First Flush Downspout Water Diverter Product Review

First Flush Downspout Water Diverter Product Review

This First Flush Downspout Water Diverter Product Review gives a demonstration of how to put this system together and describes how it works.  We then use a hose to fill the system up and show how it traps the first flush of debris and allows the clean water to go into your water storage tank.

The First Flush Downspout Water Diverter is a do it yourself bag of parts that lets you put together a first flush system.  A first flush system captures all of the pollen, oils, and other small debris that gets into your rainwater harvesting system when it first starts raining.

What the Kit Comes With

First Flush Downspout Water Diverter Product Review

First Flush Downspout Water Diverter Product Review – Parts

The kit comes with everything you need except the pipe to put it all together.  You can purchase a first flush system for a 3” or a 4” PVC pipe system.  I went with a 3” system and that is what is depicted in all of the pictures and the video at the bottom of the article.

The kit consists of a “T” connection, a ball seat, a sealing ball, a screw cap, a slow release control valve and a bunch of other stuff like brackets.  The vertical PVC pipe has the “T” connection at the top with the ball seat and the screw cap and slow release control valve at the bottom of the vertical PVC pipe.  The sealing ball is free in the PVC pipe between the “T” at the top and the screw cap at the bottom allowing the ball to float in the water as the vertical PVC pipe fills up.

How the System Works

The majority of pollution, pollen, and other crap will come into the system with the first couple of gallons of rain.  The idea is that the first couple of gallons of rainwater fills a vertical PVC pipe and traps all of the pollutants in the PVC pipe. There is a ball that floats on top of the water in the vertical PVC pipe and seals the pipe off after the vertical PVC pipe fills so the pollutants and “floaties” can’t get into your IBC tote.  Once the PVC pipe is full, any additional water is diverted out the horizontal side of the T connection at the top of the PVC pipe and goes to you IBC tote.

First Flush Downspout Water Diverter Product Review

First Flush Downspout Water Diverter Product Review

The slow release control valve at the bottom of the vertical PVC pipe is what makes the system automatic.  It slowly releases water out a hole that is very small.  It might take an hour or more to fully drain the vertical PVC pipe.  Once the vertical PVC pipe is empty, it will catch the pollutants from the next rainfall.  The bottom of the vertical PVC pipe has a screw cap so you can periodically empty the pollutants out of the pipe.

There is a small filter included with the First Flush system to keep the slow release control valve from clogging, but there is an additional option that can be purchased separately called the Stainless Steal Filter.  The other filter is still used, so you end up with two filters in the First flush system if you use this one.  Since the slow release control valve is so important for this system to operate automatically, I will be using the extra filter on all of my systems.

You use a PVC pipe in the vertical section that is long or short based on the size of your roof.  There are calculations and suggestions with the directions in the kit to help you figure out what size PVC to use.

My Experience

My experiences with the first flush system have been overall pretty good.  I have had to do a good bit of trial and error with the slow release system to get the right size gaskets in the system.  You don’t want too large a hole or you end up wasting a lot of water in a slow rain.  But you don’t want too small of a hole or the automatic reset will clog up, which has happened to me several times now.

The other thing that got me was the screw cap fitting that goes on the bottom of the vertical PVC pipe fits rather loose.  I did not put enough glue on the connection when I put my first system together, so I had to buy another system, cut out the old cap and put a new one on.  I found that when dealing with this system you need to glue both sides of the joint and use a lot of glue.  If you do that you’ll be fine.

The first flush system has helped the water in my IBC storage totes to remain very clean.  Last weekend I used all 1200 gallons of water to water the food forest. Even using all 1200 gallons at once, I did not clog the sprinkler at all.  I have to point directly at the first flush system and say that is the reason why my water is so clean and not clogging my systems.

I would have to rate this system as a must have for a medium or large system. Especially if you are going to use any kind of sprinkler or any other system that could clog with pollen or other contaminants that come off a roof with the first flush of water when it starts raining.

The Directions on the Package

Click on the picture below and it will open a new window to a larger image that is easier to see.

