Downspout water wheel

I built a downspout water wheel for my yard. I did it in my spare time over the course of a few months. There’s not much to tell that a few pictures and videos can’t explain much better.


I was walking my dog around the neighborhood and we got caught in a rainstorm. We waited out the storm on the porch of a grocery store, and I noticed they had this downspout waterfall. I knew I could never afford one as nice as the one they had, but I thought I could put something together that was similar.


My first idea was to build a wheel out of spoons. I attached some 2×4’s to a post for the stand, and made an octagon-shaped piece of wood to hold all the spoons. I found the huge funnel on a website that sold equipment for brewing beer.

Here is a video of my first test:

Final Result

  • I found the bike wheel in front of a house with a free sign
  • The cups are from Goodwill
  • I designed the shelf that holds the funnel to be somewhat adjustable. I wasn’t sure what the correct angles would be once everything was together. This made it very easy to make last minute changes. You can see plenty of clamps holding everything in place.
  • The water pours into a classic-style tin garbage can that came with the house. I painted its interior with bright yellow rust-proof paint. I installed a small nozzle so I could attach a hose to lead the water to a nearby drain pipe.

I must give some credit to my friend for helping me push the project over the finish line. He’s a structural engineer, and helped me build a very stable stand.

It was a neat project. I learned a lot, and I get plenty of compliments from passers by!