How To Deal With Water Butt Overflow


For a fact, green deposits on water butts and tiles aren’t a good sight to behold, which is because of water butt overflow. Not just that, the consistent sound from water splashing down your water butt when it gets filled up is irritating. So how do you solve this? This article will uncover solutions.

For newbies, it will teach you what water butts are, how to spot a good water butt, how to deal with water butt overflow, expose you to its accessories, and also teach you how to maintain fresh water in butts.

How To Deal With Water Butt Overflow

The most effective way of dealing with a water butt overflow would be introducing the use of a water butt overflow kit. Connecting a downpipe from your rooftop directly to your water butt with the use of an overflow kit will channel any excess water through the hose to a drain. This will stop the water butt from overflowing, not allowing anymore green deposits on the water butt, stand, and tiles.

A typical water butt overflow kit comes with at least a black hose of 20mm, a universal link water butt, ring joint, and a nut. The Harcoster water butt overflow kit is a typical example.

Furthermore, to avoid an overflow one should consider following the instructions found on the water butt manual provided by the manufacturer when installing.

Water Butt Accessories

Below is a list of the most common water butt accessories.

  • Water butt stands

This accessory helps raise the water butt position to allow free placement of watering cans. They are usually made of polypropylene, enabling the full support of water butts, having a depth of 510mm, a height of 315mm, and a width of 470mm. They are also easy to install and ensures the water butt is stable.

  • Tank adaptors

Made from polypropylene, they are highly durable and reliable. These adaptors help you connect a hose to drilled holes easily. For a tighter connection, all you have to do is twist the fitting.

  • Taps

Taps are vital accessories in water butts. A good tap comes with nuts and rubber washers.

  • Water butt treatments

Water butt treatments are also essential, they prevent irritating odors and a lot of other impurities buildup. They are non-toxic, making them safe for water treatment.

  • Valved connectors

These accessories exist as simple one-off devices, they are manufactured for the sole purpose of controlling and maintaining the flow of water from butts. A typical valved connector has a height of 44mm, length of 81mm, a width of 28mm, and a weight of 22g. They are made of UV stabilized materials, likes polypropylene and acetal which enhance their durability.

There isn’t any other perfect fit for a gardener or individual who seeks a simple and easy way to maintain and control the flow of water.

  • Water butt connectors

Water butt connectors are a kit that connects two or more water butts for the sole purpose of increasing water holding capacity. A typical water butt connector comes with a 50cmx 25mm connector pipe, 25mm connectors, washers, and nuts.

What is water butt?

Before advancing, let’s dive into what a water butt is.

A water butt is commonly known as a rainwater tank, and in North America, it is called a rain barrel, also in the United Kingdom, it is known as a water butt. These terms are all attributed to smaller water tanks. These water tanks are devices used to collect and store rainwater runoffs, mostly from rooftops through pipes. To date, there is no better way to harvest rainwater than through the use of water butt.

Water collected and stored in butts could be used for future purposes in the absence of or attempt to manage mains water usage. Water Butts could be used to water gardens, flush toilets, washing machines, wash cars, agricultural use. And in rare cases, for drinking. If properly filtered and adequate care is applied, collected and stored water in butts are safe for general use.

Choosing A Water Butt

Factors to consider when selecting a water butt that is the best fit for your home or garden would be; durability, accessories, budget, and what water holding capacity will be best for you. Do take into consideration the purpose of acquiring a water butt. If owning a garden is one of the purposes for buying one, then taking into consideration the size of your garden will be ideal too.

Types of water butts

Water butts made by manufacturers are in different sizes and materials with a water holding capacity of about 350 liters. At the peak of the summer, they can be a reliable source of water for watering plants, doing laundries and other domestic activities.

Consider that some water butts get delivered alongside stands for support and easy placement on the ground. Below is a list of water butts varieties.

  • Plastic water butts
  • Steel water butts
  • Mounted water butts

Plastic Water Butts

Simply put, these are water butts made out of plastic. They are the most common in terms of distribution, and they do have lots of recycled plastic options. They are very cost-effective and easy to acquire, tend to be cheaper when compared to water butts made of steel. Plastic water butts come in two styles; the traditional barrel withstands and the mounted style. An example of a plastic water butt is the Cloudburst Water Butt.

Steel Water Butts

Steel water butts are made of steel, highly durable, cost-effective, last longer than plastic water butts, and are heavier. Steel water butts are meant to be placed on the ground.

Mounted Water Butts

Mounted water butts sit on external walls. They are lightweight and could easily be mounted in tight spaces since they don’t take much room. Mounted butts make it easy for you to decide how high or low your tap placement will be because you are in control of where and how it is fixed to the wall. An example of a mounted water butt is the Pure Raindrop Water Butt.

