Why you Need a Water Butt in Your Container Garden- Harcostar Water Butt, a Review

Water butts save you money
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Name of Product: Harcostar 227 litre Water Butt Rain trap diverter and kit.

The Best Place to Buy: www.amazon.co.uk

Product Dimensions: 60cm x 60cm x 90cm

Shipping Weight: 7.2kg

My Rating: 9.5/10

In this article, I will be describing why you need a water butt in your container garden, especially the Harcostar 227 litre water butt. I will be seeing if this water butt delivers what is promotes and is it user-friendly?

In a previous article I answered the question of what type of water is suitable for the container gardener. In that article, I recommended that rainwater is one of the best ways of watering your container plants. To do this you need to harvest rainwater and this is where a water butt comes into play.

There is a large range out there and you wonder which one is suitable for you?
Water butts save you money
Water butts save you money.

When selecting water butts you what the process to be as easy as possible. You want to install the water butt with as little self-assembly and DIY as possible, where you do not have to constantly measure where you want to drill holes to connect the downpipe to the butt itself.

This is cumbersome, as with some water butts you need to drill a hole in the top of the butt. This is not as easy as you think, as you will need to have a specialized drill bit for drilling large holes in plastics.

Often this is not available in most household tool boxes, which means an extra expense of buying a new drill bit. 20mm large drill bits are often not easy to come by and are often more costly than smaller drill bits. In most DIY shops they do not carry large 20mm drill bits, which means you have to go on a drill bit hunt in order to find one suitable. Not good at all.

This is why when you buy a water butt that has all holes, pre-drilled, which will save you time and expense. You do not need to worry about the water butt leaking as the kit comes with enough bungs so that each unused holes can be capped.


Water butts are a water-harvesting device, where rainwater that falls from the skies into the roof of houses, summerhouses, sheds and greenhouses are diverted from a drainpipe to a water receiving vessel. You are basically collecting water that has fallen from the sky, as a means of reducing your tap water usage.

We live in an environmentally conscientious society where water is becoming such a precious resource. As more homes in the UK are installing water meters, and in the near future, it may become compulsory that every home in the UK has a water meter.

This means watering the garden can become expensive, especially if you have many containers to water. You need to find a way of reducing your water demands and this is where water butts come into play.

It is becoming a luxury to water your garden, especially with a hose, as this can be seen as wasteful. Water usage needs to be regulated and in the future water butts usage will become more important, and wasted water is starting to be frowned upon.

This is why water butts are starting to be used in gardens throughout the country and around the world.


Harcostar water butt is not like water butts, as the holes are all pre-drilled, so no need to buy wasteful drill bits, which you will only use one time. The other advantage is that the butt can be positioned in two directions, as you can rotate it 180 degrees to have the tap facing the other direction. Such a clever design. Do not worry about the other orifices as these can be capped to prevent water from being lost.

Water butts all need a bit of DIY, as you will need to connect the water butt to a drainpipe via a diverter. This means that the drainpipe needs to be cut and the diverter situated at the right level. If it is placed too high, the water will enter the butt too quickly. Too low and the water will not enter the butt at all. Remember water cannot flow uphill.

This means it is best to have the diverter and its connecting pipe nearly level with the butt. This will ensure water enters the butt at a steady rate. Otherwise, the water will enter too fast and make it too noisy. Difficult if the butt is situated near a bedroom, where the noise can keep you awake. Believe me when I say that a noisy butt can make sleeping quite difficult.

The good thing is that the water butt will fit most types of drainpipe, be it square or round. This is because the diverter can be cut to size and shaped to fit any downpipe by using a sharp knife. It will fit 68cm, 80cm and 100mm diameter round pipes and standard 65mm square pipe. There is no need to worry as it will fit most standard pipe found in most homes.

The water butt ideally should be situated close to the drainpipe (around 51cm away) and it is best to place at the maximum distance apart. This is to ensure that there are no kinks in the flexible connector hose, which ensures that the water enters the butt as smooth as possible.


With this kit, you get a stand, a butt, a diverter, a diverter pipe, and various other fittings.

Water butts are self-assembly by nature, as you need to cut into the drainpipe, shape the diverter and ensemble the three-part stand.

Diverter attached to drainpipe
Diverter attached to drainpipe. Note that it is better if it is level with the entrance to the water butt.

The stand comes in three pieces and so will require to be joined together before the butt is placed on top of it. This can be fiddly, as often the stand falls apart to the original components. You will have to be persistent and eventually, the three pieces will slot together.

The water butt is then placed on the erected stand. This is where all the measurements come into play as you need to measure exactly where the diverter is to be placed. You will need to mark as highlighted in the detailed instructions and cut a slice out of the plastic drainpipe.


It is important that you measure more than once before cutting as errors will be irreversible.

Once the cuts have been made the diverter is attached to the drainpipe. The diverter lid has to be shaped to the pipe and widen if necessary. The diverter is connected to a flexible pipe and then attached to the water butt. No glueing is required.

It should now be complete and working very well. It should not take a competent DIYer more than an hour to build the stand, cut the pipe, shape the diverter, and then put it all together. Inexperience people may take longer.

Also, position your water but on a level surface as possible so that it is easier to assemble. Remember once full the butt cannot be moved so it is important that you get the position right.

