Shed Guttering & Water Butts

fitting shed guttering and connecting to water butts
fitting shed guttering and connecting to water butts


A shed without guttering is a missed opportunity to save time and effort. Capturing and storing water in water butts is a small investment in labour and materials, and once fitted, will last for many years.

You may also like to see this page on allotment sheds.

The stored water is often much closer to where you need to use it, saving time and energy carrying water around the garden or allotment plot, and is the correct ph level for plants which is likely to result in stronger growth.

Step By Step Video

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How To Connect Shed Guttering To Water Butts

I installed guttering on both sides of this garden shed, connecting both gutters to a single down pipe. This required a good number of fittings, which is helpful to show the range of accessories required to do the job.

After a few heavy rain showers, the guttering proved its capability, filling two two hundred litre water butts within a month.

The highest point on the gutter needs to have an external stop end fitted. This clips on easily to the gutter. The gutter itself is held in place by gutter fascia brackets. These are easy to screw into the wood of the shed.

The brackets are best placed where the fixing screws can screw into the wooden support battens of the shed structure. Look out for the vertical lines of nails. Inside the shed, you will see these line up with the battens.

The gutter needs to have a slight downward slope, or fall, towards the down pipe, about a 1cm drop is sufficient on a standard size garden shed. A taut string can help with lining up the brackets.

Once the brackets are in place, the guttering can be clipped into place. Use a gutter union to connect two pieces of gutter together. To prevent sagging or leaks, use gutter brackets either side of the union to ensure a good stable join.

As you work, check the levels with a spirit level. If the bubble of the spirit level is touching the higher black line the drop will be fine.

At the lower end of the gutter use a gutter stop end outlet. A down pipe can be connected to this by simply pushing it on.

connecting down pipe to water butt using rainwater diverter

On this project, I wanted to turn a corner with the down pipe to connect to the gutter down pipe on the other side of the shed.

To do this I used two types of offset bends, one slightly over 90 degrees to help create a fall, and another at 90 degrees to turn a corner.

These can be pushed into each other.

The down pipe can easily be cut to length using a hand saw. If you need to extend the length of a down pipe you can use a down pipe pipe socket, another push fit fitting.

The down pipe needs to be fixed in place to avoid any movement. Down pipe pipe clips are very easy to fit, wrap snugly around the pipe, and can be screwed into place.

I connected two downpipes together to harvest water from both sides of the shed into water butts. To do this, I needed a down pipe branch connector, plus some more off-set bends to turn the corner.

To channel water into a water butt, the best way of doing this is using a rainwater diverter. A diverter channels rainwater into a water butt until the butt is full, and after it is full, diverts water back down the down pipe.

A connecting hose runs from the diverter to the water butt, and it is possible to daisy chain water butts together using more hose for extra water storage.

For the diverter to work properly, it is important to fit it at the correct height. This is lower than the top of the water butt, but higher than the inlet into the butt itself, to ensure that there is downward fall from the diverter to the butt.

At the end of the down pipe near the ground, fit a down pipe shoe to channel any excess water away from the base of the shed to prevent any problems with damp.

If any of the connections are loose, duck tape can be an excellent way of stiffening the joint. Simply wrap around the connection.

Once you have checked all levels and connections, a simple test is to pour some water into the highest point of the gutter to check for any leaks.

The best test of all is a heavy rainstorm. If water flows into your water butts you know the job is good! The result is 400 litres of free water to use around your garden.

See a selection of water butts in the shop.

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