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on July 11, 2009
99 comments|434 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 31, 2008
These Algreen Cascata "barrels" are gorgeous. I've had folks knocking at the door wondering where in the world I got them. I have three and would order another except Amazon is out of them. The free shipping was also a plus.

Pro:
1. Beauty. Drop dead gorgeous.
2. Strength. Planter is double lined. Body is strong and should hold up fine.
3. Easy assembly. You'll need one slotted screwdriver.
4. The planter at the top. This is great with fuschia, for example.
5. Will hold 65 gallons. This is 10 gal. more than my other barrels.

Con:
1. Drain hose is cheap; it crimps. Replace this with a decent hose.
2. Does not come with an overflow hose. You'll have to get a pool overflow hose at Home Depot or Lowes, plus a hose clamp, if you don't want it to overflow on its own foundation, causing major problem.
3. Planter is great to have, but it could be deeper. You'll need to line it with moss, or else hole drill for drainage.
4. This is not the type of barrel you'd want to string together with other barrels, probably, but if you did want to, you couldn't unless you mounted one barrel lower than the first one.

Overall: I'd buy another one in a second it they were available. This is the best looking barrel out there for the front of your home. True terra-cotta color. The company is Canadian, and the quality is quite high. I love mine.
99 comments|165 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on July 8, 2009
I purchased four of these barrels through Amazon. Three of the four barrels leaked profusely where the white plastic fittings met the molded plastic of the barrel body. Two leaked from the fitting housings on the bottom of the barrel and the other on the housing for the spigot. In all three cases, the leak was fast enough that within 6 hours of filling the barrels, they were virtually empty again.

I contacted the company, relying on their stated 20 year warranty, and when customer service did finally respond five days after I left my initial phone message, their solution was to send me a tube of black, rubbery silicone to apply to the fixture housings. Obviously, this solution destroys much of what is good about these barrels, their attractive appearance; and was no where near satisfactory as a customer service response.

One of the barrels leaks to this day (I guess I didn't get the silicone goo applied appropriately). When I contacted the company again, they demanded proof of purchase. I faxed them a copy of the Amazon invoice which they claimed never to have received. I emailed them another copy, to which their response was that they "have no business relationship" with Amazon. To date, they have finally (after two months of back and forth) offered to replace one barrel, but apparently feel their black silicone solution is sufficient for the other two.

Bottom line, I would never buy another product from this company again. A rain barrel should hold rain, and these do not at least 75% of the time in my experience.
77 comments|259 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 16, 2008
I received my rain barrel in just 3 days. It is HUGE. Unlike the ugly recycled plastic rain barrels for sale elsewhere, this is a beautiful piece that adds to the aesthetics of my garden. It looks like a terra cotta planter. I planted strawberries in the top, so they can hang down the sides but not take over the garden. I bought a 1/2" boiler drain spigot, sprayed it with WD40, and inserted it into the overflow tube. Very tight fit. Then I attached a length of garden hose to the spigot and ran it away from the house. This solved most of the overflow problem. However, the overflow tube is not big enough to drain fast enough during a really hard, long rain. Water will escape by flowing between the top of the barrel and the crown planter. Prepare the foundation accordingly and do not place the barrel in a place where your basement may be easily flooded.
0Comment|81 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
I purchased one of these (not from Amazon and in a slightly different color) a few months ago and I am reasonably happy with it so far. However, there are some issues.

After 3-4 months of use I can testify that the Cascata is a great way to deliver water to a small garden patch in my backyard without breaking a sweat - when it gets hot and dry, I simply attach a hose that branches into a network of drip soaker tubes and I don't need to worry about it much. The top, which is supposed to be a planter, I keep it as a small bird bath.

I can't say anything about customer support because I did not need any help yet.

This is what I like about this product:

- Large capacity. 65 gallons is a lot of water but this is okay because one big downpour may be enough to fill it up where I live.
- Good looks.
- Setup seems to be easy but, I must admit, I chose to hire a professional to set up the base, connect the down spout and make sure that the connection to the soaker tubes fit.