The instructions I have given is for plastic downpipes, which are easy to cut with a hacksaw. The big problem is that not every house has plastic pipes, as some have cast iron, aluminium or even stainless steel pipes. These are harder to cut. You will probably need to use electrical tools to cut them or if you are strong enough, a saw will be sufficient. You may need a screwdriver to undo any brackets that support the downpipe, which will make sawing much easier.

There is nothing to worry about once you have planned everything, as it will all fall into place.


  • For its volume, it is cost-effective.
  • Everything you need is included in the kit.
  • You can interconnect two or more butts with a connection kit.
  • For those who have a water meter will save money.
  • Reduce the amount of tap water required.
  • Can be used with water butt pumps to water gardens, or wash windows/clean cars.


  • Not for those who hate DIY
  • Not very forgiving if you get the measurement wrong.
  • It needs rain, as in a drought the butt is next to useless.


I have used water butts for years and in the garden, it is a godsend, especially if you do not have an outside tap or the tap is too far away.

I have reduced my water consumption and water bills. I have done some calculations, and in my area, each butt full of water will save around 80p. It may not seem a lot but if you use a lot of water you can see how much you will save per year. Each butt will fill around 22 standard, 10-litre watering cans and therefore save money.

The payback will be quick and I would recommend that container gardeners and gardeners buy one here.

If you have any questions or comments you need to make, please do so in the comment box below.

Put your water butt to good use.


12 thoughts on “Why you Need a Water Butt in Your Container Garden- Harcostar Water Butt, a Review”

  1. When you mentioned about rain water being the best way to get the best out of our plants,I couldn’t have thought that there was a system that could really help with that. I feel so lost to not know that there is anything like a water butt. Gladly, you have given a recommendation in this review of the Harcostar 227 litre Water Butt. I think it is really sleek and has some great features too. I’ll be sure to make use of it especially because the tap is far and I have to go all the way. Thanks!

    1. Hi Henderson

      Thank you for your kind words. Water butts are a blessing as it means you do not have to make frequent visits to your tap. I like the look of the water butt and it is very practical too. Save water and see your bills go down.

      Kind regards.


  2. I love flowers, I love gardening but I never thought of the importance of having a water butt container.

    Reading through your article, that´s the time I have a realization of how important it is to have it. I´m glad you came up with many water butt models to choose from. Good to read the pros and cons as well. We´ll be considering having one in our garden.

    1. Hi Gillian

      It is my pleasure. As indicated on this article, as water meters become more prevalent then we will see more people getting water butts. This is why it is important to get the right one, and not a difficult one.

      Hence my recommendation.



  3. It was my grandfather thst first got me interested in gardening and that was way back when I was a small child, he didn’t just grow plants he also grew vegetables and I used to love to help him, my granddad would show me how to plant things etc, he always had a water butt to catch the rain water, but he also used to put manure in some old pairs of stockings and put them in the water butt, he would stir the mixture up before watering the plants with it and I have always copied his method, is this something that you would recommend. 

    1. Hi Russ

      Thank you for those words of  inspiration, as this is very good for the plant. Yes the nutrients will leach into hhd water and provide nutrients to the plant itself. Once it has been spent it can then be added to the compost. It is such a great idea. You can do this with comfrey and nettles, hung in a stocking, where minerals will be passed onto the plants.

      Carry on what you are doing.

      Kind Regards


  4. As usual, this article is filled with great helpful tips for our container gardens.

    I think it is a great idea to try and harvest rainwater for our gardens. Water is becoming scarcer and scarcer worldwide and it is time that everyone looked towards water-saving devices. Watering our gardens with hoses is becoming a thing of the past very rapidly.

    The Harcostar water butt looks great, as we won’t have to fiddle with drilling holes in it as it is all done already. Even so, I think I would have to ask somebody to help me install it as it looks like a real handyman type of job.

    1. Hi Michel

      It is not that bad, as it is just basic DIY. If you are not confident then it is advised to ask someone else to do it, as anybody who can use a saw, should be able to do it for you. Water is becoming scarcer and we all need to do our best in order to stop water wastage and this is where water butts come into play.

      Kind regards


  5. This is a great way to save water consumption which is helpful to our environment. Now that we are facing a lot of problems with Mother Nature, installing a water butt is one of the brightest ideas especially when it comes to gardening. People should contribute even in small ways for our olanet’s sustainability. 

    With your clear explanation, I can see why Harcostar is your top recommendation. A mom like me with no knowledge or skills in drilling would prefer this product for convenience and easy set up. Right now, we are experiencing the hot weather and there is minimal rain. It’s best to store water during rainy season but as you know with global warming, weather became unpredictable. Today it’s really sunny, but it could be stormy the next day. so I guess it’s really good to set up your own water butt! Again, thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi Missus B

      Thank you for those kind words and all the information you provide is accurate and insightful. Water butts are the future and we must start using them.

      Kind regards


  6. We need one of these as my mother is fond of nurturing flowering plants around the house and like you said that in the UK water is becoming more expensive, here too. So, I’m thinking of helping her save on cost with regard to minding water bills.

    There’s just one question that lingers my mind while reading this article:

    You said there are holes at the top of the butt? What if harmful dengue-carrying mosquitoes get in and multiply? Can those mosquitoes get in through the holes?

    1. Hi Gomer

      Thank you for those kind words. The holes at the top allow the diverter to be connected to the water butt via a flexible connector. It has holes in both sides but as said in the article, the other hole will be capped with a bung. The result will be that there is no hole left at the top and hence no flies can enter. The lid of the water butt also prevent flies  entering, so there is no need to worry.

      Kind Regards


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