No Love for our Rain Barrel.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

It's true.  This thing is causing more problems than it's worth and I ain't got no love for it no more.

If you remember last summer, this whole scenario has been a headache from the get-go.

Ok, wait, to recap further back, we installed a free water meter from the city through which has been fab-u-lous at saving us ridiculous sums of cash.  Like no joke, 75-80%.  As part of the program, as a supposed incentive, they give you free stuff and the rain barrel was one of those options.

Free seems never free, and free doesn't always equate to good.  Or at least in this situation, free bad, heh.

Right, so fast forward to the other day.  I took tfa Finn out back to our ice rink for a potty break when I happened to catch a glimpse of the hodgepodge rain barrel set up.  Oh but yeah, our entire back yard is just a sheet of ice which makes us all sad faced, especially Finn as he can't do his multiple times daily zoomies out there.

As I mentioned last summer, I did not attach the diverter gizmo to the house because I was unsure the concept was going to work in reality.  And honestly?  It doesn't.  The two hoses to the barrel still fill the barrel in one rain so I have to leave the bottom spigot open connected to a yet another hose so it drains out and away.

It's a tough situation all around -- with our flat roof we have one gutter in the back and one single down spout so all the water comes here.

Our one gutter and one down spout connection.
Originally, and what is supposed to happen here, is that the down spout feeds into a clay pipe in the ground which technically is supposed to go into a tank that every building in the city has but we have no access to it as the house extension is built over it, and the water then directs out to the city sewer lines.

But because we had such an irresponsible loser of a flipper, they didn't do the necessary repairs to keep that system functioning properly.  They just covered it all up, didn't fix it and moved along.  So now, if the down spout is connected to that clay pipe, we get water in the basement.  Which is why I think they left the spout disconnected during the sale/contract process.  They knew.

We didn't realize.  Our inspector didn't suspect nor inspect.  *Insert choice words here.*

The one down spout leading to the disaster rain barrel set up.
Well anyway...looping back around.

So what's going on here?  Ice has formed and filled in every part of the path.  The ten foot hose to the yard, the white hoses going to it, a solid block of ice inside the diverter and then, a-yup, a solid column of ice all the way up the downspout.

Since the weather has been warmer, it's melting and I end up with this -- the column of ice in the downspout has pushed the diverter off.  But it's still glued together by the ice.



It's frustrating.  As you can tell.

For us, it's multiple issues here:  the gutter, the down spout, the in-ground tank/basement, the drainage issue in the yard, and I'm sure there's gotta be more I'm temporarily or purposefully blocking out of my brain.

It's frustrating when you're trying to do the right green thing but be budget-mindful.

Trying to clean up someone else's lack of diligence and calculated choices of not doing the right thing.


Anyway, so I trundled back indoors for the hammer.  Yes, I know.  All the spectacular inadvertent situations I could create with a hammer because that I am really good at, but I wanted to get the diverter back "on" in case it rained.

It worked.  I was careful.  I did crack the diverter in a few spots but not critical ones nor badly.  Got a portion of ice out of the gizmo and enough off of the spout to wedge everything back to-tenuous-gether.

A few hours later, I'm inside doing some work when Finn and I hear this crashing sound.  He jumped.  I didn't think too much of it.  Later we went back out and the entire column of ice within the spout had dislodged and my set up was crying in a heap.

Sigh.  Hammer time again.

I broke apart the column of ice and tossed it aside, much to Finn's glee.  "Oh, what's this?  Giant logs of icy play things?!  Thanks Mommy!"

After some more cramming, sighing, twisting, crunching, munching, and banging, the set up is back to MacGruber wedged.  Not even MacGuyvered, MacGrubered.

In the end?  When spring has sprung its ever-so-lovely self, I'll be purchasing a shorter 3x4 piece of down spout to replace what I cut off.  I'll connect that, then to the ten foot hose and kick the rain barrel to the curb.  Enough is enough.  I'm still deciding if I'm going to save the dumb thing for our possible future deck off the garage or not.

Clearly we have quite a task ahead of us in the yard between all these pieces and parts.  We'll have to devise a plan to achieve success.  (Yeah, we.  Sorry babe.  Love you!)

Alas, no love for the rain barrel.  I tried.

But I am excited....I've amassed almost enough rebates to go buy a ladder which I am off to do here in a few.  Yeah baby!


  1. Jiminy Christmas, I can't believe all the stupid and wrong stuff that flipper did to your house! Every time I read about something new I just want to slap my forehead and yell "DOH" like Homer Simpson!


  2. It does blow my mind, that's for sure. How can one person do so much wrong?! And just when I think I've found it all......heh! What's scarier is he's still out there doing this to people. In the end, we'll leave it better than when we found it! Thanks Tania!

  3. It's definitely troublesome if the person who flipped your home never took the time to inspect its internal system. I just hope he hasn't victimized another homeowner with that kind of irresponsibility. At any rate, it's a good thing you thought of a clever solution against that problem. I do hope you and your husband has already gotten started on your plans. After all, it'd be better to solve that matter as quickly as possible, right? Thanks for sharing that, Becky! All the best!

    Sharon Strock @ StormChamber

    1. Sharon, thanks for taking the time to write! It is very upsetting to know that that guy is out there still, probably doing the same thing to others. *shudder* Unfortunately for the rain barrel, it is no more -- the follow up is here:

      I agree, taking care of water situations is critical, top of list to take care of considering the damage it can do. Our set up is likely not permanent yet still but at least we're back to something we know works. Thanks so much and all the best to you!


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