First Flush Downspout Water Diverter Product Review

First Flush Downspout Water Diverter Product Review – Directions 1

First Flush Downspout Water Diverter Product Review - Directions 2

First Flush Downspout Water Diverter Product Review – Directions 2

First Flush Downspout Water Diverter Product Review - Directions 3

First Flush Downspout Water Diverter Product Review – Directions 3

First Flush Downspout Water Diverter Product Review - Directions 4

First Flush Downspout Water Diverter Product Review – Directions 4

 

Below I give you an Amazon link to the two different systems.
 3″ Kit

4″ Kit

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Check Out Great Escape Farms YouTube Channel

Check Out Great Escape Farms YouTube Channel

Check out Great Escape Farms YouTube Channel.  We have had almost 7,000 visitors in the last few months and are getting more visitors and subscribers every day.

Check it out for yourself and see what all of the commotion is about.

Great Escape Farms

Great Escape Farms

Here is what the description page on the the YouTube channel states:

Welcome to Great Escape Farms YouTube channel.  We specialize in unique edible plants, permaculture gardens, and homesteading.  We purchased a farm in Romney, WV and are in the process of implementing a permaculture design.  We are videoing the progress, showing our successes as well as failures and lessons learned.

Due to the cost of the unique plants in our permaculture design we decided to propagate our own plants.  Since we are growing unique edible plants anyway, we figured why now grow some extra plants and sell them online.  So we sell unique edible plants for permaculture gardens at our nursery called Great Escape Nursery.

We already have videos on rainwater harvesting, seed starting indoors, stratification and scarification, and how to propagate various different types of plants. We also do product reviews, and how-to videos.

Much of this is new to us, so it is a learning experience to us.  We figure there are many others out there who are also just starting out with various homesteading tasks, so why not share?

Please join us by subscribing to our YouTube channel.  That way you will be notified when we put out our weekly videos.

You can check out the Great Escape Farms YouTube channel by clicking the hot link or copying this URL to your web browser: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCi3_dt86dMOvZJiN_NfKCcQ

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Garden Huckleberry aka Solanum nigrum aka Wonder Berry

Garden Huckleberry aka Solanum nigrum aka Wonder Berry

Garden Huckleberry aka Solanum nigrum aka Wonder Berry is a fruiting annual in the night shade family.  The unripe fruit and leaves are toxic, so make sure you only pick totally ripe fruit.

Garden Huckleberry aka Solanum nigrum aka Wonder Berry

Garden Huckleberry aka Solanum nigrum aka Wonder Berry

I did find one article online stating that wonder berry and garden huckleberry were indeed different plants and had a different taste.  Most articles refer to them as the same thing as do my seed packages.

Garden Huckleberries like full sun and two to three feet between plants.

I planted mine by seed in February and moved them outside to the garden in May.  Now at the end of July the plants are two-foot-high and three foot around with lots of berries on them that are just starting to ripen.

Fruit

Eat only the very ripe fruits, which are soft, juicy and very dark purple/black.  Some say to wait until they go from a shiny black to a dull black color before harvesting.  Also, make sure you are using seed or plants from a known edible variety.  There are a lot of look a likes out there.

The fruit is not the tastiest when eaten raw but the taste is said to improve after a light frost or two.  They are much better when cooked with sugar and made into a jam, jelly, or pie.

Garden Huckleberry aka Solanum nigrum aka Wonder Berry

Garden Huckleberry aka Solanum nigrum aka Wonder Berry

Propagation

This is an annual and propagation is done by seed.

Medicinal

The whole plant is antiperiodic, antiphlogistic, diaphoretic, diuretic, emollient, febrifuge, narcotic, purgative and sedative. It is harvested in the autumn when both flowers and fruit are upon the plant, and is dried for later use. Use with caution, see notes above on toxicity. The leaves, stems and roots are used in the treatment of cancerous sores, leucoderma and wounds. Extracts of the plant are analgesic, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory and vasodilator. The plant has been used in the manufacture of locally analgesic ointments and the juice of the fruit has been used as an analgesic for toothaches. *

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.  This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Recipe

Garden Huckleberry Pie

Ingredients

4c garden huckleberry

1 ½ c sugar

¼ tsp nutmeg

¼ tsp salt

1 tbsp butter

1 lemon (juice only)

2 tbsp cornstarch

2 pie crusts

Directions

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Stem, wash and drain huckleberries.

Place berries in a heavy pot, cover with cold water and bring to a slow boil.

