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.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Rain Water System Package Deal

This 1,320 gallon tank kit with rainhead debris filter, first flush device, level gage,  pump and fittings is only $2,200.00 with shipping, anywhere in California. A solar version of the pump is available for an extra $40.00.

You will save time and money buy purchasing this complete set up. The tank size can be scaled up or down from 205 through 2,850 gallons. Over the course of hundreds of installations of rainwater harvesting systems we have gotten our custom first flush devices down and replicable. The accessories of these kits can be shipped inside of the tanks and would freight from the Bushman factory in Temecula California.

1,100 gallon  tank package, $2,000.00

Our First Flush Devices can be placed at each downspout or next to the tanks when they are placed away from the house. They are designed to help prevent sediment from reaching the tanks. They feature a cleanout and a fully adjustable drain that is ready to have a garden hose attached to drain the first flush water away from the foundation or to be used to water plants.

The accessories kit has everything you need to use the tank right away and to be ready to daisychain additional tanks. The number one complaint I hear of folks purchasing tanks from other companies is that they then have to spend hours and days chasing down the misc. fittings.

I can match any wholesalers price on tanks that are f.o.b ( picked up by the customer ) in Temecula.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Rainwater Harvesting, Wet Systems



Large rain tanks and cisterns need not be placed next to the house.

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It is more economical to place the tanks next to the house, but that is not the only way.



     Called a wet system; the downpipes from the gutters lead underground to the cisterns that are placed in a far corner of the property. This works in the same way ancient Roman fountains work; as water always seeks its own level gravity will feed raintanks where ever they are located as long as there is at least eighteen inches of clearance between the bottom of the gutter and the top of the tank. 
This method allows for more aesthetically pleasing rainwater harvesting systems. The pipes must be glued and water tight. I have taken to favoring placing first flush devices next to the tanks, instead of on the house. Here are two case studies.

This is what the client had before contacting me.
The client had simple recycled barrels she was using to collect rain. They were open topped and teeming with life. Open top rain barrels are a drowning hazard for children and bug factories. These cheap barrels also leech toxic plastic in to the water.

She had prepared compressed soil beds for the three 1,110 gallon tanks and dug her own trenches to save money.

People in San Diego in particular pay a lot for water and they tend to be aware of how much rain they have coming off their roofs.

Rain gage in Alpine, Ca in tank area before placement. Below; one of two 1,110 gallon tanks.

Rolling the large tank in; you can see a pipe trench leading across the driveway to the tank beds.

Trade secret; lever large tanks over fences with an extension ladder;

Completed set up in Alpine

Detail of custom first flush device ( placed next to tanks.

I will detail my versions of wet systems sediment traps and other debris management in a future post. Keeping muck out of your tanks and under ground feed pipes is a huge part of keeping these Rain Water Systems working.

This amazing desert garden is in Vista California and has one of the most beautiful rainwater harvest systems yet. The red pipes are the feeder pipes for this wet system. The white is the overflow.

Remember; a small 1,000 square foot home yields 624 gallons of water per inch of rain.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Anatomy of a Weather Vane

A weather vane is a instrument that is designed to show the direction, and sometimes speed of the wind. In the proper hands they can become objects de art. A weather vane typically goes on the highest part of the building. 

The Directionals are fixed with a compass as a guide to the correct geographic orientation.
Directions are the North, East, West and South pointers. Did you know that this is where the term " news " came from?

At Rain Water Systems, we know customers can buy cheap imports for a lot less than the hand crafted pieces we offer. We are not about warehousing sweatshop made junk and blowing it out for a fraction of a profit on the internet; we are into making one of a kind pieces to last generations in the tradition of European and East Coast artisans. 

The Orb is a key feature on many weather vanes. These are usually large copper balls. I usually use a six or eight inch copper ball that is made in a spinning process in halves and soldered together.

Six inch copper ball

The Finial or Base is a feature I like to use to give stature and size to my weather vanes. Typically these might be 24 inches in height and have six sides;

Six sided finial/base for large weather vane

The Spindle; I like to call the base of the weather vane itself a " spindle ". There is no good reason for this. That is just what they are to me and I have no good explanation. I usually craft my spindles from heavy solid cast bronze. This piece is ten inches tall and weighs about twenty pounds; I carve the pattern from oak and then have it sand cast at a foundry. This shows the 3/4" threaded brass rod that makes up part of the guts of my weather vanes;

Weather vane spindle; placed near the bottom and very heavy cast bronze.

