How to Make a Downspout Diverter

Written by melanie l. marten
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Whether you want to direct the flow of rainwater away from prized flowers or shrubs, keep it from puddling on an uneven lawn or collect it in a water barrel to save on water usage, a downspout diverter can help. Using a combination of rigid PVC pipe and flexible poly tubing, depending on the project, you can easily construct an effective downspout diverter in a few hours.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • 3-inch-diameter PVC pipe
  • PVC angle pipe
  • Flexible poly tubing
  • PVC fittings
  • PVC glue
  • Coarse sandpaper
  • Hand saw
  • Electric drill

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  1. 1

    Cut the appropriate length of 3-inch-diameter PVC pipe for the downspout diverter you wish to make. A basic diverter to get the water away from your foundation can be as short as 1 or 2 feet. They can also be made 10 or more feet long to bypass gardens or have one shorter, angled leg for diversion of rainwater into a barrel for storage and later use. Flexible poly tubing can be used for corners or sloping areas.

  2. 2

    Sand the edges of all the PVC pipe pieces you cut. This will help prevent cuts and injury when assembling the downspout diverter. All pipe ends must be clean and free of dust or grease before assembly.

  3. 3

    Spread glue specifically made for PVC fittings on the inside of the fitting for the angled piece of pipe that will directly catch the water from the downspout. Spread more glue on the piece of straight pipe that will go into it. Press these together by sliding the pipe into the fitting completely. For a basic diverter, simply slip the angled end under the bottom of the downspout and position as desired.

  4. 4

    Drill small holes in the bottom and lower sides of a longer piece of PVC pipe or flexible poly tubing if you want to make a downspout diverter that carries water away from the house and then distributes it more evenly onto a lawn or in a garden. If desired, the end of the pipe can be capped with a glued-on PVC fitting so all the water is forced out through the holes.

  5. 5

    Glue a short pipe to a PVC elbow to create a downspout diverter that transfers water to a nearby water barrel. Glue another elbow piece to let the water fall from the pipe into the barrel opening directly. In some water barrel designs, there is a solid cover with a threaded connector on the top. Use a screw-style PVC fitting to attach the end of the downspout diverter to the barrel. Cut the existing downspout to the appropriate height and attach the PVC pieces with clamps or screws.

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