Stand Alone Rainwater Harvesting System
The DIY Rain Gutter Alternative
by RainSaucers Inc. on October 1st, 2014

Readers of our blog know that we only advocate using roof run off for non-edibles. But in these times of severe drought in the West, any kind of grey water is useful and clearly worth collecting. Recently we heard from a customer in San Antonio, TX that did not have gutters but still wanted to collect water from their roof (see picture). They saw the RainSaucer as a cheaper more convenient gutter substitute.  As you can see, their 8 daisy chained barrels fill simultaneously providing 440 gallons of storage.

This example got us to thinking about the benefits of our product over traditional gutters. This led us to the following analysis of professionally installed gutters (G) vs. RainSaucers (RS):

Cost (per square foot)-  G: $5-$8 + the cost of a downspout diverter (~$30). But there is likely a minium number of feet required. RS: $14
Installation Process- G: need to find, hire and manage a Contractor. RS: DIY in minutes. 
Maintenance Time and Cost- G: DIY takes time and involves ladder risk. Hiring someone costs $100 and up. RS: virtually no time or cost.

Conclusion: If you have a house with no gutters (and no valleys*) and you want to collect the roof runoff, the RainSaucer is a good bet. Gutters will cost you at lease a few hundred dollars to have a Contractor come out and install them not to mention the cost of a diverter. Gutters also mean annual cleaning which will cost you time and/or money. For an initial investment of $55-70  you get access to the roof water with very little maintenance.  Whatsmore it will fill barrels just as well as gutters. For example a 59" RainSaucer collecting from a 10' high roof means close to 60 sq. feet of collection (5' diameter x 10' + the 9 sq. ft of RS area exposed to the open) which will catch 36 gallons per inch of rain.

* Full disclosure: if you have valleys in your roof, these will act as a natural rainwater diverter. A properly designed rain barrel should be able to catch that stream if the house it not too high. With higher structures that stream may be harder to catch consistently so in that case a RainSaucer might still be a better choice.

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