The Anemometer; these give an indication of wind speed. I like to think of them as " the living " part of these weather vanes. They are little copper cups with a sealed bearing and they are the only part of my vanes that are purchased;

Wind Speed Indicator, aka a Anemometer.
 The Arrow; These are designed with a " sail " on the end to catch the wind. The idea is that the sail will direct the arrow to the direction the wind is blowing. I have five different arrows that cannot be found anywhere else. The sail may be out of exotic materials like gold or thin decorative stone. This example is hammered copper and is typically what I use. I confess that on my first weather vane, installed on the Long Beach City College , I didn't ' get ' how weather vanes worked and fixed the arrow so it would not turn. I was pleased to overhear people say that they thought my new creation was a original historical piece.

Bronze weather vane arrow with hammered copper " sail ".
 The Rod;

This is a 3/4" brass rod that goes through the finial and into the roof. There are different ways to attach the weather vane to the structure. Ideally it is bolted into the beams with a rod.

3/4 inch solid brass rod

The Guardians; I like to put these little gargoyles on the four points of the compass. They overlook the home and stand vigilant.


The Spike: I am found of using turned, European style spikes as a main feature. Many weather vane artists use roosters and themed elements such as boats or golfers. I wanted to do something original;

Turned style bronze Spike

Themed Element;  many weather vanes feature typical decorative or themed elements. I called this one " Boy on the Moon ". I also have a Celtic horse and am I open to commissions.
Boy on the Moon, weather vane element.

I hope to have the chance to do more of these as the economy recovers. If you are looking for something extraordinary please give me a call. These are generally made at my shop and assembled at your home or job site.

Large finial and five foot spike weather vane.

To see more picture and some of my other roof ornaments please visit; the Rain Water Systems gallery.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

How to Install Gutterglove with Copper Rain Gutters

6" Lily gutter brackets, Cubic Leaderheads with Mission Panels, mitered ends.

Copper gutters are not only beautiful, they last  longer than any other type of material when installed properly. With the proper care Gutterglove can be compatible with ornate copper gutter systems even though the metals are dissimilar.

Rain Water Systems makes and sells the most extreme copper gutter parts you can imagine as well as being zealous about water conservation. Extreme gutters call for the very finest in leaf protection and in our opinion the top shelf product is Gutterglove.
One of a kind leaderhead at a graveyard in Hollywood California

Gutterglove is on the higher end in terms of cost, but the fact is that it will be subject to accelerated deterioration if the metals are not separated in some fashion. A internet search with the term " IS ANODIZED ALUMINUM SAFE WITH COPPER? " will yield a lot of results but the consensus is NO.

Fortunately, this is a mild problem if you have a good plan and the best gutters can have the best gutter protection. Here is how;

5" seamless half round copper gutters with external fascia brackets and Gutterglove Ultra
The first thing you need to do is remember that even if anodization creates a thin barrier between the metals you have to pierce the aluminum with screws or rivets, so no matter what you do the metals will have a contact. The key is to keep it to a minimum.
The larger amount of metal wins; a large aluminum gutter system draining onto a small copper roof will have some effect on the copper but the aluminum will not be affected much even if they are in contact. A large copper gutter system in contact directly with aluminum, such as gutter screen will corrode the aluminum much quicker than otherwise. The point is your clients expensive copper gutter systems will not be damaged by the aluminum Gutterglove, but the Gutterglove may deteriorate and that may cause warranty issues or client unhappiness. Expansion and contraction of the copper ( 1'8" per 40' in a twenty degree temperature span ) will quickly rub the anodization off the screen, no matter how thick and awesome it is.
The Gutterglove is laid on its back on our saw table.

We use 3M Temflex Corrosion barrier tape.

Pre-place the barrier on the Gutterglove and trim it clean with a razor knife.

Have an assistant pull the tape tight and press it into the corner where the Gutterglove will contact the copper gutters.
 I use an oversized drill bit ( compared to the #42 rivets ) and attach the Gutterglove to the copper gutters with a stainless steel rivet. The stainless is compatible with the copper, the 3M tape wraps tightly around the mandrel of the rivet and the oversized hole reduces contact between the steel rivet and the aluminum screen.

Gutterglove is an elite product. I spare no step in doing it right.

If you have done it right the clients will have a virtually maintainence free product that you can be proud of. As always, feel free to email me or call me with questions or comments. If you are in San Diego or Orange Counties and need expert gutter beyond the average, we want to talk to you today.

See it on the News and Consumer Reports:

Thursday, June 28, 2012


"Synchronicity is the experience of two or more events that are apparently causally unrelated or unlikely to occur together by chance, yet are experienced as occurring together in a meaningful manner."----websters dictionary.
**This post has a Pagan Blues Sound track.

