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best water butt

The UK's bestWater Butts2022 Review

What To Look For in a Water Butts

With household bills on the rise, water butts are an eco-friendly way to save money. 

A water butt with a 250 – 300L capacity will suit most small and medium gardens. You can estimate if this will be enough for you by thinking about the size of your watering can, and how many times you fill the watering can each day. If you’re particularly short on space, I recommend a water butt with a small footprint (around 40 x 40cm) and a 100L capacity

The best water butts come with drainpipe diverter kits. These allow the water butt to collect water that runs off the roof of a nearby building – this could be your house or greenhouse, wherever there’s a drainpipe. With small water butts, it’s less necessary to connect them to guttering.

When it comes to assembly, look for a water butt with multiple pre-cut holes. These give you greater flexibility when connecting the diverter and don’t require any faffing with drills. It’s useful if the drainpipe diverter can be positioned on either side of the water butt – this will make it compatible with most garden layouts.

Water butts that come with a stand make it easier to fit a watering can underneath, so look out for these. Another thing to prioritise is a water butt made from recycled plastic. Whilst most water butts are plastic, recycled plastic is a more eco-friendly choice than new plastic.

When it comes to the best water butts, I’ve chosen the Strata Pro Ward Slimline Water Butt as my top recommendation; it offers a good balance between price and size. This water butt is made in the UK from thick, recycled plastic. It has a small footprint (54 x 54cm) but a good capacity (of 250L) for watering medium gardens. 

Check out the reviews below for more details!

What Are The UK's Best Water Butts?

IMAGE RECOMMENDED PRODUCTSPRODUCT FEATURES
best-water-butt Strata Pro Ward Slimline Water Butt 250L
  • 250-litre capacity
  • Secure lid
  • Made from recycled plastic
best-water-butt Charles Bentley Slimline Garden Water Butt 100L
  • Best slimline water butt
  • Stand for easy decanting
  • Tap included
best-water-butt Harcostar Water Butt Kit 227L
  • Included stand
  • Lid designed to open with one hand
  • Easy installation
best-water-butt Harcostar Magnum Water Butt & Raintrap Diverter 350L
  • Made from recycled plastic
  • Best water butt for larger gardens
  • Comes with rainwater diverter
best-water-butt BeGreen Mini Rainsaver Water Butt 100L
  • 100-litre capacity
  • Stand and water diverter kit included
  • Inexpensive

Read Our Water Butt Reviews

B00CRE5ZQG
5021711046779,5051752141850
250-litre capacity, Secure lid, Made from recycled plastic,

Strata Pro Ward Slimline Water Butt 250L

best-water-butt Strata Pro Ward Slimline Water Butt 250L
FEATURES RATING PRICE
FEATURES
  • 250-litre capacity
  • Secure lid
  • Made from recycled plastic
RATING
100
PRICE
Save 17% on Amazon

Strata Pro Ward Slimline Water Butt 250L Review

When it comes to water butts, it can be difficult to find a compromise between size and price. The Strata Pro Ward Slimline Water Butt is a reasonable size, with a 250 L capacity, and less costly than even some smaller competitors.

As a slimline model, it’s suitable for small/medium gardens, fitting into narrow gaps without taking up much ground space. Its footprint is approximately 54 x 54 cm which is a lot smaller than traditional water butts, making it easier to tuck away.

Additionally, Strata Pro have constructed the water butt from recycled materials, so it is more of an environmentally-friendly choice than ‘new’ plastic models. Both the tap and lid fit securely, but you may need to buy the separate base for additional stability.

Without the base, it seems the water butt may warp under the weight of the water on uneven ground. Additionally, the base creates enough room to place a watering can under the tap, which isn’t otherwise possible.

Despite having to make this additional purchase, it’s still one of the best water butts for small/medium gardens. Thanks to its small footprint, it can fit in discreetly, but the capacity is still sufficient for watering medium-size spaces.

One final thing to note: the lid can be a little difficult to remove, requiring at least two hands if not a bit of leverage. This may prove difficult for people with reduced strength, but does ensure that the lid stays on well.

