In our article GutterMate Rainwater Filter and Diverter we introduced GutterMate. This affordable device promises not only to divert rainwater to a suitable water butt, but also to prevent the down pipe from getting blocked with leaves and other debris thanks to its filter.
The manufacturers of GutterMate supplied us with a test unit so that we could try the product out ourselves. Handily it arrived just before one of the rainiest starts to the ‘summer‘ since records began!
Installing GutterMate was fairly simple, but it is naturally more complicated than fitting a basic rainwater diverter since it consists of more components and requires more accurate measuring. The written instructions could have been better, but the illustrated installation diagram could not be clearer or easier to understand. With that illustration to hand, installation was completed successfully in around 20-30 minutes.
If you have a 65mm square downpipe (as we did in our test) the provided square-to-round adapter must be used for the connection between the bottom of the GutterMate and the downpipe. The bottom of GutterMate connects directly to standard 68mm round downpipes.
The tools required for installation are a measuring tape or 300mm ruler, a junior hacksaw for cutting out a section of the downpipe, and a power drill (with 6mm masonary drill bit) and cross head screwdriver for fixing the GutterMate to the wall with the two provided screws and wall plugs.
Click here to download and view the GutterMate Installation Instructions (PDF).
GutterMate performed perfectly throughout the four week testing period. The test location had gutters filled with leaves and other debris etc, and a standard bell type strainer at the top of the downpipe designed to stop blockages. At least once per year it was necessary to climb up a ladder and unblock this strainer to prevent water overflowing from the guttering during heavy rain (since an overhanging tree drops its leaves directly onto the roof). We removed this strainer, but did not clean out the guttering to ensure that plenty of debris would find its way down and into the GutterMate during testing.
The weather was definitely on our side, with heavy downpours occuring on 3 or 4 days and showery conditions for another whole week. After the first downpour we accessed the filter basket (very easy and no tools required) and found it contained lumps of moss, small twigs, and leaves which had come down the gutters and the downpipe. We threw these on the compost and reinstalled the filter basket. The whole procedure takes under one minute.
We then deliberately filled the filter basket with a large handful of leaves in an attempt to completely block it. With the filter half full, some of the water is diverted to go down the drain (rather than to the water butt). With it completely filled (an unlikely event in real life) all water does down the drain via holes in the top of the filter basket assembly. Therefore, it is unlikely that the filter will ever get so blocked up that the water coming through the downpipe has nowhere to go causing guttering to overflow.
The filter basket also has a secondary role. By rotating it through approximately 30 degrees, you can set up the GutterMate to either send water through the downpipe and directly to the drains (if your water butt is full for example), or send it directly to your water butt. A large (but difficult to see*) arrow is moulded onto the filter basket, and you just rotate the filter so that the arrow points either to THRU (water to drain), or TUB (water to water butt).
* as the filter gets dirty over time, the arrow becomes much more easy to see as dirt sticks to its rough surface and not to the smooth surfaces on the rest of the filter basket.
We found GutterMate to be simple to install, easy to use, and very reliable. It is solidly made and there is no reason why it should not last for many many years – certainly as long as the downpipes it is fitted to. As mentioned below, GutterMate is very cheap for what it is. Being both a rainwater diverter and a filter it saves time and risk since guttering does not need to be cleaned so often, and it saves money as you use less tap water. We are very happy to recommend GutterMate as an excellent product.