Cook until soft.

Drain; mash berries with a potato masher to break their skins.

Add sugar, nutmeg, salt, butter, lemon juice and cornstarch.

Cook for about five minutes, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens.

Place pastry for bottom crust in pie pan.

Pour in the berry mixture and dot with butter.

Cover with top crust, crimping crust edges to seal and piercing top crust all over with a fork to allow steam to escape.

Bake for 45 minutes or until the crust is a light brown.

Cool.

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Video

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Photo References/Sources:

Recipe:www.food.com/recipe/garden-huckleberry-pie-395744

Medicinal:www.naturalmedicinalherbs.net/herbs/s/solanum-scabrum=garden-huckleberry.php

Photos taken by Great Escape Farms

 

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Epi050 Great Escape Farms Podcast

Epi050 Great Escape Farms Podcast

This post covers Epi050 Great Escape Farms Podcast – Easy Fence Barb Wire Tool Product Review, Groundhog Repellent and Deterrent, Blackberries Growing at Great Escape Farms, and Plants for Sale for Pickup at Great Escape Nursery.

Great Escape Farms Podcast

Great Escape Farms Podcast

Great Escape Podcast is an audio version of the blog posts from Great Escape Farms, Specializing in Unique Edible Plants, Permaculture Gardens, and Homesteading. The blog posts can be viewed at GreatEscapeFarms.com.

If you would like to subscribe to this podcast on iTunes, you can do so by clicking on Great Escape Podcast.

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Great Escape Farms Podcast

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Plants for Sale for Pickup at Great Escape Nursery

Plants for Sale for Pickup at Great Escape Nursery

Plants for Sale for Pickup at Great Escape Nursery

The below plants are for sale immediately at our nursery, Great Escape Nursery.  Please click on the the highlighted link to get plant details.  Please email [email protected] for plant pickup arrangements.

Available    Price     Plant

30                 $6.00 Adams Elderberry

4                    $5.00 American Elderberry

7                    $6.00 Autumn Olive

4                    $6.00 Black Molly Muscadine

7                    $6.00 Bronze Murphy Muscadine

19                  $5.00 Butterfly Bush – Purple

10                  $5.00 Goji Berry

7                     $6.00 Korean Bush Cherry

100                $5.00 Maypop

14                   $6.00 Nanking Bush Cherry

13                    $6.00 Nova Elderberry

13                    $6.00 Red Flower Variegated Weigela

22                    $5.00 Rose of Sharon – Double Purple

6                   $6.00 Viking Aronia

8                    $6.00 White Flower Variegated Weigela

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Blackberry Growing at Great Escape Farms

Blackberry Growing at Great Escape Farms

This blackberry growing post shows you how I trellised blackberries in the fall of last year and how great they are doing this summer.  I have been harvesting blackberries for over a month now and still have buckets on the vine getting ready to ripen.

Blackberry Growing

Blackberry Growing

Tie ‘em up

Last fall I strung my blackberries up.  I put a couple of posts in the ground and tied a cable between them.  Then from the cable I tied string down to the blackberry plants to hold them up.  Tying them up this way allows them to get better airflow and more sunlight on the leaves and the fruit.

Feed Those Plants

For the past three years I have added or just left the leaf litter around the blackberries.  This year I had a neighbor cut a tree down.  I asked the tree cutters to leave the wood chips from the cut up trees in my driveway.  I put them down right on top of the leaves.  This will help keep the roots cool and keep them moist.

Food Food Food

As I said earlier, I have been harvesting blackberries for a month now.  In the next two weeks or so I should have a whole bunch of these tasty morsels ripen all at once.  I’ll need to figure out what to do with them, either freeze or use right away.

Not a Sticky Situation

My blackberries do not have thorns.  They are a thorn less variety.  That makes it much easier to harvest and to store the blackberries.  There are quite a few branches that are new this year that have sprouted.  I will do some air budding with these plants so I will have some to sell next year.

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The Video

Please check out our YouTube video below called Blackberry Growing at Great Escape Farms:

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Groundhog Repellent and Deterrent

Groundhog Repellent and Deterrent

This post is about Groundhog Repellent and Deterrent and shows what I have done to stop a groundhog from burrowing under my deck.  The solution includes collapsing all existing tunnels, two different barriers, coiled barb wire as a deterrent as well as fox urine granules as a deterrent.