Pros

  • Made from recycled materials making it a better environmental choice than 'new' plastic
  • A good size for tucking into small gardens thanks to its slimline footprint
  • Sufficient capacity to water small/medium spaces
  • Offers a good balance between price and size
  • Fills up quickly without requiring much rainfall

Cons

  • Requires additional base for tap to be positioned high enough to fit watering can under tap
  • Lid can be difficult to remove which may prove challenging for those with reduced hand strength
B00KXULSWG
5014555069592
Best slimline water butt, Stand for easy decanting, Tap included,

Charles Bentley Slimline Garden Water Butt 100L

best-water-butt Charles Bentley Slimline Garden Water Butt 100L
FEATURES RATING PRICE
FEATURES
  • Best slimline water butt
  • Stand for easy decanting
  • Tap included
RATING
95
PRICE
Check Price on Amazon

Charles Bentley Slimline Garden Water Butt 100L Review

If you’re short on space in the garden, but want to recycle rainwater, the Slimline Garden Water Butt is small yet practical. It offers a way to water the garden without increasing the water bill, and doesn’t encroach on the space.

Despite its small size, this water butt offers good value for money. It comes with a tap, stand, lid and water diverter (in order to encourage water from a drainpipe to flow into the water butt).

This is more than you get with a lot of water butts, although the quality of some items may not be as high as if they were bought separately. For example, the stand clips together in four parts and therefore may not be as stable as a one-piece stand. The water butt rests on top of it, without locking into place.

Nevertheless, it’s easy and quick to assemble, and straightforward to attach the downpipe to a drainpipe as long as it is a standard size.

Stability can be a problem, and if you have a very exposed garden that experiences a lot of high wind, this may not be the best water butt to go for. When empty, it can easily fall over, but even when full the tank may topple if caught in a gale.

Therefore, this is most suited to sheltered gardens, where high winds won’t cause an issue. In protected spaces, this will be one of the best water butts for small gardens. Its compact size makes it easy to tuck into corners, and the stand and downpipe avoid the necessity to make additional purchases.

Pros

  • Very small footprint of 40.5 x 40.5 cm means it's easy to tuck into a corner
  • Good value because comes with several additional items such as a stand and downpipe
  • Downpipe is simple to fix to standard drainpipe and helps water butt fill up quickly
  • Good size for watering small gardens

Cons

  • Water butt rests on top of stand without locking into place which may make it a little unstable
  • May fall over in high winds so best suited to sheltered gardens
  • Stand comes in four pieces that clip together and isn't as strong as a single-piece stand
  • To fit diverter you need to drill a 2.5 cm hole in water butt which will require a special tool
B00ZV0VK44
5060030144926
Included stand , Lid designed to open with one hand, Easy installation,

Harcostar Water Butt Kit 227L

best-water-butt Harcostar Water Butt Kit 227L
FEATURES RATING PRICE
FEATURES
  • Included stand
  • Lid designed to open with one hand
  • Easy installation
RATING
93
PRICE
Check Price on Amazon

Harcostar Water Butt Kit 227L Review

With all of its well-considered features, the Harcostar Water Butt Kit is one of the most versatile and thoughtfully-designed models on this list.

It comes with a three-piece stand as well as a water diverter, tap and lid. However, unlike other models, additional thought has gone into making the assembly process as easy as possible.

For example, the holes for the diverter have been pre-cut in the water butt and sealed with removeable plugs. They are positioned on either side of the tank, making it easy to attach the downpipe no matter where the drainpipe is located. As a result, there’s no need to cut the holes yourself (which is required with some other models).

In a similar vein, there are two threaded tap holes, on both the front and back of the water butt, so that the tap can be connected wherever is most convenient.

Due to these considerations, this is one of the best water butts in regards to quality and design – it’s clear that a lot of thought has gone into its construction.

Additionally, Harcostar have used recycled plastic to make the water butt, and have included a button for releasing the lid, to make it easier to remove whilst stopping it blowing off.

