How Long Before My Home Made Water Butt Leaks?

If you know of a way to help save our planet, even just a small part of it put it here. Also if you want to ask how to help, or even if you want to promote your environmental organisation. All goes here.

How Long Before My Home Made Water Butt Leaks?

Not much more that a day
0
No votes
About a week
0
No votes
I'll give it a month
2
14%
I've got so much confidence in Muddy's abilities that I think it will last forever (or at least till the end of summer)
12
86%
 
Total votes: 14

User avatar
Muddypause
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 1905
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2005 4:45 pm
Location: Urban Berkshire, UK (one day I'll find the escape route)

How Long Before My Home Made Water Butt Leaks?

Post: # 15939Post Muddypause »

Since the anouncement of a hosepipe ban a week or so ago, there has been a run on water butts at all the local stores. I don't think there is a one to be had for miles around. So I had a rummage through my shed. I found:

Several offcuts of wood, left over from when I extended my raised bed vegetable plot
A couple of polythene dust sheets
Several bits of drainpipe and enough connectors to link them together
An old table salt container

So I screwed all the wood together to make a wooden container, sitting on a concrete area behind the house. Lined it with the polythene (two layers), connected the bits of drainpipe together and clipped them to a handy TV aerial mast that runs down the back of the house. All I had to buy was a running outlet that I spliced into the gutters, to connect the pipe to.

No idea how effective this will be or whether the polythene will be resistant to sunlight, or durable enough to contain water for any length of time. But it's raining now, and there are already several inchs of water in the bottom.

And the salt container? Well it made a perfect connector between two disimilar diameters of pipe.

Here are some pics (clickable):

Image
Scrap wood becomes box

Image
Two layers of thin polythene - how long can that last?

Image
I'm leaving plenty of slack in it till it is full of water; then I'll trim it off neatly.

Image
The only thing I had to buy was a running outlet to patch into the gutter. Cost £2.39.

Image
The bottom of the pipe into the butt. That's rather a narrow drainpipe, I hear you say. Yes indeed, hence the need for...

Image
...an empty salt container.
Stew

Ignorance is essential

User avatar
Millymollymandy
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 17637
Joined: Tue May 10, 2005 6:09 am
Location: Brittany, France

Post: # 15945Post Millymollymandy »

Bloody brilliant! Hats off to you for being so ingenious. :cheers: Anyway if the plastic doesn't last you've got a great looking compost bin!

ina
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 8131
Joined: Sun May 22, 2005 9:16 pm
Location: Kincardineshire, Scotland

Post: # 15961Post ina »

It LOOKS great - I particularly like the salt container connection! You would have paid a few quid for that in a shop... Durability will depend on the thickness of the polythene, I think. I give it the summer, anyway.
Ina
I'm a size 10, really; I wear a 20 for comfort. (Gina Yashere)

Shirley
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 7025
Joined: Fri Sep 30, 2005 9:05 am
Location: Manchester
Contact:

Post: # 15963Post Shirley »

:cheers:

Nice one Muddy! It looks fab. We really need to get one too. Although there isn't an imminent hosepipe ban up here we do pay for our water to be pumped up from the well so it makes sense to use the freely available stuff that is dumped regularly from the sky :flower:
Shirley
NEEPS! North East Eco People's Site

My photos on Flickr

Don't forget to check out the Ish gallery on Flickr - and add your own photos there too. http://www.flickr.com/groups/selfsufficientish/

Wombat
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 5918
Joined: Tue Nov 23, 2004 8:23 pm
Location: Sydney Australia
Contact:

Post: # 16085Post Wombat »

:cheers:

Yep! Well done mate! and judging by the outcome of the poll we all have waaaaaaaaay too much confidence in you :mrgreen:

Nev
Garden shed technology rules! - Muddypause


Our website on living more sustainably in the suburbs! - http://www.underthechokotree.com/

User avatar
Muddypause
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 1905
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2005 4:45 pm
Location: Urban Berkshire, UK (one day I'll find the escape route)

Post: # 16134Post Muddypause »

So far, it's got a foot of water in it, with no sign of leaking.
Stew

Ignorance is essential

User avatar
Andy Hamilton
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 6631
Joined: Tue Oct 26, 2004 11:06 pm
Location: Bristol
Contact:

Post: # 16225Post Andy Hamilton »

Looks like it should hold at least the wooden structure anyway, my slight concern is the poly dust sheet. I know that the poly black sheets on my allotment splits really easily.

Arn't I the bringer of doom :wink: I voted for a little longer than a month, but I actually have more faith in you than that. I wonder if it does end up with a little leak in it, if you could patch it up with a puncture repair kit.
First we sow the seeds, nature grows the seeds then we eat the seeds. Neil Pye
My best selling Homebrew book Booze for Free
and...... Twitter
The Other Andy Hamilton - Drinks & Foraging

elfcurry
Tom Good
Tom Good
Posts: 79
Joined: Wed Apr 26, 2006 10:08 pm
Location: Dorset

Post: # 18692Post elfcurry »

I like it and I expect it will hold more water - if you get some.

How long will it last?
I'd worry about two things:

1. thin plastic getting ripped or punctured by a splinter or snagged on something sharp.

