Best Gutter Downspout Diverter For Rain Barrels | Build a Stash

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Key Takeaways

  • The Save the Rain Downspout Diverter is the best overall choice for rain barrels.
  • Gutter downspout diverters are used for rainwater harvesting to route rainwater into rain barrels.
  • The Earthminded Flexifit Downspout Diverter and Aquabarrel Downspout Diverter Kit are two more great options we'd highly recommend.

If you’re interested in a rainwater harvesting system to improve water conservation, finding a gutter downspout diverter for rain barrels is necessary.

The best gutter downspout diverter for rain barrels are the

  1. Save the Rain Downspout Diverter
  2. Earthminded Flexifit Downspout Diverter
  3. Aquabarrel Downspout Diverter Kit
  4. Oatey Rain Barrel Diverter
  5. Gutterworks Basic Downspout Diverter

While some diverters are highly customizable and can be adjusted to fit different gutter systems, others are designed for specific types of downspouts. We’ve tested numerous rainwater diverter options for an open and closed system. This guide includes our top picks.

Table of contents


5 Best Gutter Downspout Diverter For Rain Barrels

Harvesting rainwater can save money, conserve water, and make your home more self-sufficient. A vital component of this process is the downspout diverter.

This device directs rainwater from your gutters into your rain barrel, and choosing one that suits your needs best is essential. It can also work so that if the rain barrel fills up, the diverter sends the overflow water back to the downspout.

We’ve tested numerous products and found the following to be the best rain barrel diverter options. These kits are designed for a closed rain barrel system and rain harvesting system, so you should be able to find the perfect fit for your needs.

1. Save the Rain Downspout Diverter

Save the Rain Downspout Diverter
Save the Rain Downspout Diverter

The Save the Rain Downspout Diverter is a simple, efficient solution for directing rainwater from your downspouts into your rain barrels. It's designed to fit standard 2" x 3" residential waterspouts and easily connects using a 4' high hose.

Installation is a breeze, as the diverter has a user manual to guide you through the process. This rain barrel diverter will directly attach to the gutter downspout, but be prepared to take measurements and cut it to fit perfectly.

What Sets This Diverter Apart

What makes the Save the Rain Diverter stand out is its user-friendly design and easy installation process. Unlike other diverters, you don't need to drill holes or use tools during installation.

Simply fit the diverter onto your downspout and connect it with the provided hose. It's also made of galvanized steel for increased strength and durability during difficult weather conditions.


  • Easy to install, no tools required
  • Fits standard 2" x 3" residential waterspouts
  • It comes with a 4' high hose for convenient connection
  • Available in small and large sizes


  • Hose length might not suffice for some setups, requiring an additional extension

2. Earthminded Flexifit Downspout Diverter

Earthminded Flexifit Downspout Diverter
Earthminded Flexifit Downspout Diverter

The Earthminded Flexifit Downspout Diverter provides a reliable and efficient solution for collecting rainwater from your gutters. This is one of the most flexible rain barrel diverters with excellent durability.

The flexible material can be adjusted to fit numerous gutter designs. There is also no need for extra tools or complex adjustments—perfect for beginners and professionals.

What Sets This Diverter Apart

This rain barrel diverter kit can be fitted to 2x3 inch and 3x4 inch downspouts, a flexibility that is uncommon in many other diverters. This means that it is suitable for a wide variety of gutter systems, increasing its overall utility.

The rain barrel downspout diverter has an automatic system. If the rain barrel is full, the diverter will automatically redirect water back through the downspout, preventing overflow and potential damage to your property.

This full rain barrel kit also comes with everything you need, including an accordion fill hose, seals, and a whole saw set.


  • Easy installation that's perfect for DIY projects
  • Flexible materials to ensure a proper fit
  • Universal compatibility with standard rectangular downspouts
  • Complete kit and no need for additional parts


  • Not specifically designed for non-rectangular downspouts

3. Aquabarrel Downspout Diverter Kit

Aquabarrel Downspout Diverter Kit
Aquabarrel Downspout Diverter Kit

The Aquabarrel Downspout Diverter Kit has earned its place as one of the most effective and reliable solutions in the rainwater harvesting world. It’s also one of the most effective options for dealing with smelly rain barrel water.

