A rainwater butt can be a great way to save water (and money) by rainwater harvesting in your back garden. But if you have noticed dampness or mould forming on your wall behind the water storage tank or want to make some construction changes such as an extension you may want to move it or remove it from your garden entirely. In order to do this, you will need to know how to remove the rainwater diverter as well, or else you’ll find your wall and lawn will be subject to a little unexpected spray the next time the weather hits. Below we will look at 2 different ways you can remove a rainwater diverter.

Rainwater diverter black

What is a Rainwater Diverter?

A Rainwater Diverter is a pipe fitting that you can have installed into your property’s gutter downpipe with the purpose of harvesting rainwater into a water container butt. When it rains, your rainwater diverter will begin to divert water from the normal downpipe and into the water butt. When the water butt is full the diverter will close, and rainwater will continue to flow down the gutter system as normal.

“Water collected through a rainwater diverter can be used for watering your garden, filling a water feature or point, as toilet flush water, or providing drinking water for wildlife.”Trevor Wright, Garden Doctor

How to Remove a Rainwater Diverter?

Removing a rainwater divider isn’t complicated and should be something you can do at home with minimal cost, within a day. Simply follow our instructions below, starting with gathering all your tools together.

What You Need

  • Hand Saw
  • Pipe Stop End
  • Pliers or Wrench
  • New sections of downpipe
  • Pipe Joins/Connectors

1 – Apply a Stop End to The Rainwater Diverter Pipe

Your first and easiest option for removing the rainwater diverter from the water butt is to add a plug at the bottom of the pipe to prevent the water flow in the future. Measure up the diameter of the rainwater diverter pipe and buy a pipe stop end. These come in various designs and sizes in plastic, brass, or copper, are easy to apply, and will dead-end the flow of water through the pipe. When you apply the stop-end you will tighten the nut and olive on the device using either a wrench or pliers. This will push the stop around the pipe forming a high-pressure seal which will stop the flow of water through the rainwater diverter.

Note: By applying a stop end, you retain the option of easy installation of a new diverter in the future!

2 – Remove the Rainwater Diverter Entirely

You can also choose to remove the pipe entirely and reconnect the part of the pipe which has been removed to install the rainwater diverter kit into the drainage system. Most diverter systems in the UK are just push-fit and will lift out easily enough, you just need to reconnect the two parts of the pipe which now have a gap in between them after the removal of the rainwater diverter. Sections of downpipe are available from Amazon or your local Home Improvement shop. Make sure to match up on materials and size and buy compatible joins. You can take the piece of pipe you have removed to give the shop assistants a good idea of what you are looking for.

Then you can put the new downpipe section in place and follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the pipe joins in order to make sure it is applied so as to allow no water leakage.

3 – Double Check Your Work

When you have finished applying your new length of pipe or applying a stop end to the pipe. Your final step is to double-check your work to ensure that you have installed the new fixtures correctly. Of course, the final test will be when you next experience some rainfall. At this point, you will be able to see if there is any water leakage in the new pipe system and whether you need to do some more work when the weather passes.


When you want to remove a rainwater diverter, there are two main options for you to consider. Both of these methods are pretty speedy and don’t involve any huge expenses. You can choose to remove the diverter and put a pipe stop end at the edge you have cut off. This will create a standing water amount which will fill the remainder of the diverter pipe you have left, and any new rainfall will then be put through your normal pipe system. Alternatively, you can reattach the top and bottom of the downpipe which was cut away to install the rainwater diverter. You can measure the gap caused by the diverter removal and use joints at the top and bottom of the new section of pipe to put it back into the ordinary gutter system. No matter which option you go with, this is a task that shouldn’t take too long and can be achieved within a day. make sure that you measure everything twice and match up materials when buying your pipe. As long as you take your time to apply the joints and stop-end correctly, you will discover that our steps for how to remove a rainwater diverter will have the job done in no time!

Benefits of a Rainwater Diverter Infographic

Plumbing Wizard Tips

“Stop-end the diverter so that you can replace it in the future if needed!”

“Before removing the diverter, make sure you have the correct size piping to replace it with!”

“If you are removing the diverter due to water damage on your property, it is likely that it wasn’t installed correctly in the first place. Check this first!”

Frequently Asked Questions

How does a rain diverter kit work?

There are different types of diverters available, but they all work by attaching to your gutter system and directing the flow of rainwater into the water butt. Once the water butt is full, the water will be diverted back into the drainage system so there is no overflow anywhere. Many diverters also come with a filter, which helps to keep leaves and other debris out of the water butt.

Can I replace my water butt?

One way to replace a water butt is to simply buy a new one. There are many different sizes and styles of water butts available, so finding the right one for your needs shouldn’t be too difficult although if you are using a rainwater diverter, you will want to replace your water butt with one of the same size.

How do you fix a rainwater diverter?

If there’s a problem with your rainwater diverter, the first thing you should do is check all seals and o-rings. If any of these are damaged, they will need to be replaced. If the diverter itself is cracked, it will likely need to be replaced as well.

What are the benefits of harvesting rainwater with a diverter?

Collecting and using rainwater can reduce your water bills, especially if you use it for tasks such as watering plants or washing cars. It also decreases the demand on local water supply and reduces stormwater runoff, which can help prevent erosion.

Why do I have water damage even with a rainwater diverter?

If you notice water damage or pooling, the diverter might not be properly installed or it might be clogged. It’s important to ensure the diverter is correctly positioned and regularly cleaned to avoid blockages and overflows.

Can I install a rainwater diverter myself?

Yes, many homeowners choose to install rainwater diverters themselves. It’s essential, however, to follow the manufacturer’s instructions closely and ensure that the diverter is positioned at the right height relative to the water butt.

Is harvested rainwater safe to drink?

Rainwater harvested from roofs is generally not considered safe for drinking without treatment due to potential contamination. However, it’s great for non-potable uses like gardening, toilet flushing, or car washing.

How often should I clean my rainwater diverter and water butt?

It’s a good practice to inspect and clean your rainwater diverter every 3-6 months. Your water butt should also be cleaned at least once a year to remove sediment and prevent algae growth.

How can I increase the capacity of my rainwater harvesting system?

If you find that your water butt fills up quickly, you can either upgrade to a larger water butt or connect multiple butts together. Ensure that the entire system, including the diverter, is scaled appropriately to handle the increased capacity.

Are there any environmental benefits to using a rainwater diverter?

Yes, by harvesting rainwater, you can reduce the demand on municipal water sources. This not only conserves water but also reduces the energy used in water treatment and transportation. Moreover, it can mitigate stormwater runoff, which helps in reducing soil erosion and flooding.

Can I use harvested rainwater on edible plants?

Yes, harvested rainwater can be used on edible plants. However, it’s advisable to use it for watering the soil rather than spraying directly on the edible parts of the plants to avoid potential contamination.


Lee Pearce is not just a master plumber; he’s a veritable Plumbing Wizard. With over 30 years of experience in the trenches of pipes and drains, Lee has become the go-to sage for DIY plumbing, saving homeowners thousands in potential call-out charges. As the founder of Plumbing Wizard, he’s dedicated to demystifying the complexities of home plumbing, offering easy-to-follow advice that stands the test of time and pressure. His online blog is a treasure trove of tips, tricks, and tutorials that empower everyday individuals to take charge of their home’s plumbing health. Lee’s practical wisdom is not just about fixing leaks; it’s about imparting confidence and self-reliance. When he’s not writing or elbow-deep in a plumbing project, Lee is passionate about educating the next generation of DIYers, ensuring that practical skills are passed down and preserved.

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