This site is backed by 26+ years experience and contains insider tricks for professionals and information for homeowners that can be found nowhere else. Visit my WEBSITE and " LIKE " us on Facebook to keep up on our products and activities.

My normal service range is from Santa Monica to San Diego but I have installed copper gutters and rainwater harvesting systems in California, Nevada, Utah, Hawaii and Rwanda.
I have a small but national customer base through my gutter products website @ where I offer rare items such has handmade weather vanes and hand carved and custom family crests for gates cast in aluminum or bronze. Through my websites you can gain knowledge, order products, beautify your home or help grow your business.

Monday, May 16, 2011

First Stage Filtration for Rainwater Harvesting Systems

" California is like, so totally lagging behind in this whole rainwater harvesting thing. "

 Ah well, we are a crisis orientated society. It will take a serious Earthquake or major prolonged drought before people get it, I guess. The above quote is loosely taking from this story here.
A fine mesh high quality gutter screen should be a priority on a rainwater harvesting system.

One of the most important parts of a rainwater harvesting system is the debris screen for the rain gutters. I often hear customers say that for the price of an even inexpensive gutter screen you could hire a day laborer to clean them once a year. The key question may be; are you going to do that?
People forget stuff. They forget to clean their gutters and even more so, their roofs. Unconsidered by many an average homeowner in Southern California is the risk they take when hiring those day laborer types. They don't realize that the legal responsibility is on them, the homeowner. You are required by law to have insurance to cover uninsured laborers. Ask yourself, and I speak to the other poor saps I see on the freeway everyday; do you have an umbrella policy that will cover you when that displaced transnational entity falls off your roof while cleaning your gutters?
I didn't think so.
Not maintaining your roof and gutters causes all kinds of property damage;
See more pictures of this Long Beach California home that had 40k in damage due to leafs clogging the valley metal, gutters and trapping moisture in the wood roofing deck. Click HERE

On a tile roof like that ( and by-the-way, those types of tile roofs are known to gutter dudes as " egg-shells " ), leafs collect on the roof and when it rains the debris forms a barricade for the water. Water is ruled by gravity and finds its way down, which means that the water spreads out under the tiles and causes damage. As a gutter man for 26 years I have installed miles of EZ Lock gutter screen. The problem for a contractor is that when people see grass growing out of a gutter with screen you installed they will call you wanting to know, " why the heck is there grass growing out my gutters that you, Mr. Expert, installed two years ago?!? I need a service call! "

It creates a warranty or maintenance issue; if you are savvy, you will explain that any 1/4": mesh gutter screen will have debris get inside it anyways and that they, the homeowner, will still have to clean their gutters. The fact is revealed; they are wasting their money. Being honest avoids the warranty issue as they understand that even though they have spent good money on a gutter screen they still have to clean their gutters, which will be twice as hard with a screen on it, but it also avoids the issue all together because what self respecting homeowner would spend money on a product they are informed does not work?

So after 26 years installing rain gutters and 14 years being an independent business I have picked a gutter screen that actually works. It is of a thicker stouter material than any other gutter screen. It is so strong that a heavy tradesmen could lean a ladder on the gutter and the gutter would likely not be damaged at all.

I present to you, Gutterglove.

click the image for a larger view

 The above image was from a rainwater harvest installation in Tustin, California where we used Gutterglove Ultra as a first stage filtration device. The idea is not only to keep the gutters clean, but to keep sedement from forming in the bottom of the rain barrels. The next image is from a rainwater harvesting project in Los Angeles and featured Gutterglove Pro;
 These are real life examples of products that work from a dude ( that's California for person ) that has been in the trenches for over a quarter century, installing all types of seamless and custom rain gutters. All over the L.A and San Diego area are gutters that bear my brand; Las Vegas. Salt Lake City. Volcano, Hawaii and soon, thanks to God and I will be installing rain gutters and rainwater harvesting systems in Rwanda.

I'd like to recognize Robert Lenny, the owner of Gutterglove for his generous cash donation to the P.E.A.C.E. team. We at are bringing clean water to people in need in five countries.

Gutterglove Ultra consists of two components, a perforated aluminum channel and type 316 stainless steel mesh. The stainless steel mesh is glued into grooves along both sides of each 5 foot aluminum channel section. It installs on any existing gutter. Gutterglove's specifications were designed so that it simply slips under the roof shingles and fits snuggly to the front lip of your gutter. Gutterglove should be installed at the same pitch as the roof (up to 5/12) to get the best performance of debris shedding off. However, it's not necessary to install Gutterglove at greater then a 30 degree pitch.