Issues:

- The accessories do not seem to match the quality and design of the barrel itself.
- The overflow hose is not sufficient to keep up with the inflow during a heavy rain so, if you have a finished basement, be very careful.
- The 20 year warranty covers the barrel only and none of the accessories so, unless the barrel cracks or explodes on its own and you capture that on a video and you can provide 'proof of purchase', don't expect much from the warranty.

Rating:

I hesitate between 3 and 4 stars. The serious overflow issues and the warranty tell me that I should grant this 3 stars but the fact that it worked well ever since installation bumps up the score to 4. It is possible that, had I interacted with the customer service my ratings were lower - from the others' reviews - but, since I didn't, I can't factor in 'support' so the 4 stars should be viewed within that context.
0Comment|46 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on June 14, 2008
The Cascata Rain Water Collection and Storage System is an excellent product that has many of the features I was looking for in a rain water system for waterig my flower and vegtable garden. I have this conneted to a small 12x12 ft shed that will fill this barrel at the rate of a little less that 1 inch of rain fall.
The features this product has that I could not find in other rain barrel designs are:
1. Color: color and texture are very close to teracota pot color and texture. I really looks like a large clay urn.
2. Shape: The location for this barrel is at the corner of a shed between a vegetable garden and a flower garden. I didn't want a big blue plastic barrel here because it would trask up my back yard. This product actually added to the astectics of my back yard.
3. Mesquito control: The Cascata barrel has a plastic perforated plate that fits under the removable top. It would be very diffucult for a mesquito to fly into the space between the removable top and the screen to even lay eggs that might fall through the screen and into the water. Other rain barrel designs have an open screen on the top that might allow for mesquito breeding even though the screen is in place.
4. Removable Top Planter: The removable top can be used as a planter. This feature again adds to the astectics and allows this product to blend into the shed garden area.
5. Hose and valve: There is a nice brass valve about 14 inches from the bottom for filling watering cans. There is a hose connected to the bottom with a valve on the end of the hose. This can be conected to a drip or soaker system or fill watering cans when the water level goes below the brass valve level.
6. Overflow port: Overflow port is located oposite the brass valve and is hidden from view when showing the brass valve side.
I plan to purchase another Cascata Rain Collection and Storage System and plan to place it on my patio for watering plants closer to my house.
0Comment|36 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
I purchased one of these (not from Amazon and in a slightly different color) a few months ago and I am reasonably happy with it so far. However, there are some issues.

After 3-4 months of use I can testify that the Cascata is a great way to deliver water to a small garden patch in my backyard without breaking a sweat - when it gets hot and dry, I simply attach a hose that branches into a network of drip soaker tubes and I don't need to worry about it much. The top, which is supposed to be a planter, I keep it as a small bird bath.

I can't say anything about customer support because I did not need any help yet.

This is what I like about this product:

- Large capacity. 65 gallons is a lot of water but this is okay because one big downpour may be enough to fill it up where I live.
- Good looks.
- Setup seems to be easy but, I must admit, I chose to hire a professional to set up the base, connect the down spout and make sure that the connection to the soaker tubes fit.

Issues:

- The accessories do not seem to match the quality and design of the barrel itself.
- The overflow hose is not sufficient to keep up with the inflow during a heavy rain so, if you have a finished basement, be very careful.
- The 20 year warranty covers the barrel only and none of the accessories so, unless the barrel cracks or explodes on its own and you capture that on a video and you can provide 'proof of purchase', don't expect much from the warranty.