There are just a couple of downsides. Firstly, when it comes to the instructions, they are a little lacking and can make some processes – like assembling the stand – more complicated than necessary. Also, the diverter connector is for round pipes only, so a separate one will need to be purchased for squared-off drainpipes.

Pros

  • Threaded holes for taps are placed on either side of the tank giving choice on where it can be positioned
  • Two holes for downpipe are pre cut meaning no drilling is required
  • Included stand is stable despite coming in three separate pieces
  • Clip on lid makes it easy to lock/unlock

Cons

  • Instructions are not very clear and can make some parts of the assembly process more complicated than necessary
  • Water diverter connector will only fit round drainpipes, not squared-off ones
B005S0EW5Q
5060030143370
Made from recycled plastic, Best water butt for larger gardens, Comes with rainwater diverter ,

Harcostar Magnum Water Butt & Raintrap Diverter 350L

best-water-butt Harcostar Magnum Water Butt & Raintrap Diverter 350L
FEATURES RATING PRICE
FEATURES
  • Made from recycled plastic
  • Best water butt for larger gardens
  • Comes with rainwater diverter
RATING
98
PRICE
Check Price on Amazon

Harcostar Magnum Water Butt & Raintrap Diverter 350L Review

This Harcostar Magnum Water Butt is a high-quality option for large gardens.

It has a relatively big footprint, due to its large 350 L capacity, with a base that covers 78 x 78 cm. As a result, it’s a good choice for gardens where there’s a lot of watering to be done – but it may not fit into smaller spaces.

In classic Harcostar style, assembly has been made easier through the presence of pre-cut holes. There are two pre-cut, plugged holes for the water diverter at the top of the tank, as well as another plugged hole for connecting a linking kit if necessary.

In addition, there are two ports at the bottom of the tank for connecting the supplied tap – one at the base, and one 30 cm higher up.

There’s no base required, as the bottom of the water butt is sufficiently stable, although one can be used if required. If a base is fitted, the tap can be positioned at its lowest position, meaning the full capacity of the water butt can be utilised.

When there’s no base used, the tap needs to be positioned 30 cm up the body of the tank (in order to fit a watering can underneath), which means the water in the lower section can’t be accessed.

This water butt is made in the UK using recycled plastic, resulting in an environmentally friendly product, and the dark matt green finish make for an unobtrusive design that won’t look out of place or garish in the garden.

Overall, it’s one of the best water butts for large gardens, with a sizeable water tank and well-considered design.

Pros

  • Pre-cut holes for downpipe as well as linking kit makes assembly easier with no drilling required
  • Choice of tap position makes it possible to use water butt with or without base
  • Large capacity is suitable for watering bigger gardens
  • High tap position is suitable for fitting even large watering cans underneath
  • Locking lid hatch stops top from coming off easily but is still easy to open

Cons

  • Bulky, large size means it's unlikely to be appropriate for smaller gardens
  • When used with the tap in the higher position, not all of the water can be emptied from the tank
  • Needs to be placed on very level ground or weight of tank may cause plastic to warp
B0030ZPC9Q
5060030151108
100-litre capacity, Stand and water diverter kit included, Inexpensive,

BeGreen Mini Rainsaver Water Butt 100L

best-water-butt BeGreen Mini Rainsaver Water Butt 100L
FEATURES RATING PRICE
FEATURES
  • 100-litre capacity
  • Stand and water diverter kit included
  • Inexpensive
RATING
88
PRICE
Check Price on Amazon

BeGreen Mini Rainsaver Water Butt 100L Review

If you’re working to a budget, the BeGreen Mini Rainsaver Water Butt includes a stand, diverter and tap for a reasonable price, with no other additional purchases required.

Although it’s a small size, at 100 L, it still holds enough water for smaller gardens, or medium spaces with fewer flowerbeds. The water diverter can be connected to round drainpipes of 68 mm, and square drainpipes of 65 mm – which are the standard sizes in the UK – helping the tank to fill up quickly.

