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Old 08-27-2012, 01:52 PM
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Default Request for design ideas.

I'm not sure this belongs in this topic but it could become a fabrication project soon.

In the "Off Topic" section we have a discussion going about rain water collection. This triggered my thoughts to a small fabrication that I have pondered for over a year now.

When you collect rain water off of a roof the first 5 to 10 gallons of water contains lots of crud from the roof surface and the gutter. This crud will make it into the rain barrel and if it contains lots of leaves and sticks it will make a "tea" and eventually it will ferment in the rain barrel. This "tea" is harmful to some plants and is undesirable for watering gardens. Not only that but it will eventually stink to high heaven.

I have attached a sketch of a design concept for a "first water dump system" that I plan to tinker with someday. The rain water will fill the bucket with the dirty water, when the bucket is heavy enough it will lower and the linkage will divert the water flow into the rain barrel. The bucket will have a small hole in the bottom (at location "B") to allow the bucket to slowly drain and return to the starting position. There will be a counter weight located near location "A" to raise the empty bucket and move the diverter blade to the original position and the cycle starts over again. Wasting 5 gal. of clean rain water is not a concern. However if you have a better design that would eliminate the wasted water - I'm all ears.

I know this concept works as I did one similar to this for my son's science project many years ago. I'm sure there are commercial designs out there but I like to tinker with little stuff like this and I'm sure a commercial product will be costly. But I'm certainly not above stealing an idea or two.

Please critique my concept and if you would, please add or change anything. Your ideas are welcome.
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Old 08-27-2012, 02:02 PM
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I like it.

Another idea that I saw somewhere was to have the rain water flow into a tube that has a ball in it. As the tube fills up, the ball floats to the top and seals off the tube, thereby directing the water flow into the rain barrel.

Be sure to post pics of whatever you build.
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Old 08-27-2012, 03:19 PM
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It looks interesting.

The only thing I might add is a trigger for moving the diverter. When you pail is half full, the diverter will be in the middle. So half your 'dirty water' is going to the pail and half is going to the tank.
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Old 08-27-2012, 03:30 PM
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A simple way to filter your water is to have a 5 gallon bucket with a 1 1/2" pvc pipe an inch from the top of the bucket to let only the clean water flow into the barrel. You can clean out the 5 gal bucket every so often. The grit off the roof will settle to the bottom of the bucket, as well as lkeaves can be screened off with a piece of hardware cloth.

At least this what I had planned to do some day.
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Old 08-27-2012, 04:46 PM
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This is the "first flush" system I was talking about. Seems like it would be pretty easy to make something like this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_q_UO...eature=related
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Old 08-27-2012, 06:35 PM
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I like that idea Bruce. The only floating ball device I've ever seen for rain barrels had lots of small sticks on top of the ball and the ball was jammed in the tube with sticks. Maybe the slopped screen was missing. Hmmmm, I wonder how this device handles freezing temperatures. I would have to remove it like my design also. But that's OK because I remove the rain barrels in winter anyway.

I have four of the vertical drums and three of the horizontal drums.
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Old 08-27-2012, 07:34 PM
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I have seen these diverter commercially made, and fairly cheap. Might want to look into it before you reinvent the wheel.
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Old 10-21-2012, 03:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RancherBill View Post
It looks interesting.

The only thing I might add is a trigger for moving the diverter. When you pail is half full, the diverter will be in the middle. So half your 'dirty water' is going to the pail and half is going to the tank.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Walker View Post
I have seen these diverter commercially made, and fairly cheap. Might want to look into it before you reinvent the wheel.
Thought I'd post an update on what I set up. I found a diverter like Walker mentioned and ordered it. http://www.downspoutdiverters.com/pr...erter_y_dd.php

I ordered the special downspout but wanted to come up with a way to have it divert itself automatically. I found an air conditioner tensioner in one of the buckets of parts that my neighbor left behind when he moved. It had a frozen bearing, so I pushed the old one out and replaced it with one that I had removed from my drill press. I welded a plate on it so that I could attach the lever on the diverter. The pulley had the same diameter as the arc of the diverter.

I weighed the pull of the diverter by using an electronic fish scale, I then made a bar and welded it to the pulley and added weight on the end so that the diverter will automatically close to the rain barrels when empty.

I ran the overflow to the coffee can and when it gets the right amount of overflow, the device closes itself and diverts the downspout away from the barrel and to the regular discharge. I tried to calculate the right amount of water that it would take to overcome the counterweight so that I would not need a trigger as pointed out by Rancher Bill

I took a couple of pictures to show what I came up with. In the tall picture you can also see a clear tube that I made up so that I could see the water level at a glance. I filled a cap from one of my insulin syringes with some expanded foam spray so that it would float. Now I can see the float and tell the level at a glance

While my approach was just opposite of what Boogity was looking for, since my set up diverts the downspout when the barrel is full rather than diverting then filling the barrel, I thought the idea could be used either way.
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  #9  
Old 10-21-2012, 06:20 PM
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Thanks Bruce. It looks like you put a lot of thought into your design. And as you pointed out my needs would require a reverse action but it looks doable. I've been very busy with fall harvest and cutting the good-for-nothin corn for silage. I'll get back to my little project when the weather turns cold.
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