2. whether the wooden joints will take the pressure of the depth of the water

How confident are you about your joints? You could wrap some thin galvanised wire round the wood like the metal bands on a traditinal barrel to ensure integrity.

I got a book some while ago about making ferrocement* water tanks for Third World and I'm 'planning' to try to make one this summer. If I get round to it, I'll report back.

*cement with wire mesh reinforcement
.

User avatar
wulf
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 1184
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2005 8:41 am
Location: Oxford, UK
Contact:

Post: # 18700Post wulf »

What's it looking like now, Stew?

Wulf

User avatar
Muddypause
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 1905
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2005 4:45 pm
Location: Urban Berkshire, UK (one day I'll find the escape route)

Post: # 18703Post Muddypause »

Hello Elfcurry,

I can now report that it has lasted for a month without any problems. It is, of course only a temporary measure (you can actually buy water butts again now, locally), but it will be fun to see how long it lasts.

Image Image
(clickable thumbs)

Unfortunately, it has never been more than half full, because we just haven't had enough rain. However, so far it has kept me going without a hosepipe.

You're right, of course, about the thin plastic being it's weak point. But there are two layers, and they are so scrunched up to fit in that there seems to be plenty of padding between them and the wood. I was careful to remove any sharp bits sticking out, and set the whole thing on a thin bed of soft sand. In fact I think the real danger comes from 1) dipping the watering can in without touching the sides, 2) the effect of ultraviolet from the sun - especially as I've used an old offcut of transparent polycarbonate sheet as the lid - must get round to changing that.

The joints will be OK - 2" screws into 2x1 at each corner - good enough to hold a house together (well, a water butt, anyway).

Good luck with your water tank - what size are you planning? Bear in mind, when you plan it, that cement as a lot of embedded energy in its manufacture (though I doubt you will be able to make a sizeable tank out of any other material without some degree of this factor, too). People are often amazed to find that big boats were once made out of ferrocement before glassfibre took over, so waterproofing should be easy enough.
Stew

Ignorance is essential

shiney
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 1336
Joined: Sun May 01, 2005 3:37 pm
Location: Bradford on Avon

Post: # 18705Post shiney »

I am very impressed and have only just found this thread!

I do hope you can get a waterbutt (or and extra one at that) soon. Have you looked to see if you can get a subsidised one from your council? We got ours for a fiver through our local authority. We'd really like another as our overflow seems to be getting shot of quite a bit of water after a short shower.

http://www.getcomposting.com/thames/index2.htm

Somewhere like this above.
If in doubt ~ use a hammer!

http://greeningup.blogspot.com/

User avatar
Boots
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 1172
Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2005 2:23 pm
Location: The Queensland, Australia.

Post: # 18713Post Boots »

Oh YEAH! Heaps Impressed Muddy!!!!!

When you first showed me a pic of a water butt, I have to be honest, I did think "mmmm".... Am afraid I am not one to spend money on things like that, when you can make things just like you have. I do have one of those black commercial composts, but am afraid I would never buy one. (Not as long as there were hay bales or corrugated iron waiting to be reused)

Yes... Call me Scrooge Mc Boots if you like... :mrgreen:

We have the inside of the big auto washing machine blocked off and used to collect and hold water for the ponies, and I am still experimenting with smaller collections. 4-5 tyres piled high with (now 3) large wheelie bin liners in them are working as water storers placed hopefully under drain pipes (holding water pumped up from the dam at the mo though). I wrap the liner over and under the top tyre and they sit there quite well, but clearly do not have the support a box would provide. Lost one to some wires sticking out of a tyre too...

I think yours is brilliant. Heaps neat and tidy and as you said if the plastic is heaps bulky, and sitting against a flat surface it should last well, I'd figure. I'd give it a year, as the plastic is covered and not in the sun..
I think your on a winner!

If you called into a local electrical shop, you could probably get a lifetime supply of plastic off fridges and whatnot, to ensure its longevity. And if you stop sticking your watering can straight in and maybe bucket it out with a small pail, that might help too. :wink:

Here's to living the simple life and never buying another consumerised contraption that we can build, mould, make or re-invent at home.

*clink*

User avatar
Millymollymandy
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 17637
Joined: Tue May 10, 2005 6:09 am
Location: Brittany, France

Post: # 18754Post Millymollymandy »

I was going to suggest getting a plastic jug about 1 litre to dip into the water butt and fill the can from that.

User avatar
Muddypause
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 1905
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2005 4:45 pm
Location: Urban Berkshire, UK (one day I'll find the escape route)

Post: # 18810Post Muddypause »

Well, I'm humbled by the generosity of the replies in this thread. I bet people who live in the outback have to do far more impressive things than this on a daily basis.

But anyway, I'm chuffed to say that owing to some real rain last night, my butt runneth over:

Image
(clickable thumb)

It's a small life, but my own.
Stew

Ignorance is essential

User avatar
Chickenlady
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 586
Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2005 10:17 pm
Location: Colchester, Essex

Post: # 18815Post Chickenlady »

I missed this too, but I am delighted that your 'butt runneth over', Stew. I would have never have thought to do this, it is really ingenious. It is true, then, that necessity is the mother of invention.

:mrgreen:
Haste makes waste

Post Reply