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I've just come into possession of two 120L water butts to connect up to my shed on my allotment plot, but as it is a pent roof I need to connect the water butts together as there is only one downpipe.

From what I have read there are two methods of linking them:-

  • Connect at the top so the first overflows into the second when full.

or

  • Connect at the bottom so the water is evenly distributed between the two containers.

What are the benefits and downsides of these methods and how best to connect them?

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Benefits and downsides are part of the materials, space and time available to you. I had a downspout source eight feet in the air (from the gutters), limited lateral space and some leftover cement slabs which happened to be the right size to support the barrels.

My solution was to use the overflow method. By redirecting the downspout into the top of the first barrel the overflow was easy to direct into the second barrel. Any overflow from the second barrel could be redirected back into the lower part of the downspout system.

Cement slabs are strong and cheap and by using cement breeze blocks as risers I have sufficient height to have a reasonable gravity fed system.

I have seen systems using the "connect at the bottom" system but you need to do more piping work. With overflow systems you minimize the amount of pipe joins.

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What i did is i went to Wickes( i'm sure they must have a website and you can buy one online) and got a connector kit for a fiver that connects all the butts together at the tops- screw them in and off you go- if you want to redirect water coming down but at an angle its best done with a hanging chain, the rain drips along and goes exactly where you want it to go-it will take a bit of mucking about with it but its affective and looks good too! often quite a good talking point.

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Connect them all at the bottom using elbows and tee's with one tap at the water butt of your choice. Remember water will find its own level or it always used to.

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