“ Brand: Blackwall / Type: Rain Butt „
Blackwall are a nightmare. I ordered their water butt last October. We are now into April and I still don't have the water butt. Numerous regular phone calls and emails are always met with promises of a next week delivery and that they will put the order on priority. Do yourself a favour if you want a water butt, save your money on the phone calls to Blackwall and pop down to B&Q.
To my horror, despite no signs of a delivery, I found that Blackwall have debited my credit card for the full cost several months ago!!
I am pretty sure that Thames Water don't bother to review their business partners because if they did Blackwall would be struck off their list before they do anymore damage to their image. Yes Thames Water you are judged by the company you keep.
And a special message to the Blackwall customer care team. Nice getting to know you all. Courteous at all times but a pity your promises are worth nothing.
Water butts are basically a big container which you attach to the downpipe of your guttering to collect water which you can then use to water your garden.
I have water butts that are made by Blackwall. They are made of plastic and hold 190 litres of water. They sit on a plastic stand, and have a clip on lid which is supposed to be child-proof. There is a handy tap at the bottom so you can fill up a bucket or watering can. The water butts are environmentally friendly as they are made from recycled plastic, and they are guaranteed for 10 years.
I got my water butts on special offer through Thames Water. They cost £29.95 each, which included the stand and a kit to attach it to the drainpipe. This is the cheapest I have seen water butts - in DIY stores they are usually about £30 without the stand or connection kit.
If you already have water butts and you have a lack of drainpipes, you can instead get a link kit to connect one water butt to another, so you can store more water. Blackwall charge about £5 for these.
The water butts are quite easy to put together and install. You need a large drill, a hacksaw and a wrench or large spanner.
First you need to put the tap on. It basically threads through a pre-drilled hole near the water but, and then you screw a big nut on the back. You do need to pretty much climb inside the water butt to do the nut up. This is where the wrench comes in handy. I did try doing one up by hand once, but I couldn't do it tight enough and it leaked, so I would recommend doing it properly in the first place.
Next you need to drill a large hole near the top of your water butt, at the side which will be next to the drainpipe. You need to have the water butt pretty much next to the drainpipe as you only get about a foot of piping. You could probably buy more piping if you wanted it further away though.
Then you have to connect the water butt to the drainpipe. You need to cut a section out of the drainpipe, just above the height of the water butt, using a hacksaw. This section should be about 5cm high. The top piece of drainpipe slots into the collector, and the bottom of the collector plugs into the bottom piece of the drainpipe. You then clip the piping onto the collector and then into the hole in the water butt.
The collector forms a ring inside the drainpipe which channels water into the water butt. If it is raining heavily or the water butt is full, the water runs down the drainpipe as normal.
So that's Blackwall water butts. They're great. Can't fault the product.
The company themselves are awful! I have ordered from twice in previous years, and had no problems. I wanted 3 more water butts, so in March I placed an order for these, plus 2 link kits. I was informed there was a 4 week delivery time - I thought that I could wait that long.
After 4 weeks the water butts still hadn't arrived. I rang the help line, where an automated voice told me that delivery time had been extended to 6 weeks. OK, I thought, I guess they must be busy, but I should still have the water butts by mid May.
6 weeks came and went. I called the helpline again. I was 14th in the queue. After half an hour, I was still 14th in the queue, so I sent them an email. No reply.
Several attempted phone calls and emails later, I finally got an automated email response, listing a long list of potential problems and what to do if I had one.
I identified my problems - my credit card had already been charged when it shouldn't have been, and I hadn't received my water butts. I duely emailed them and requested a recharge to my card at the time of delivery, and, of course, delivery. I heard nothing.
Eventually I got hold of someone on the helpline. I was promised delivery in 2 weeks. That came and went, so I called again. They refunded the cost of the 2 link kits, about £10, which had arrived, and again promised delivery in 2 weeks. Again, they didn't arrive.
I called again. They said they'd delivered the water butts. I informed them that they most certainly hadn't. They said they'd send them again - in 2 weeks. Well, guess what? They didn't arrive...
I called their parent company, Thames Water and trading standards. None of them would do anything. I called Blackwall again, and got the proverbial 2 weeks again. The water butts didn't arrive and I gave up.
They eventually turned up by themselves in mid September. By which time the dry spell was over and my water bills were huge. According to the delivery driver, most customers have had problems.
So I would say that while the product is great, I would never order direct from Blackwall again. With all the time and money I've spent on phone calls, it would have been cheaper to go to B&Q.
Attach to the downpipe of your gutters and collect rain water to irrigate your garden with.