Hugh Everett is famous as the discoverer of the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics, which is a fascinating — although speculative — idea about how the Universe fundamentally works. Synchronicity for the individual might be that the universe expends as much energy trying to figure out how a single person reacts to their environment as a person looking up at the sky and wondering, " Who am I. Why am I here? "

A curious synchronicity for the church and the scientific community is that they both tend to work against each other, and yet validate each other other in frustrating ways. Scientist and atheist always carry insurance on their property that cover or reject acts of God. Religious scholars hurry to find allowance for both evolution and God as the Bible  defines it. For an example, new discoveries of vast underground fresh water deposits are described in Gen 7:11 So, which validates which?  Does the science behind the great flood prove it happened or did the Bible explain with science how it happened in the Book of Genisis?

Many of my scientific minded friends have a curious attitude about religion.  In my experience, those that are sure there is no God tend to be very opinionated about it and react to people who do believe as idiots.  They rely on science. If a majority of scientists are said to be for or against something, then that must be good, or bad from a logical and scientific point of view.

I admit, my turning point from one of a staunch scientific logical background to one of a believer came after I lived in a haunted* apartment. I didn't turn in to a believer in a specific religion as to one who believes in beliefs.

* I lived in a tiny studio apartment in Santa Ana. 
From the get-go, the landlady was strange. She was elderly, but acted like she had a crush on me. It was a very Hispanic area, so a lot of the locals would act like I was an interloper. They'd yell things at my car, thinking I was in the hood to buy drugs or something. Time went on and I settled in. It was a cheap room with a large yard for my dog Amra. But, there was this weird vibe, like I wasn't welcome there. I used to dream that somebody was sitting on my back as I slept. I woke up with horrible back aches. I could almost see faces peering through the curtains at night but was confident no one was there because my dog was a great watch dog. Nobody was ever there when I'd burst open the doors to the yard.
Time went on. I didn't have any believe in the supernatural so, the idea of a ghost never really entered my mind day I was alone with my dog, cleaning the kitchen. They say the way to a mans heart is through his stomach? Well, it works both ways. I got a lot of attention from women by being a good cook. I was preparing for a guest and I hear my key jangle. I had this little tray where I always put my wallet and stuff and my keys where there. Then, they were across the room. Amra looked at me like, " What the...? "
So, I dismissed it. Then, some time latter I was watching television and my whole entertainment center came down rather abruptly, like it had been pushed. Time went on and eventually my friend Scotti Mars claims to have seen the shape of a man near the door. He was in to spiritualism so we smudged the place and did a brief banishment ceremony. Then, the landlady showed up one night, all done up in grotesque make up. She confessed a love from afar and like a woman possessed by some hideous spirit continued to talk nonsense. I got her to leave. The next day I put in my notice and essentially fled. About two months later the landlady was almost fatally assaulted by her daughter in that room.

What did that prove?
It proved to me that there was some sort of afterlife. Whatever was in that apartment was real, it was pissed and up to no good.

Time went on and as I read more about physics it was becoming clear that, if a man believed in something, that made it real on a quantum level. Further, there seemed to be a measurable energy.

So, essentially, according to science, if you believe in God and heaven then God and heaven is real. Just as if you believe you wink out like a flame in a breeze or will burn in hell for eternity, that will be your reality. Science has become comfortable with the notion that other universes exist and that within those universes are realities created by the people who are observing them, meaning you and me.

All of which proves, from a purely high tech state of the art quantum mechanics point of view that God is real.

People wonder about me; how does that rock and roll guy with a previous staunchly agnostic point of view come to be a missionary?
The answer is, according to science, when I decided to believe in God, despite all the flaws of man and misinterpretations of the Bible and abuses of politics, God became real and all of the things people promised came true.

There are multiple state of the art experiments that prove this to be true.

The album we recorded during this era was called " The Breaking " by Pagan Blues

Monday, June 18, 2012

Our Crisis Culture

We in America live in a land of unimaginable wealth, compared to the vast majority of the world. If you have change in your pocket, you are richer than 85% of the worlds people. In Africa, the average man is lucky if he makes the equal of two dollars per day.
One of the things about us, in America, is that we tend to not be proactive about change. We only change when we are forced to.
The following quote is taken from here.
" With its naturally arid landscape, Southern California has always relied on water piped in from other locations in order to meets its demand. However, a growing population and dwindling supplies are creating a huge water deficiency. Traditional methods of tapping into new surface or groundwater sources have proven to be very detrimental to the environment, leading engineers to search for new sources freshwater. Desalination is a popular option, but it too comes with its own environmental impact. To truly create a sustainable future for Southern California, new conservation technologies and practices must be designed by engineers and adopted by the general public."

I often hear people ask about a rainwater harvest system; " what is the payback, or R.O.I ?"

R.O.I. means return of investment.

