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Another question about water butts I'm afraid!
Our builder has voiced concerns about having the water butt on our decking. He said that even with a rain diverter, if we have torrential rain the diverter may not stop the water butt overflowing and this of course isn't ideal if the butt is standing on decking. Can torrential rain really cause this problem with a rain diverter?
On a side note, I've also read that water butt lids should be a tight fit with no gaps, to stop bugs getting in and breeding. Our water butt has four small holes (designed, not caused by damage) in the lid, all about 5mm wide. Should I block these with something like silicone sealant?
This water butt feels like it's more hassle than it's worth...
we have three linked water buts down the side of our house and they sit on a deck that is 12 by 2 feet. We have never had any problems with heavy rain and our water buts have never overflowed. We also have two that take the run off from the greenhouse and again have not had problems with overflow.
The water but lids are tight to stop mossies laying their eggs in. You probably need one of the holes to feed pipe/tubing into. I think ours have holes and we haven't blocked them up.
I'm guessing the builder could be concerned that your decking may rot where your water but is, if the water doesn't drain away.
Thank you Gardenmaiden, that's good to know. The rain diverter will be fitted to a downpipe which will in turn lead to our drain, so I hope that will avoid any problems with the decking.
I couldn't see any purpose for the holes in the lid because the hole for the input pipe (leading from the rain diverter) is in the side of the water butt. Could you tell me what pipes/tubing I might need to feed into the lid please, or were you talking about the input pipe?
Thanks so much for replying!
It may depend what area of roof the downpipe collects from. We have one downpipe for the whole house and the diverter does fail to cope when there is torrential rain but it's quite unusual only to have one so yours may get less rain.
Water butts may overfill and thus overflow, but I've never heard of them causing rotting to decking - the water will just drain away. We have several butts around the place, some of them there for many years, and all works fine. They are not more trouble than they are worth once you get used to them, because your plants will love the contents so much more than tap water.
I have a jam jar in one of the unused holes in one of mine - from which all the birds like to drink - no matter how many water feeders there are about the garden! I guess they are there for different types of fittings - I've never thought about it, but off hand cannot think of another purpose for them.
You can stretch some old socks or tights over the holes to let air in and out but keep the insects and/or mozzies out.
We have a waterer diverter, and two butts linked together so that when one fills the other takes over - they're full now but will be essential later on - I hope.
What a fuss your builder is making over this, is he hourly paid!!. maybe he doesn't really know. Did you really need a builder to put a butt in?
The idea of the diverter is to catch the water in the butt, when its full it automatically goes down the drain pipe. Never had a problem.
I have 12 various butts around, some are just big dustbins, anything that catches water. Never had a problem, if something has laid eggs in there they have never been a problems to any of my plants.
we've used ordinary garden hose to go from our greenhouse to the water buts.
Your decking will be wet or damp for long periods at certain times of year. The occasional heavy storm won't add significantly to this, so don't worry!
It is called a diverter because it diverts water into the butt, and if it is set up correctly when the butt is full the water is diverted into the downpipe. This will not affect the decking in any way.
Singing Gardener - It will only be collecting rain from the guttering around our kitchen extension, so you may well be right! The main guttering feeds to the downpipe which drains into our neighbour's drain, because this is a mid-terrace house.
Lyn - The builder is here doing all sorts of work, renovating our 70' garden which, until a month ago, was covered in over a foot of concrete. He's just altering the guttering to allow us to have the water butt as it won't fit anywhere near the current location of the downpipe. That's the only reason he's fitting the butt and not us.
Thank you everyone for your feedback. I'll try stretching some old tights over the holes as suggested. We'll just see how it goes, I'm sure if there are any problems we'll realise long before the decking rots away completely. All this gardening lark is such new territory to us that even little things leave us wondering if we're making horridly obvious newbie mistakes!
One newbie mistake is not realising that decking needs a coat of preservative every year. The suppliers say it has been treated for rot, but they exaggerate!!
Glad to say we've avoided that one. We've (the builder has) coated it since it was installed and we'll reapply every year.
Newbie mistakes are all the ones we have all made over the years, now we just make older mistakes!! No one does everything right, and my idea of right may not be any one elses idea of right anyway. Do what you feel/think is OK, look in some good library books, enjoy whatever you do - and change it all next season when you decide it wasn't a good idea. That is, basically, what gardening is much about. Have fun, enjoy - learn what you want as you do it and find it works for you.
In torrential rain won't the decking get wet anyway? Never had overflowing problems with mine, but don't have decking either so not considered it. Lifting the butt off the decking to let air under might help a bit, if you can find something safe and stable.
trillium2cv wrote (see)
In torrential rain won't the decking get wet anyway?
In torrential rain won't the decking get wet anyway?
Yes, but if the water butt were overflowing it would be the equivalent of having the downpipe directed onto our decking rather than the drain, which is an awful lot of extra water (i.e. all the rain collected from our roof) spilling over the decking. Besides, it's the principle of the thing, rather than simply a fear that the decking will get a bit wetter. Water butt is on a stand to allow us to get a bucket underneath the tap. All sorted now, everything is in place.