hole cover that prevents freezing in the diverter—thus preventing possible damages.
Some models are designed in such a way that they’re easy to detach during the winter season. This means you can easily remove them during winter or when not in use.
Pro TIP: Read user reviews!
Before you buy that rain barrel diverter, make sure you go through the previous users’ reviews. Here, you’ll find some firsthand info on how effective the diverter you’re planning to buy is when it comes to helping you collect rainwater while preventing barrel overflows from damaging your foundation.
How To Make Your Own Rain barrel Diverter?
Do we have the DIY enthusiasts in the house? If yes, this is your part.
Below, we’ve attached a video (a quick, easy-to-follow guide) on how to come up with your own rain gutter diverter from start to end.
Follow this guide, and you’ll end up with a highly functional high-flow downspout diverter:
How Does It Work?
If you’re used to harvesting rainwater, then you know that this task has its own challenges. The most common problem is rainwater barrel or collector overflow…mainly due to heavy rains (in the summer).
The problem with your rainwater barrels overflowing is that the excess water may leak into your house foundation and basement. Needless to mention, water seeping into your house foundation or basement can cause costly damages.
That’s where a rain gutter diverter comes in…
It helps direct just the right amount of water into your rain barrels.
When the barrels are full of rainwater, the diverter will then automatically channel off all the excess water to the downspout.
The downspout will then drain this excess water away from your house foundation or basement. (Problem solved! You don’t have to worry about foundation damage again).
How To Connect It To a Barrel?
You don’t need any prior experience or special skills to be able to connect your new diverter to your rain barrel.
The MOST important thing here is to determine where to place your diverter. If you place it too low or too high, it might affect the flow of rain water into your rain barrel.
Here’s how you determine how to place it:
Use a tape measure to measure the top of your rain barrel and mark the first line. This should be the most appropriate place where you should connect the diverter to the barrel.
Check the video below on how to connect your diverter to the barrel…
TIP: Though the connection process is usually the same for all the diverters out there, we suggest that you check your diverter manual for more details specific to it. This will go a long way in ensuring you properly connect your diverter to the rain barrel.
If you want to harvest rainwater the best way, we encourage you to invest in the best rain barrel diverter.
When introduced into your home gutter system, a diverter makes rainwater much easier to harvest. It ensures that just the right amount of water gets into your rain barrels while restricting any debris from getting into the barrels. It diverts excess water away from your barrels when they get full, preventing overflow which can damage your house foundation or basement.
In our guide above, we’ve just outlined the 7 most popular downspout diverters you can find on the market today to help you harvest and conserve rainwater effectively.