Aluminum Channel Frame:
Aluminum Channel Frame: The extruded aluminum support frame is anodized to further protect itself from the environment and to make it more adaptable to be installed on a copper gutter. The anodizing process converts the aluminum surface into an extremely hard, durable, corrosion resistant, long-lasting aluminum oxide finish. Anodizing also responds favorably to current governmental regulations because it is one of the most environmentally friendly industrial processes. Since this process is a reinforcement of a naturally occurring oxide process, it is non-hazardous and produces no harmful or dangerous by products. Anodized aluminum is used around the world as highly durable exteriors in commercial buildings such as one of the world’s tallest buildings, the Sears Tower in Chicago, Illinois. Other revolutionized uses are in scientific instruments, home appliances, satellites in space for harsh environmental protection, staircases in skyscrapers and a host of other uses.

Gutterglove is the ONLY gutter guard in existence that uses an anodized extruded aluminum profile.
Stainless Steel Mesh:
The super-strong type 316 stainless steel mesh allows more than 150 inches of hourly rainfall to filter through to your gutter. Type 316 is molybdenum-bearing austenitic stainless steel which is more resistant to general corrosion and pitting/crevice corrosion than the conventional chromium nickel austenitic lower quality stainless steels such at types 302 and 304 or any other standard stainless steel alloys. The pots and pans manufacturers that are highly promoted at home and garden shows for their non-corrosive attributes are only type 304 stainless steel.

The 316 alloy offers higher creep, stress-to-rupture and tensile strength at elevated temperatures. It also resists attack of marine and corrosive industrial atmospheres which makes it an ideal component for Gutterglove. Type 316 stainless steel alloy is widely used in the food, marine and medical industries.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Super Slim Rain Tanks

New Product

These are manufactured by Contain Rainwater Systems and have a few cool features; they have two ways that they can be mounted with one side having a rock looking texture and the other side having a modern look. They were simple to mount, even on this odd brick surface. There is a factory installed tap that a plastic spigot can thread into, and they can be linked together for larger capacity. They come in two colors and are in stock in quantity and available for prompt shipment. Please email about cost. If you mention the term " Emergency Water Storage " in your email you will receive a special introductory price. I am interested in dealers outside of California who wish to buy on a wholesale rate. Please contact myself or Eric.
Click the photo to enlarge

They are FDA approved safe for potable water and in addition to being an excellent option for rainwater harvesting where there is very little room I think they make a great option for emergency potable water storage. Large round barrels take up too much storage space, and these are designed to mount to a wall, out of the way. I am recommending that earthquake country people have one of these for each member of their family mounted in a cool dry place, such as a basement or garage. Each tank holds around 70 gallons which can be rationed to a comfortable three month supply per person. Water stores for a long time if not contaminated by an outside source but we suggest they be drained and refilled once a year.

We installed four in a breezeway on a house in Yorba Linda. The homeowner liked the idea that the 6'6" height provided added privacy. They are for use in case a large Earthquake disrupts Southern California water supply ( which is going to happen at some point ). As I have made other posts about The California Katrina and the Central valley delta system levee danger I will not belabor the point again but I cannot encourage people strongly enough to have some sort of collection and storage set up for an emergency water supply.
Eric Konechny is the United States division chief and designer of these tanks and I can personally attest to the fact that he will go above and beyond to help me get these tanks to you promptly. My business Rain Water Systems is an authorized distributor of these and other Rainwater Harvesting Products and my role is to not only test and install these systems but to train other small businesses in sales and installation and web marketing. Soon we will offer more instructional articles and DVD's as well as low cost websites purpose constructed to help market these products. These times require creativity and diversification. Trust me, in two years every scruffy gutter guy will be a rainwater harvesting expert. Not because of passion, but because the homeowner will be asking more and more for quotes on these products as it seeps into the conscious. The victors will be the companies that get experienced now and one way to do that is to offer these products to your clients now. Get a head of the curve.
Any rain gutter installation company is invited to call me on my cell and if you are in Southern California I will bring a display package to you and explain how it works and how I have been able to sell large systems. Gutter supply houses should consider hosting a seminar on harvesting rainwater; I will bring my educational display trailer with a pump, first flush device and different sizes of tanks from these new super slimline to a selection of round tanks from Bushman. I will go out with you or your customers on your first site evaluation or estimate and discreetly assist you in planning the system and pricing it. If you order your product through me I will come to your first installation and train your crew, for FREE. Who else is going to do that our has the experience, relationships and portfolio to back it up?