I put out a video a few weeks back asking for suggestions on what to do to take care of a groundhog that has been burrowing under my deck.  I’m only out at the farm from time to time and the groundhog makes himself scarce when I show up.  If I could shoot him, I would, but I never see him.

Collapse the Tunnels

So I am implementing several suggestions from the audience trying to do a thorough and complete approach.  The first thing I did was to take some boards off of the deck to access the tunnels.  I then collapsed as much of the tunnels as I could.  I left the ground loose and did not pack it down.

Groundhog Repellent and Deterrent

Groundhog Repellent and Deterrent – Problem Exposed

Inside Fence

I then dug a trench in the area that he has been using to access the area.  Once the trench was dug, I put in rubber coated chicken wire and tacked it to the wood.  It extended down into the trench for almost two feet.  I then backfilled the trench to anchor the bottom of the chicken wire.  I then filled his hole in that came under the deck.

Groundhog Repellent and Deterrent

Groundhog Repellent and Deterrent – Inside Fence

Barb Wire as a Deterrent

I then cut some 30’ sections of barb wire and coiled it up.  I maneuvered it under the deck and then spread it out so it would make for an extremely unpleasant experience for the little critter.

Groundhog Repellent and Deterrent

Groundhog Repellent and Deterrent – Barb Wire

The last thing I did before I put the deck planking back on is I sprinkled fox urine on the ground all over under the deck.  The link for where I bought mine is below.

Shake Away – Fox Urine:

Close that Door

The last thing to do was to seal off his initial point of entry.  So I dug an 18” trench around the front of the deck.  Then I put rubber coated chicken wire in the trench and tacked it up to the wood.  I bent the chicken wire out at a 90-degree angle so if he went straight down just outside the chicken wire, he would run into it.  I then covered the trench up with dirt.

Groundhog Repellent and Deterrent

Groundhog Repellent and Deterrent – Outside Fence

With any luck, this will keep the varmint away from my deck.  I’ll report back later in the summer one way or another.

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The Video

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Easy Fence Barb Wire Tool Product Review

Easy Fence Barb Wire Tool Product Review

This post is an Easy Fence Barb Wire Tool Product Review.  This tool allows you to easily unwind barb wire without getting cut.  The tool easily hooks and unhooks from the roll of barb wire.

 

Easy Fence Barb Wire Tool Product Review

Easy Fence Barb Wire Tool Product Review

The tool is made in such a way that you can put a ½” pipe through the handle.  Once the pipe is through the handle, you can hook the roll up to a tractor or 4-wheeler for unwinding.  The tool allows the barb wire to spin, but it does have a breaking system so it won’t continue spinning when you stop.  This breaking system will help prevent those nasty tangles that often happens.

The tool handle is about 5” long and is a little larger than a ½” pipe.  Welded to the handle is a shaft that is like a large framing nail with the nail head on the downward side.  Setting on top of the nail head is the barb wire holding assembly.  Because it is sitting on the nail head it freely spins.

The barb wire holding assembly has two hooks that are facing opposite directions.  It is these hooks that connect to the handle of the barb wire.  Because they are facing opposite directions, it allows you to easily connect and disconnect the tool from the barb wire roll.

The Recommendation

I used the tool to install four rows of barb wire around my perennial garden.  It would have taken at least twice as long to do this job without the tool.  I would highly recommend if you are going to install a lot of barb wire, that you invest in this tool.

Easy Fence Barb Wire Tool Product Review - The Tool

Easy Fence Barb Wire Tool Product Review – The Tool

Here is the product I bought:

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The Video

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Epi049 Great Escape Farms Podcast

Epi049 Great Escape Farms Podcast

This post covers Epi049 Great Escape Farms Podcast – Rain Harvesting Leaf Eater Product Review, Buffaloberry Shepherdia argentea, Please Help Support Great Escape Farms, and Troubleshooting a Leaky Vinyl Liner Pond.

Great Escape Farms Podcast

Great Escape Farms Podcast

Great Escape Podcast is an audio version of the blog posts from Great Escape Farms, Specializing in Unique Edible Plants, Permaculture Gardens, and Homesteading. The blog posts can be viewed at GreatEscapeFarms.com.