The green colour allows the tank to blend into the garden, and its small footprint of 38 x 38 cm should be suitable for most spaces – even if there’s not a lot of room available.

Thanks to the included stand, a watering can is able to fit under the tap. Additionally, the tap is suitable for fitting all standard hoses such as Hozelock and Gardena, allowing rainwater to be used for different applications in the garden, or even cleaning the car.

The overall construction is robust, making this one of the best water butts to buy on a budget – even though the price tag is low, the quality is still high in terms of strength.

However, due to the small size it can fill up very quickly – in as little as one day of heavy rain. Therefore, for some gardens the capacity may be too low. Nevertheless, if you don’t have space for a larger unit, and need to compromise between size and capacity, this small water butt will tuck into tighter spaces and

Pros

  • Small footprint is suitable for fitting into small areas and courtyards
  • Tap can attach to standard hoses including Gardena and Hozelock (although an additional pump will be required)
  • Water diverter will fit both round and square drainpipes
  • Fills quickly, with as little as one day of rain

Cons

  • Base needs to be placed on very level ground, otherwise the sections can unclip
  • Three-piece stand is not as sturdy as a single unit

How to Choose The Best Water Butt

Water butts offer an eco-friendly way to keep your plants hydrated; as opposed to using water from the tap, water butts collect and store rainwater ready for use.

The two main benefits of a water butt are that they keep your water bill down by making use of recycled water, and they benefit plants because the water is free from chemicals like chlorine.

There are a few things to bear in mind when purchasing a water butt, and certain things can be useful to look out for.

Size and Capacity

Water butts come in a range of sizes. Naturally, having a small water butt is better than none, so even a 100 L model can be useful, especially in small gardens. These smaller water butts often have a very small footprint (around 40 x 40 cm), and tuck away easily into courtyards and patios. 100 L is not a large capacity though, and can fill up with just a couple of days of rain. They’re most suited to small gardens and gardens without many plants. You may need to supplement the water from the butt with some from the mains tap if it doesn’t hold enough water for your garden.

If space isn’t too much of an issue, water butts of between 250 – 300 litres are standard size. These will normally be sufficient for most small/medium gardens without overly dominating the space. Much larger water butts are available, going up to a capacity of several thousand litres, but these may be too large for traditional gardens – they can take a long time to fill up, and be hard to tuck away in the garden.

Another important consideration when it comes to size: can a watering can fit underneath the tap?

Some water butts do not come with a base, which can make it difficult to fit a watering can under the tap if the water butt is small. Take note of how high the tap is when buying a water butt. If it doesn’t come with a base you should consider buying one separately as it will help retain the shape of the water butt.

Features to Look Out For

There are a couple of features to look out for when buying a water butt and they may make it more practical to use or assemble:

  • A water diverter kit – used to help divert rainwater from the guttering into the water butt, water diverters will be covered in a lot more detail in the following section. Some water butts come with them included, whilst others don’t. It’s also necessary to check that the diverter is the right size to fit on the downpipe.
  • An included stand – not all water butts come with a stand, but most of the time you’ll find that one is necessary. Unless the water butt is very large and rigid, a stand should be used to protect the tank and help it stay upright. Another reason why a stand is so important is that it makes it possible to fit a watering can underneath the tap. Without a stand, the tap will generally be too close to the floor.
  • Pre-cut holes – these make it a lot easier to set up the water butt. If holes are not pre-cut, you will need to make a hole of around 25-30 mm to connect the water diverter. Given that most people don’t have a drill bit of this size, this can be quite a difficult process. If you want a water butt with pre-cut holes, try to find a model with several pre-cut, plugged holes on different sides of the water butt. This will give flexibility on where the diverter can be connected, and where the water butt can be positioned.
  • Hose-compatible tap – some water butts have taps that are compatible with stand hose fittings, such as those for Hozelock and Gardena hoses. Generally, compatibility will be stated. In order to get a more forceful flow of water through a hose, a pump will need to be placed in the water butt.

