Top Fill

Top Fill

Closed Rain Barrel Design

Rain barrels can be great source of water for your lawn and garden.  They can also cause a great deal of damage if they are installed without a reliable overflow path.  The overflow in this design happens inside of the rain diverter.  Once the rain barrels are full, additional rain water will overflow inside of the rain diverter and continue down the downspout. This system will fill rain barrels to a predictable level.

Filling the Rain Barrels

When the rain barrels are not full the rain in the diverter's reservoir drains down the hose and fills the barrels from the bottom.

Full Rain Barrels

When the rain barrels are full the diverter's reservoir overflows into the downspout.  At this point the water level in the barrel is at the same height as the top of the diverter's reservoir.


1)  The rain diverter must be vertically positioned on the downspout just under the top of the rain barrels.  
2)  The tubing must be connected to the bottom of the barrels and must have  good seals.

Design Advantages

The are many advantages to this design

- Barrels will not overflow
- Barrels do not need an overflow.
- Easy to expand to use more barrels
- No moving parts
- Can be implemented with common gardening hardware
- It allows you to block off the top of the barrel to prevent mosquito and other debris from entering (no top screen required)
- Rain barrels can be positioned away from the downspout but still use the diverter as the overflow.

Parts Needed

Rain Barrel
Downspout Diverter
Water Hoses ( Washing machine hoses work well because they have 2 female ends )
Water Hose Tees
Rain Barrel Stand ( Concrete blocks work well )

© Jason Low 2014

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