Rating:

I hesitate between 3 and 4 stars. The serious overflow issues and the warranty tell me that I should grant this 3 stars but the fact that it worked well ever since installation bumps up the score to 4. It is possible that, had I interacted with the customer service my ratings were lower - from the others' reviews - but, since I didn't, I can't factor in 'support' so the 4 stars should be viewed within that context.
11 comment|56 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 8, 2010
I researched rain barrels for several months before settling on this one. The primary factors in choosing it were style and price ($150 here at Amazon). A 55 gal drum would work for a rain barrel, but I would have looked for ways to disguise it more with landscaping. This barrel can be a centerpiece or at least doesn't need to be hidden away. We finally found some local nurseries that had the terra cotta version in stock to see it in person, but it was listed at $200 and we decided we liked the darker brown color. I've had it installed just over a week now, but a light rain filled it 1/3 full the day after install. I've gotten compliments on it and have already been recommending it to family/friends.

The most common knock on the Algreen Cascata barrels is the accessories. I can see why some are quick to dismiss the included hose as cheap. It will probably need replacing after a year or two of full outdoor weather in all the seasons, but it's sufficient from the start. The spigot is fine as well. And as long as you use the included plumber's tape to wrap the fittings before installing them (which I did), I don't see where you'd have problems with leaks. I'll have to see what issues come up with mosquitoes, but I've tried to reduce the possibility by adding a custom cap piece to the opening on the top. I purchased the RainReserve Diverter (Rainreserve Rain Barrel Basic Rain Diverter (Barrel not included)) and installed it instead of just making my downspout curve to the barrel. I did this so I can just disconnect the barrel in the winter rather than having to reset the downspout each season. It may end up being a moot point. But I cut a hole in the custom cap just big enough for the tubing from the diverter. It's not a sealed system by any means, but there are no large openings/gaps.

The diverter I'm using is supposed to backfill to the downspout when the barrel is full, but that will only work with a sealed/enclosed system (like a 55 gal drum). So I'm using the overflow port on the rain barrel. I tied it back into the downspout using tubing for a sump pump from Home Depot. Finding the tubing for the overflow was the most difficult part of getting this all set up. I couldn't find 1.5-inch tubing in landscape water/pond/fountain supplies or in landscape irrigation supplies at Home Depot or Lowe's. But the sump pump tubing works excellent. I have included a couple pictures of my set up to help illustrate these points. For a stand I'm using square landscape stones under the barrel surrounded by four retaining wall stones. I leveled out the ground under the stones first and put a base of loose paver gravel/stones. I filled in between the stones with sand and used self-leveling sealant between the stones. Probably a little more than what is needed for a stand, but I didn't want to have to change anything after installing it.

I haven't used the planter yet and don't know if I will or not. I haven't drilled holes in the top either, like it says in the instructions that come with the barrel (several reviews said they had to figure it out after it rained, but it's there in the manual if you read it).
review image review image
22 comments|34 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on June 8, 2008
Very quickly I wanted to point out the goods & the bads:
excuse the mess still under construction.

Goods:
lightweight when empty.
very realistic looking plastic terracotta.
overflow valve for attaching another rain barrel (higher capacity).
spigot in front for dispensing water.
screen trap to prevent leaves ext. from entering your barrel.
hose on the side for dispensing water.
room on top for hanging plant or pot.

Bads:
scratched up during shipment poorly wrapped (shrink wrap).
glue seams on bottom and spigot (see video).
water pressure relies on gravity so it needs to be full of water.
the lid does not drain so you will need to drill a hole in the middle.
if you have one downspout like I do you get higher rain volume so you need to attach a hose to the overflow valve and redirect the overflow (if you watch the video that is why I have a downspout right behind the rain barrel)or you can buy two and increase your storage capacity. Anyway hope this helps with your decision.

Overall I am very satisfied
0Comment|55 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 30, 2008
I ordered three of these guys, and thanks to Amazon Prime, they came in 2 days for NO CHARGE! Assembly was super easy, just needed a flat-headed screwdriver to tighten one screw. I have them in place, they look great with our contemporary house, and they are half full already. I came back today to order two more, but Amazon won't let me! (Maybe they figured out the shipping outweighed their profit?)
0Comment|28 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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