SUPPORT: Frequently Asked Questions


Basic Questions

Why would I want a RainStation™?
Using a RainStation™, you can easily collect (or as many people say, "harvest") rainwater that is flowing through a downspout. Harvested rainwater can provide many benefits to you, your community, and your environment.

  • Rainwater is great for gardens, houseplants, auto cleaning, window washing, and many other household chores.
  • It provides a source of water during droughts and periods of water restrictions.
  • It saves you money by lowering your water bill.
  • It can lower the volume of water flowing to the sewer treatment facility — this conserves energy.
  • It reduces stress on municipal storm drain and sewer systems.


Are there activities that should NOT use rainwater?
Rainwater is not suitable for human or animal consumption; please refer to the Warnings Booklet included with the RainStation™.

How much water will be collected from my roof?
The rule of thumb is that a 1000 square foot roof can provide approximately 600 gallons of water during a 1" rainfall, 300 gallons in a 1/2" rainfall, or 150 gallons in a 1/4" rainfall.

It's common for about 1/8" inch of rain to fall each hour during a moderate rainstorm. That means that a 500 square foot roof can fill a properly installed 65-gallon RainStation™ in about one hour.

How does the RainStation™ Rain Barrel capture water from my downspout?
The Flexifit™ diverter, EarthMinded's patented system, is included with every RainStation™. The Flexifit™ diverter installs quickly and easily by drilling a 2 1/8" hole in your downspout — we've even included a hole saw that works with any standard drill. Then, the flexible diverter is inserted into this hole, form fitting to the inside of the downspout and collecting the flowing rainwater. The Flexifit™ diverter even has an automatic overflow function; when the barrel is full, extra rainwater flows through your downspout, preventing the barrel from flooding. (The RainStation™ Municipal Edition uses a second hose to prevent overflow.)

The Flexifit™ diverter works with 3"x4" and 2"x3" rectangular downspouts, and it includes a winterizing hole cover so the barrel and diverter can be removed for winter storage.

What if my house has round downspouts?
Right now, the Flexifit™ diverter that comes with the RainStation™ only works with 3"x4" and 2"x3" rectangular downspouts. In the future, we plan to have an adaptor kit available for use with 3" round downspouts.

What do state and local governments think about rain barrels?
Most cities and states encourage rain barrels — some even offer financial incentives for installing and using them. However, some local governments have rainwater harvesting regulations, so please check with your local officials to ensure you are in compliance.

Is the RainStation™ recyclable?
Yes, the barrel and lid are made of recyclable high density polyethylene. The fill hose is made of low density polyethylene.

What tools are needed to install the RainStation™?
RainStation™ installs in less than one hour with common household tools: a pencil, level, measuring tape, drill, Phillips screwdriver, safety gloves, and safety glasses. The hole saw — the tool that attaches to your drill to make the hole in your downspout — is included.


Installation

What steps are necessary for installing and maintaining a RainStation™?
Please review the User Guide for detailed instructions or watch our Installation Video.

What can I do if am having trouble inserting the rubber gaskets (i.e., the spigot and drain seals and hose cuff) in the RainStation™?
The water seals are designed to be tight to prevent water from leaking. The seals are flexible and can be pinched into a "U" shape before inserting in the hole.

Using a little soapy water on the threaded fitting and cuffs of the fill hose will reduce friction and make insertion easier.

Where should I put my RainStation™?
It's important to place your RainStation™ on level, solid ground so that it remains stable — a full 65-gallon RainStation™ weighs about 500 pounds. You can use pavers if the ground under the barrel is not level or tends to become soggy after a rain.

The included fill hose will allow you to position the RainStation™ within about three feet of a downspout. It's best to select the downspout that is closest to the location where you plan to use the water.

Is it difficult to drill the hole in my downspout?
No, if you take the time to follow the instructions in the User Guide — including correctly measuring and marking the hole — drilling the hole will take less than one minute. Generally there is a corrugation at the center of the downspout that will help to locate and center the hole saw. (The hole saw is included with the RainStation&trade.) Hold the drill firmly, horizontal, and square to the face of the downspout as you drill. Continue to drill until the hole saw cuts completely through the front wall of the downspout, then remove the drill by slowly pulling back.

Always wear safety glasses and gloves when drilling.

