How to install a water butt

water butt image by flickr user Lee Jordan


Learn how to install a water butt


To install your water butt you will need the following tools:

  • power drill fitted with a hole saw
  • hacksaw
  • tape measure

You will also need:

  • water butt and stand
  • rain diverter kit

A diverter works in such a way that once the butt is filled, the water will continue to run down into the drain and not overflow the butt.

 Steps for installing a water butt

  • Choose a suitable and convenient downpipe for the water butt and place the stand beneath it. The butt needs to be raised high enough off the ground for a watering can to fit under the tap.
  • Place the water butt on the stand and mark its height on the downpipe. Cut the downpipe 3cm below this point with a hacksaw.
  • Attach the rain diverter fitting to the downpipe; the cut section of downpipe fits onto the bottom of the diverter.
  • Measure 8cm down from the top of the water butt and drill a hole through which the water butt connector is fitted.
  • Attach the water butt connector to the water butt by pushing through the drilled hole and screwing fittings in to place
  • Attach the water butt connector to the rainwater diverter with the supplied fittings. Place the lid on the butt and lock it into place.


Health and Safety

Water from water butts is fine for garden watering but remember although rainwater is generally very clean, roofs are not and many roofs can have bird muck, pesticides and other pollutants on them which will be washed into your water butt.

If you are using a water butt pump be sure to read the instructions provided by the manufacturer to avoid elecrocution.

More tips

  • Install the water butt only on a firm, flat surface that is strong enough to carry the weight when filled with water
  • Empty the water butt when there is a risk of freezing
  • If the water butt is accessible by children, secure the lid to the barrel
  • If necessary, drill the hole for the tap only at the marked location
  • Consider a water butt stand allowing the water to be dispensed directly into a watering can


For more information visit BuyWaterbutts

- Everything you need to know about Water Butts, including listings of all the key water butts and water butt suppliers, water butt guides and information on water butt accessories.