This diverter kit is most compatible with plastic container rain barrels. It’s also designed for simple installation without any professional help. This kit includes:

  • A downspout diverter to direct water flow
  • A hose adapter
  • A flexible hose for connecting the diverter to your rain barrel

The diverter is designed to bypass excess water, ensuring overflow is directed away from your house and safeguarding your property from potential water damage.

What Sets This Diverter Apart

The Aquabarrel diverter's compatibility with various downspout sizes and shapes makes it stand out. You just need to know your downspout's dimensions before purchasing.

This diverter features a flip lever that allows you to switch the water flow direction with minimal effort easily. Plus, it's adaptable to most rain barrels on the market, further enhancing its appeal to a wide range of users.


  • Compatible with different downspout sizes and shapes
  • Easy installation process
  • Flip lever for convenient water flow control
  • Available in three different sizes
  • Universal fit and smart design


  • Color variations may not match your exact downspout color

4. Oatey Rain Barrel Diverter

Oatey Rain Barrel Diverter
Oatey Rain Barrel Diverter

The Oatey Rain Barrel Diverter is one of the best rain barrel diverters because it's made of durable, UV-resistant material, ensuring longevity and reliability.

Renowned for its straightforward design and reliable performance, this downspout diverter offers a hassle-free way to start harvesting rainwater. The package also includes a 4 ft. high flow hose that connects the diverter to your rainwater collection container.

The design also channels rainwater directly from your downspout into your rain barrel, leaving no room for leaks or overflows when properly installed. It's a streamlined solution that gets the job done without unnecessary complications.

What Sets This Diverter Apart

One of the biggest selling points of the Oatey Mystic Rainwater Collection System is its hassle-free installation. It comes with a 4-foot hose and a gasket that can be easily fitted to a 2x3-inch downspout, making installation a breeze.

The material is UV and impact-resistant, ensuring longevity and consistent performance even in harsh weather conditions. The included hose is also sturdy and flexible, providing a reliable connection.


  • Easy to install with step-by-step instructions included
  • Durable, UV-resistant material
  • It can be painted to match the downspout color
  • Fits standard 2 in. x 3 in. residential downspouts
  • Comes with a high-flow hose


  • Collection barrel is not included with the system
  • Might not fit all downspout sizes or types

5. Gutterworks Basic Downspout Diverter

Gutterworks Basic Downspout Diverter
Gutterworks Basic Downspout Diverter

The Gutterworks Basic Downspout Diverter is an easy-to-use solution that helps direct rainwater flow from your downspout to your rain barrel. It's designed for a 2x3" downspout and comes with a manual lever to switch between diverter directions easily.

Unlike other options, it keeps things simple and allows you to control the flow of rainwater with just a flip of the lever. This way, you can quickly direct excess water down your existing downspout without worrying about complicated mechanisms.

This diverter is designed to be easily attached to your existing downspout without requiring specialized tools or professional installation. Overall, it offers an affordable and straightforward approach to rainwater harvesting.

What Sets This Diverter Apart

This metal construction provides longevity and makes the diverter sturdier and more resistant to damage compared to some plastic alternatives. It offers an economical solution so you can start harvesting rainwater without a significant upfront investment.

While it may lack some of the advanced features found in higher-end models, its simplicity, durability, and effectiveness make it a valuable tool in any rainwater harvesting setup.


  • Easy to install and use
  • Manual lever for quick flow control
  • Ideal for 2x3" downspouts
  • Affordable option


  • Lacks some advanced features found in other diverters

Key Features to Consider When Choosing a Downspout Diverter

Choosing the right downspout diverter involves more than just picking the first product you come across. The ideal diverter for your home should effectively serve its purpose and suit your unique needs. Here are some key features to consider:

Compatibility with Gutter and Barrel Size

Downspout diverters come in various sizes to fit different gutter and rain barrel setups. Before purchasing a diverter, ensure it is compatible with the size of your gutter downspout and your rain barrel.

The most common residential gutter sizes are 2x3 inches and 3x4 inches, and a good downspout diverter should ideally be adaptable to both.