Can I install the diverter if my downspouts are not standard 2"x3" or 3"x4"?
Right now, the Flexifit™ diverter that comes with the RainStation™ works only with 3"x4" and 2"x3" rectangular downspouts. In the future, we plan to have an adaptor kit available for use with 3" round downspouts.

What should I do if I have heated gutters?
Consult an electrician before installation. If there are heating cables in your downspouts, there is a risk of electrocution or fire hazard during installation. Also, contact an electrician if you don't know whether or not you have heated gutters.

Is it possible to link multiple RainStations™ together?
Yes, two or more barrels can be linked together for additional water storage.

You'll need a drill and a 1.5" hole saw — this is a different size from the hole saw that's provided; it's available at most hardware stores. Please follow the directions in the User Guide.

Can I cut the fill hose to make it shorter?
Yes, but cut only at the center of the flat cuff section molded in the hose. A small depression is molded in the hose to help locate the cutting location.

After taking off the label, how can I remove any adhesive residue?
Simply apply paint thinner or an adhesive remover such a Goo Gone™ to a paper towel or rag, and then, rub away the adhesive residue.

If I have other questions regarding installation, what should I do?
Please submit your questions or comments using the Contact Us page.


Use and Maintenance

Can I attach a garden hose to the RainStation™?
Yes, the threaded spigot allows for garden hose attachment. If a raised base is used, the spigot can be placed at the bottom drain position to access all the water in the barrel and increase water pressure. Water pressure from a rain barrel will not be sufficient for use with sprinklers, but is effective with soaker hoses.

How do I clean my RainStation™?
You can clean your RainStation™ using a mild soap and brush.

What steps can I take to keep insects and small creatures out of my RainStation™? How do I keep algae from growing in the barrel?
The most important step to keep insects and animals out of the RainStation™ and to prevent algae growth is to keep the lid closed and locked. You should also occasionally drain and clean the barrel.

Do I need to take any steps with my RainStation™ in colder weather?
When temperatures fall below 40°F (4°C), winterize your RainStationª™ by removing the RainStation's™ Flexifit™ diverter from your downspout and placing the winterizing cover over the hole. Then, disconnect, drain, and store your barrel.

Full directions are included in the User Guide.

I have young kids and/or pets. Are there any precautionary steps that I should take with my RainStation™?
Select a flat and solid surface for your RainStation™ so that it remains stable. Also, you should utilize the RainStation's™ locking lid feature as described in the User Guide.

You should make certain that children and/or animals do not climb into or onto the RainStation™. In addition, ensure that no people or animals drink water from the RainStation™.

Read the RainStation™Warning Booklet for more safety information.


Troubleshooting

What can I do if am having trouble inserting the rubber gaskets (i.e., the spigot and drain seals and hose cuff) in the RainStation™?
The water seals are designed to be tight to prevent water from leaking. The seals are flexible and can be pinched into a "U" shape before inserting in the hole.

Using a little soapy water on the threaded fitting and cuffs of the fill hose will reduce friction and make insertion easier.

Is it normal for the RainStation™ to swell slightly when it's full?
Yes. It's natural for the sides of the barrel to slightly swell when it is full of water.

What should I do if my downspout appears to be clogged?
First, take off the Flexifit™ diverter by removing the two screws and slowly extracting the diverter with an upward lifting action. Then, clean the diverter, remove any visible debris, and reinstall the diverter.

If your gutters are regularly clogged with leaves or debris, consider putting a filter screen at the top of your downspout or on your gutters.

What should I do if the RainStation™ fill hose becomes clogged?
If your hose becomes clogged, remove it from the diverter and the RainStation™. Then, carefully dislodge any debris by using a blunt end rod or stick, such as a broom handle, or by flushing the hose with water. Do not insert sharp or pointed objects as they can tear or damage the hose.

What should I do if my RainStation™ is overflowing with water?
In most cases, overflow occurs when the fill hole at the back of the RainStation™ is lower than the diverter. If this occurs, raise the height of the RainStation™ — preferably with stable pavers — so that the fill hole is level with the diverter hole in the downspout.

Water is not flowing into my RainStation™ — what's wrong?
There are three reasons why water may not flow into the RainStation™.

  • The barrel is too high, relative to the diverter. The hole on the back of the barrel should be level with the diverter hole in the downspout.
  • The downspout is clogged — see above.
  • The fill hose is clogged — see above.

What should I do if a have a broken part?
Please refer to the limited warranty in the Warranty Booklet and contact us using the Contact Us page.