If you would like to subscribe to this podcast on iTunes, you can do so by clicking on Great Escape Podcast.

Click on the icon below for other RSS feed options.
Great Escape Farms Podcast

Please help us by going to iTunes or whatever podcast feed you use and rate our program. We are a new small company and the ratings will help us become more popular on the podcast feeds.

?Want to Help our Small Business Out?

Any time you are going to buy something from Amazon, please go through our site.  All you have to do is click the Amazon button on the menu bar at the top of every page on our web site.  That link will take you to Amazon and you then shop as you normally do.  It does NOT cost you one penny more!  Thank you very much for helping to support our small business!

We value your feedback and want to hear from you. Tell us what you think about Epi049 Great Escape Farms Podcast.

Troubleshooting a Leaky Vinyl Liner Pond

Troubleshooting a Leaky Vinyl Liner Pond

This post is about Troubleshooting a Leaky Vinyl Liner Pond.  It shows how I troubleshot my two ponds that are connected together by a stream.  I was losing several hundred gallons of water a day.  After all was said and done it was leaking in three spots – one small leak in the upper pond liner, one larger leak in a hose from the lower pond to the upper pond, and the worst leak that was in the water fall section.  The waterfall section only leaked when the pump was on, but it lost a lot of water there.

Troubleshooting a Leaky Vinyl Liner Pond

Troubleshooting a Leaky Vinyl Liner Pond

The System

I have two ponds separated by a stream.  The lower pond holds about a thousand gallons of water and the upper pond holds about three hundred gallons of water.  There is a pump that takes water from the lower pond and dumps it out in a small water fall at the upper pond.  This water will fill the upper pond and will overflow into a stream that empties back into the lower pond creating a circular system.

The Problem

This past fall I shut down my pond pump.  When I started it up again this past spring, I was leaking so much water that I could not leave the system running for more than a day.  The reason was the water level would fall below the level of my skimmer on the lower pond because of leaks.

Troubleshooting

I knew the lower pond was ok because it did not have an issue all winter.  So the issue had to be in the upper pond or in the plumbing getting to the upper pond or in the stream coming back to the lower pond.

Problem #1

I noticed that with the pump off, I was losing a little water in the upper pond.  I saw this simply because with the pump off, the upper and lower ponds should stay at one consistent level.  The lower pond was, but the upper pond was losing about a half inch of water a day.  So I knew then that I had an issue with the upper pond liner, but it was not my largest issue.

Problem #2

The next logical place to look was in the flexible pipe that went from the pump in the lower pond to the waterfall in the upper pond.  So I dug the dirt around the flexible pipe so I could see what was going on.  I did find a leak right where the flexible pipe when into the waterfall area.  This was the original pipe that I put in eleven years ago, so I just went ahead and replaced the entire pipe.

I then checked the system by turning the pump on.  There were no leaks in the pipe or connections.  So I went to my day job and came back over eight hours later only to find the water level was down three inches.  There was still another leak, but only when the pond was on.

Problem #3

There were not many other things that could be leaking that much with the pump on.  The pump is submerged in water in the lower pond. So even if it was leaking, the water would just stay in the lower pond.  The pipe going up to the waterfall system was good, because it was still exposed and not leaking.  The only other options are the water fall and the stream.  I did a visual on the stream and saw nothing so it was unlikely that it was the stream.  The waterfall is quarter inch plastic, so it is unlikely that the plastic waterfall itself was the issue.  However, there is a connection from the waterfall to the vinyl liner.  Upon closer inspection I noticed that one of the nuts at this interface had corroded off and several others were almost gone.

The Fix

Troubleshooting a Leaky Vinyl Liner Pond

Troubleshooting a Leaky Vinyl Liner Pond – Fix Complete

I needed to replace the upper pond liner anyway to fix the leak in it and in doing so I would end up removing all of the corroded hardware.  So I figured I’d get the pond liner and replace the hardware.  When I did replace that hardware, I also used fish tank repair silicone on the hardware.  I put it on the screw head, the threads, the nuts, and in the hole.

Now with a new pipe, new liner, new hardware with added silicone, I have a leak free pond.  I do still need to dress the liner in and finish burying the hose.  Now I can get some Koi!

The Video

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