Using a Water Diverter

A lot of water butts will come with a water diverter included. If not, you will likely want to buy one separately in order to connect the water butt to the guttering in order to collect rainwater.

The water diverter connects to the downpipe of a drainage system. It diverts some of the run-off rainwater away from the main drainage route and into the water butt.

Given that there are both round and square drainpipes, it’s possible to get differently shaped water diverters in order for them to fit on the drain.

Installing a Water Diverter

Putting in a water diverter involves cutting through the downpipe of the guttering. In most cases, these pipes are plastic and the job isn’t too difficult. However, be aware that if you have metal pipes, the job will be more complicated.

The basic procedure for installing a water diverter is as follows (but check any manufacturer instructions for differing information):

  1. Ensure the water butt is positioned within 50 cm of the downpipe
  2. If the water butt does not come with pre-cut holes for the diverter, you will have to make these yourself. Measure approx. 10 cm down from the top of the water butt, on the side facing the downpipe, and mark where the hole will go. Use a hole saw with the correct size bit (as per the water butt instructions) to create the hole.
  3. Using a spirit level, measure directly across from the hole and make a mark on the downpipe. You will need to make two marks, parallel with the top and bottom of the hole you have created.
  4. Saw the marked section in order to remove it from the downpipe.
  5. Fit the rubberised splash seal to the top section of pipe, then connect the diverter between the two sections. Make sure that the outlet hole is at the bottom. Then pull the splash seal down over the join.
  6. Connect the hose: feed the hose through the hole in the water butt and secure it in place with a screw nut. Then attach the other end of the hose to the diverter.

Water Butt FAQs

Can I fit a hose to my water butt?

Some water butts come with taps that are compatible with hose connectors. Check this before purchasing the water butt as it’s not always possible to detach the existing tap. Alternatively, in some cases a hose-compatible connector can be fitted over the tap. The hose will not produce a powerful jet, but it will allow for water to be transported around the garden. To achieve a jet of water you will need to fit a pump inside the water butt.

How can I connect a water butt to the guttering?

Water butts fit to a gutter’s downpipe, so the first step is to choose a suitable downpipe in a location that is convenient. The water butt should be positioned a maximum of 50 cm away from the downpipe.

Place your water butt on its stand. Measure 10 cm down from the top of the water butt and drill a hole large enough for the water diverter. Use a spirit level to measure across from this hole, and mark it on the downpipe. Use a hacksaw to cut the downpipe at this mark. You can then fit the rainwater diverter to the downpipe.

Some water butts come with the tap preinstalled. However, some won’t, meaning that you can choose where to position your tap. If it isn’t pre-installed, you will need to drill a hole and connect the tap through this hole. Make sure you have enough room to fit a watering can under the tap comfortably. Bear in mind that the tap won’t work once the water level goes below it, so don’t place it too high up.

How big a water butt do I need?

The size of water butt you should buy will be dictated by two factors: how much space you have in your garden, and how much watering you need to do. If you only have a small garden or patio, purchasing a slimline 100 L water butt is recommended. It won’t hold a lot of water, but it should be sufficient for most small watering jobs and it won’t take up too much space. If you have a small/medium garden, a standard water butt has a capacity between 250 – 300 litres. This will be sufficient for most of the year. Larger models are available, including water butts with a capacity of 1000 litres +, you just need to have enough space to store them.

The water in my water butt has gone green, what should I do?

When left to sit and stagnate, algae and bacteria can grow on the water in a water butt. Whilst this might not seem like a problem, some of the bacteria can actually be harmful to plants when they are watered – especially baby seedlings. There are chemicals that can be added to the water, but it’s always a risk using chemicals around plants as you never quite know what affect they will have on the delicate chemical balance of the soil. Some gardeners like to use an organic, biologically safe solution of ‘friendly bacteria’ to clear the harmful stuff out.

Of course, this problem doesn’t happen if water isn’t left to stagnate, so some of the best advice is to use the water butt regularly and clean it every year. Keeping a water butt in a cool, shady place will stop it from getting too warm which can also encourage the growth of bacteria.

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