How To Install Water Butt

Below is a guide to assist you in properly installing a functioning water butt in your homes, gardens, etc.

Step 1

The very first step towards setting up a water butt would be selecting a downpipe. Select a downpipe in a suitable location to connect your water butt. Your water butt should be connected to a pipe that collects rainwater from several gutters on your roof.

Step 2

The second step would be drilling the hose connector hole. Drill a connector hole of about 8 – 10cm from the top of your water butt. Select a side closest to the downpipe before drilling.

Step 3

Next, acquire a host connector and position the water butt properly. Through the drilled hole, carefully insert the connector properly. After that, mount your water butt on its stand, try to achieve a 30cm distance from the downpipe. The height of the stand and water butt should be enough to allow container placement for easy retrieval of water from its tap.

Step 4

Indicate the level of the hose connector bottom by using a marker. On the downpipe, measure and mark at 25cm above the initial position. Make use of a hacksaw to cut on the marked area of the downpipe.

Step 5

Install a rainwater diverter. Replace the removed section of the downpipe with a rainwater diverter. Make sure to stick to guidelines listed out by the manufacturer when installing.

Step 6

Attaching a flexible hose from your installed water diverter to your water butt is what comes next.

TIP: If there is enough space in your garden, backyard, office, or anywhere you see fit for your water butt placement, you should consider installing not just one water butt, but two or more. This will increase your overall water holding capacity, serving you for a longer period.

How To Maintain A Water Butt; Exterior & Interior

Applying a little bit of elbow grease will get rid of the heavy build-up of grime and dirt. To rinse, go for a blast with a jet or garden hose. Maintaining the outside of a water butt could be very easy as its procedures are straightforward. The only way this could be a little bit challenging is if you leave your water butt unattended for a long period as it will be invaded by a heavy buildup of grime and dirt.

Regularly cleaning the exterior of your water butt is ideal, this will give no room for dirt or grime to build up saving you your grease.

A lot of people go for a more environmentally-friendly cleaning liquid while some go for Jeyes fluid when it comes down to cleaning and maintaining water butt exteriors. It will pay off if one pays thorough attention to the container lid while cleaning, this is to ensure it retains its good and tight fit.

It is advisable to empty your water butt to allow thorough interior scrubbing and cleaning now and then. Doing this will get rid of dirt, grime, algae, and sludge that crawl up the sides or settle at the bottom of the water butt.

Care Tips

As winter approaches, one could use this opportunity to empty and clean the water butt to avoid the risk of ice formation, expansion, splitting, or cracking of the water butt.

There are different varieties of ecologically sound cleaning products to acquire. These products are specifically built for cleaning water butts interior, positively enhancing the quality of water stored. These products are safe for wildlife, pets, and children as they consist of non-toxic chemicals.

These water treatment products come in tablet and liquid forms and are a great fit for stopping algae and slime development, and also scum development in a water butt. They do a great job at keeping rainwater fresh and fit for home or garden use.

Always ensure your water butt has a covering, covering water butts with lids at all times will not only stop impurities from infiltrating the water butt, but it will also shield the water in it from sunlight, sunlight being a major requirement for algae development, as a result, green water is prevented. It will be more hygienic to clean your rainwater runoffs and downpipes from time to time as this will also prevent impurities from entering the water butt. If this seems like a lot to do, installing a mesh cover over rainwater runoffs will help reduce the workload.

Water butt owners, maintaining clean and crystal clear water should be a top priority. I wouldn’t want to give my plants and flowers water of lesser quality, this could be bad for their health and could facilitate poor growth.

The most commonly used water treatment product exists in a liquid form, they contain organic biodegradable seaweed. The Hozelock water butt treatment is capable of treating 6,400 liters of water. It is a known fact that this product does a very good job at keeping away unpleasant odors development, maintaining stored water that is free of slime and algae.

Some people prefer using water purification tablets for maintenance as a means of keeping away algae and slime development when there isn’t enough activity that facilitates the flow of water in and out of the water butt.


The remedy to water butt overflow is as easy as it seems. Properly installing a water butt using an overflow kit either directly or through a rainwater diverter will save you the trouble that comes with water butt overflow.

An extra tip in this article would be thoroughly following the instructions laid down by the manufacturers to ensure a properly installed water butt. Why this is so is because, during production, these manufacturers take into consideration the possibility of an overflow, hence they provide solutions through proper installation.

The most popular water butt manufacturers are Hozelock and Hydrosure

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