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Rain Gardens

Rainwater harvesting systems can and should be tied into an irrigation system " zoned " to feed food bearing gardens. This is working well for us at our home in Southern California. It is true that we cannot rely solely on rain water as we are only collecting a small patio roof and we don't have enough room for a large system, but we have a pump that pulls the water from our rain barrels and the barrels are refilled with city water when they get depleted via a float switch. We enjoy fabulous vegetables and herbs and fruits and there is a certain magic from cultivation and using the food grown at home to create good meals.

This is a conceptual drawing of such a system; the cut away view inside the tank is meant to show the float switch. The overflow is directed into the grass to be absorbed into the soil, an outlet from the tank leads to the pump with feeds a irrigation manifold.

Our harvest currently is potatoes, green onions, strawberries, oregeno, sage, rosemarry and thyme. The mint just grows like mad and we may have to remove it.

We are waiting for bell peppers, tomatoes, corn and blueberries, grapes and squash and jalapenos. A summer variety that will yield more than we can eat. Here are some more photos of our rain garden; notice that we removed all the grass and have gravel between the food beds and the childrens play area is covered with wood chips. The only water that is used in our back yard is for the raised food beds, and a good portion of that comes from our rainwater harvesting system. It is important to live as we talk; to do as we encourage others to do. I personally will never have regular grass again. When the economy recovers and things aren't so scrunched we are going to do a total front yard make over and plant many more herbs and eliminate the grass there.
In the back ground you can just see the gutters that collect water from our roof.

The Tank Fed Food Beds are offered as a service to our clients along with the Gutter Gardens and rainwater harvesting systems. We are offering turf removal and drip systems and constructing patio container gardens for those willing to add rain barrels and catchment systems as the primary feed of water.
The Gutter Garden

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Rain Water Harvesting; How not to do it in Los Angeles

" Progressive gardeners who haven’t yet bought their barrel are made to feel wasteful and negligent for failing to acquire the latest in an endless series of products designed to save the planet. Thanks to relentless marketing, rain barrels are enjoying a potent dose of moral buzz that is fast turning them into a 21st Century version of the Great Tulip Mania. "

Disclaimer; I appreciate the efforts of those who have tried to create low cost and do-it yourself systems and do not mean to sound mocking. That being said, I think that the proliferation of make-do rain water harvest systems will ultimately create a bad impression on those considering using this technology. Further, the cheap rain barrels promoted by the various officials in Los Angeles are seen more and more often discarded as they do not have the crucial insect netting, an overflow and they are ugly. They look more like industrial vats used for storing chemicals and they are not what the average homeowner would want to see up against their house in Southern California. I would further argue that small cheap rain barrels are not green as they are often thrown away into landfills after a season or two.
As I share a common goal with other activists who want promote this micro-economy ( or mega trend ) I wanted to present this; How NOT to Harvest Rainwater in Los Angeles.

Example #1

This is a well crafted system with a solid block foundation, high quality plumbing fittings. My issue is that if this were placed on the side of a Malibu home the neighbors would at the least not be inspired to do a rain water harvesting project in their own yard. In fact, they probably would file a complaint. In certain parts, people might mistake it for a still making Moonshine. It is just not aesthetically pleasing.

This is contestant number two.  This tilting, industrial looking contraption is placed right next to the entry sidewalk.Perhaps eventually the bushes will grow around it.

Example 3

Plastic bottle downspout leads to rain barrel. Just...ick.

The average small home in L.A. yields 8,000 gallons, minimum, per year of rain water. A system should start at one thousand gallons, be designed to be aesthetically pleasing and be the primary source of irrigation water for the landscaping. A float valve is used to keep enough water in the tank(s) between rains to allow them to be used year-round with a water conserving irrigation design.
1,100 Gallon cistern in El Cajon, Ca

620 Gallon Slim Tank, Orange, CA

 Nothing is without its trial and errors.  
If the drought continues, the costs of these systems will increase dramatically.

Rain water harvest systems we have installed can be viewed here and are now located in Orange, Yorba Linda, Tustin, Anaheim, La Canada Flintridge, Huntington Beach, Costa Mesa, Los Angeles, North San Diego, Hollywood, Fountain Valley and Newport Beach and MORE! We are fully licensed for seamless gutter work. Rainwater harvesting locations recently in La Mesa, National City, Encinitas, Escondido, Carslbad, Hollywood, Temecula, Point Loma and MORE.