Ease of Installation

Unless you're a DIY enthusiast or have some experience with home improvement projects, you'll likely want a downspout diverter that is easy to install.

Some models come with installation kits, including drill bits and seals, which can simplify the process. Look for products with clear instructions or even video tutorials to make the installation process as painless as possible.

Material Durability

Since the downspout diverter will be exposed to the elements, it's crucial to consider the material's durability.

Look for diverters made from high-quality materials that can withstand varying weather conditions. Many downspout diverters are made of sturdy plastic, which is durable and resistant to rust.

Automatic Diverter System

An automatic diverter system is a feature that ensures excess water is redirected back down the downspout if the rain barrel is full.

This is a crucial component as it prevents overflow, which could damage your rain barrel or cause water to pool around your home's foundation.

Winter-Proof Features

If you live in an area that experiences freezing temperatures, look for a diverter with winter-proof features. Some diverters can be easily removed and stored during winter to prevent damage caused by freezing and thawing.

Sustainability and Eco-Friendly

For those looking to reduce their environmental footprint, consider a diverter that aligns with eco-friendly practices. Some brands emphasize sustainability in their designs and materials, and choosing these products can contribute to your overall green living efforts.

How Exactly Do Rain Barrel Diverters Work?

Rain barrel diverters play a crucial role in rainwater harvesting by collecting and directing water from your downspout into a rain barrel.

When installed correctly, a rain barrel diverter will intercept the rainwater flowing through your downspout. As water fills your barrel, the downspout diverter ensures that the excess water is redirected back down the existing downspout.

This mechanism helps protect your foundation from overflowing water and prevents waterlogging. To maximize the benefits of your rain barrel diverter, it's essential to keep it well-maintained.

Regular cleaning of the diverter and downspout will ensure optimum performance and prevent clogs. And remember, always use the collected rainwater responsibly, as it is an invaluable resource for your landscape.

Does a Rain Barrel Need a Diverter?

Yes, a rain barrel needs a diverter. Why? Because a diverter helps to direct the water flow from your gutter downspout into your rain barrel.

This ensures that the water is collected efficiently without overflowing or causing any damage to your property. The alternative option is an overflow hose, but we prefer a diverter.

Once the barrels reach full capacity, the diverter redirects the flow back down the existing downspout. Remember that you can also find diverter kits with different features and price points.

How To Install a Gutter Downspout Diverter For Rain Barrels

Installing a gutter downspout diverter for your rain barrel can be a relatively straightforward DIY project. Here is a general step-by-step guide to help you through the process.

Remember, it's essential to refer to the specific installation instructions for your chosen downspout diverter model, as procedures may vary.

Materials You'll Need:

  • Downspout diverter kit
  • Rain barrel
  • Hacksaw or reciprocating saw
  • Drill with a hole saw bit (size according to your diverter kit)
  • Tape measure
  • Level

Step-by-Step Guide:

  1. Choose the Downspout: Decide which downspout you will attach the diverter to. It should be near your rain barrel's intended location and where you plan to use the collected rainwater.
  2. Measure and Mark the Downspout: Using a tape measure, determine the height at which the diverter will be installed. This should typically be just above the top of your rain barrel, but check your diverter's instructions for specific guidelines. Mark the spot with a marker.
  3. Cut the Downspout: Use a hacksaw or reciprocating saw to cut the downspout at the marked location. Remove the section of the downspout, ensuring that the cut is clean and even.
  4. Install the Diverter: Follow the manufacturer's instructions to install the diverter at the cut section of the downspout. Usually, this will involve drilling a hole into the downspout and fitting the diverter into it. Ensure the diverter is level for optimal performance.
  5. Connect the Diverter to the Rain Barrel: Using the hose provided with your diverter kit, connect the diverter to the rain barrel. The hose should lead directly from the diverter's outlet to the rain barrel's inlet. Cut the hose to the necessary length, and ensure it's a downhill path to the rain barrel to promote water flow.
  6. Check the Setup: After everything is connected, check the setup by pouring water into the top of the downspout. This will help you ensure the diverter is working correctly and the water is directed into the barrel.

Remember, safety should always be a priority when undertaking DIY projects. Always use the correct tools and protective equipment, and don't hesitate to seek professional help.