Water in San Diego where I live is cheaper than it should be, yet more expensive than almost any where else in America. I have a client in Del Mar who lives in a respectable sized house, yet far from an estate. His water and trash bill is six hundred dollars per month. That is as much as a small apartment in a state like Nevada. Or, not much more than a farmer in Rwanda makes in a year.
Yet, a rain harvest system is still a hard sell. It makes sense to him, but still seems more of a luxury to his wife, and so they have not made the purchase yet.
This 620 gallon Bushman slimline tank captures water from a one thousand square foot roof and will fill to over-flow with one inch of rain.
The major Shakeout Scenario Report states that running water may not be a part of life for many for as long as 6 months! But, because we haven't yet had that violent crisis wake up call the reaction of the average person is a large and extended "yawn." We are a crisis orientated society, and by that I mean we will not en masse make a major change in the way we think about water until there is a major crisis. At the point of crisis, rain barrels will be hard to come by or be very expensive.
Southern California may face even more extreme hardships when a large Earthquake strikes the central valleys were levies built in the 1850's keep the sea at bay. Some estimates say we may face three years without these waters if those levies fail. In such a crisis, water will be more expensive than gas. 
You can't drink gas.
What we need is a complete mental reset, but alas, such a profound change in the way we think about and manage our most precious resource will not come without a major crisis.

With this post I would like to introduce a new product. It is the same filtration system we provide to the Rwandans as part of The Clean Water Initiative with No Thirsty Child. This filter can eliminate bacteria and never goes bad as long as it is maintained. It requires no power and works from gravity. The Sawyer is available through me as a kit with two five gallon buckets for $85.00. It should be a part of every families emergency water storage plan. Large rain water harvest tanks can be used in a major disaster such as The Big One to provide water for you and your loved ones.
  Also, please watch and share this video;

The Cycle of Insanity: The Real Story of Water from Surfrider Foundation on Vimeo.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Making Rain Tanks ( almost ) Maintenance Free

Maintenance of large rain water harvest systems is a big concern to homeowners. It doesn't need to be.
Three 1,100 gallon tanks in a " wet system " placed away from the house.


The first step in a maintenance free rain water harvest systems is a high quality seamless rain gutter, pitched carefully and fastened with solid hangers or nails and with high quality fasteners. A half round gutter is preferable because there is no flat surface on the bottom of the gutter and the water is constantly channeled to the middle of the gutter and to the spouts. Brackets from our American Half Round Gutter Collection are the strongest and most aesthetically pleasing method there is of attaching a half round gutter and stand the gutter off the fascia board just enough to allow painting without removal of the gutters.

The second step is to insist on a fine mesh screen on the rain gutter installed with the proper angle to shed debris. Gutterglove is the obvious best choice, after my almost three decades in the industry. Gutterglove actually makes the gutter stronger, as it is rigid enough to withstand the weight of a worker on a ladder. It has a heavy aluminum frame with a stainless steel mesh that can withstand more than 150 inches of rain per hour. If installed correctly on properly pitched gutters the gutters will never clog.

Gutterglove, installed correctly at the same angle as the roof will shed all debris and prevent anything from entering the gutters, even the granules from the Composition Shingles.

The third step is a FIRST FLUSH DEVICE.
This device captures the first few gallons of sediment and bacteria laden rain water. They are designed to drain automatically between rains. Rain Water Systems without Gutterglove may include a first flush device with a large debris strainer. The addition of Gutterglove on the rain gutters allow for cleaner looking systems such as this and is effective enough to be considered as FIRST STAGE FILTRATION for rain gutters.
" Wet system ", aka a top fill on the set of Bushman 205 gallon tanks with a small first flush device. PVC pipes may be painted with the proper application of the correct primer.

A gutter with the Gutterglove may have a larger debris separator that kicks out leafs and twigs from the first flush device, that has a ball float. The float rises when the first flush tube is full, and then the cleaner water is diverted into the tank;
620 gallon slimline tank with large debris separator and first flush device. Solana Beach, California

The last step is to have the tanks have a float switch, or auto-fill device that ties into the city water. With this device the rain tanks are used as the primary source of water for the irrigation system and water is always kept in the tanks. Keeping water in the tanks allows the tanks to have a much longer lifespan because it is the complete drain and complete fill that eventually causes stress cracks in the plastic. With the addition of the auto-fill device your homes emergency water storage program is almost complete. You can easily have several hundred gallon of water stored in your large rain barrels for emergencies such as Earthquakes. All you need on hand in a small water filter, like backpackers use.

The first flush device then becomes the thing in the systems that needs to be maintained, and it is designed so that it is easy enough to do so. The tanks themselves should not require hardly any service.

Feel free to post questions or comments and I will personally answer them---A.B.