The next major task is to fit the downpipe diverter to the dowpipe. I used a simple hacksaw to cut a section from the downpipe. Make sure you do not cut too much off! It’s easy to do! Remember that some of the downpipe has to sit inside of the diverter, which means that what you cut has to be less than the length of the diverter. (In the photo here you can see the end of the diverter: actually its the pice of downpipe I added to the end of the diverter to give the setup extra reach.)
Here’s the finished product. (Click for full-sized view.) We’ll walk through each step of the way. But before we start we need to get some preliminaries out of the way.
- Plan: how I decided to do it the way I did. You might need a plan too
- Equipment: what I had to buy, and where we bought it
- Tools : the tools I used and the ones I improvised
- Time: how long it took the first time
- Safety: where it can go wrong (and did)
I wanted to:
- collect rainwater and avoid the expense of a tank
- position the wheeliebins under two separate roofs, one for the house and one for the shed
- buy something I might be able to move if I had to, or use for another purpose
- reduce the risks of mistakes as I am new to the water collecting game (even my forefathers, the German farmers on the peat marshes North Sea probably did not have to think a lot about droughts etc, but that’s another story)
- avoid the expense of waving the householder’s magic wand at a plumber: its often more fun and satisfying anyhow to do it yourself
- work out some way to get water uphill — we live on a steep slope
Looking back, I believe the plan was mostly good, and time well spent. I now have two of these 240L collectors set up. One with a submersible pump. But, I have to confess something here and now. Yesterday I fitted the tap to a new 1700 litre tank. That tells you that a wheelie bin is limited in one important way: what it can hold (mine are 240L). I’ll be honest, the planning phase was hampered by a lack of financial willpower, and a feeling I could do it on the cheap. Some just call it being tight. I prefer to call it thrifty, thank you! I guess I was also over-optimistic: I did not realise that 240L is not a lot of water.