Helen's Garden Renovation Project

Friday 2 September 2011

Water butt repair

Filed under: Progress — Helen @ 2:33 pm

This week has been fine and dry, and the forecast for today and tomorrow is the same, so I decided it was time to try repairing one of my water butts. If it works, I will do the other one that is leaking. I took the advice at http://www.growfruitandveg.co.uk/grapevine/top-tips/water-butt-repair_33901.html. This means emptying out the water butt and turning it on its side, then cleaning and drying the area around the cracks, both inside and out. Then cut out some strips of plastic from a milk bottle, coat liberally with silicone sealant, and stick to water butt, both on the inside and out. The theory is that the pressure of the water will hold the plastic in place on the inside. I don’t know whether the plastic on the outside helps with the current leak, but it may add some insulation against future frost damage, and so I thought I might as well put it on.

Water butt repair on the inside

Water butt repair on the inside

And here is what the butt looks like on the outside.
Water butt repair on the outside

Water butt repair on the outside

The silicone sealant I used is suitable for interior and exterior use, but is not meant to be permanently underwater, so I don’t know how long the repair will last. Given that the water butt will probably develop another leak in the next couple of years, I will be well satisfied if it lasts for two winters before I have to redo it. I used translucent sealant, which I think looks better than white or black, but I realise I am not going to get any marks for aesthetic appeal. I just want to not be sprayed with water every time I go past the water butt after it has been raining.

I will leave the water butt to dry for 24 hours, and then connect it up, and hope it works.

Note added 16 August 2012: This repair lasted for almost a year – today was the first day I noticed that the butt was dripping again. I am going to try the same method but using a sealant designed for underwater use. Search for “butt” in the blog if you want to find out how I got on.


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