FAQ

General

What are Good Ideas products made of?

We make nearly all of our own products using LLDPE or Polyethylene. Some of our accessory items are made of metal or other organic materials. If you have a question about a specific product, check the product page on our site for more information.

Where are Good Ideas products made?

Almost all products made by Good Ideas are produced in Lake City, Pennsylvania. Some of our products are imported, however. If you have a question about a specific product, please contact Customer Service at customerservice@goodideasinc.com.

Is there BPA (Bisphenol A) in any of your plastic products?

No. None of the parts that Good Ideas produces contains BPA.

What is the warranty for Good Ideas products?

Most products made by Good Ideas have a 1-year limited manufacturer's warranty on parts and labor. Our complete warranty policy can be found here.

What is the Good Ideas return and refund policy?

If you ever receive an incorrect product or an item that is defective or damaged please contact our customer service team for a return authorization number.  We also accept product returns for items purchased directly from Good Ideas for a period of 30 days from receipt.  Please see our complete refund and return policy for more details and instructions on requesting a return authorization.

Rain Harvesting

Can I leave my rain barrel out during the winter or cold weather?

You can, however, you must drain your barrel completely before temperatures reach freezing. We suggest disconnecting your barrel from the collection system and storing the barrel upside down or with the spigot open to prevent water collection. Do not allow water to freeze in your rain barrel. Water expands when frozen, and this will cause damage to your rain barrel and void the warranty.

My rain barrel is full but no/very little water is coming out when I turn the spigot on.

There may be debris caught behind the valve of the spigot, blocking water. You can try to dislodge the blockage by spraying water from a pressurized hose into the spigot. If this doesn't work, try removing the spigot. If the water flows freely, then there is likely debris lodged inside the spigot, or the valve seal may be faulty. However, if water does not flow out after removing the spigot, there may be a much larger debris blockage in your barrel. Follow our instructions on cleaning your rain barrel here.

Can I use a hose with my rain barrel?

You may, however, do not expect pressures to be similar to that of a hose used from your home hookups. The pressure there is typically 30 PSI or greater whereas a rain barrel produces little more than 1 PSI when full. Our special soaker hose is designed to work with low pressure applications, however, and will constantly water nearby plants.

How can I increase the pressure of my rain barrel?

Either install an electric pump or raise the barrel higher off the ground with a rain barrel stand.

How do I connect my downspout to my rain barrel?

Simply follow the instructions included with your rain barrel. If you did not receive instructions, you may see our installation video here.

How does the overflow work on my rain barrel?

This depends entirely on the model you purchased from us. However, there are typically two types: Screened/hole overflow and diverter channel. The first is simply a hole at the top of the barrel the allows excess water to flow out the front of the barrel. The diverter channel takes water as it overflows through the debris screen and diverts it to the front of the barrel and away from the foundation.

Will my rain barrel get algae if water stands in it too long? If so, how do I get rid of it?

We have rarely had complaints of algae in our rain barrels; however, it occasionally happens, and is more likely to occur with lighter colored barrels. If you notice algae developing in your rain barrel, follow the instructions on cleaning your rain barrel here.

Is my rainwater drinkable?

No. Collected rainwater is not for human or animal consumption.

My rain barrel has a planter top. How do I plant in it?

The planter top is basically the same as any other planter, so it will depend on what you are planting. In general, we suggest laying down a layer of small gravel or rocks to help with drainage, followed by sand or coco fiber (a peat moss replacement) and then a growing medium of some kind such as top soil or potting mix. If you want to maximize the amount of soil in the space for roots and don't want rocks or other soil amendments, simply pack some rocks or gravels against the drainage hole(s) and fill the remaining area with soil. This way, loose soil won't clog the drainage and keep the roots from flooding. We suggest using plants that like a lot of water, particularly if you're in a moist or moderate climate.

Composting

What is compost tea?

Compost tea is simply compost that is added to water. Typically this is made by taking a handful of compost and placing in a 5 gallon bucket that is nearly full with fresh, chemical-free water and then aerated for a few days with a fish pump.

Can I compost in the winter?

Yes, however, your composting will be much slower. You can try to make it compost faster by keeping more sunlight on the composter (if available), keeping the unit in a heated area (such as a garage) or covering the composter with thick fabric such as a horse blanket. If your compost batch does not start up again in warmer weather, you may need to start a new batch due to the aerobic bacteria having died off.

What can I put in my composter?

Most organic materials can be placed in your composter. Each composter product page has information on specific items that can be added. You should never add toxic or chemically hazardous materials, protein rich compounds (meat or feces from meat-eating animals, bones, etc), diapers, synthetics (plastic, metal, glass), paper printed with ink with lead, or weeds that have gone to seed.

My compost is too wet or a solid mass. What should I do?

You've added much more nitrogen than carbon. You'll need to break up the mass and/or add some carbon rich items, such as sawdust or dry leaves and grass.

My compost is too dry. Can I add water?

You can, however, this is usually a sign that there isn't enough nitrogen in your mix. Try adding some fruit and vegetable scraps to the mix. Remember, water may work as a bandaid, but aerobic bacteria work better when they have the right balance of nitrogen and carbon.

How often should I turn my compost tumbler?

Once a week but more often is even better.

There are maggots in my compost, what should I do?

This usually means that you added some type of meat or dairy product and attracted flies to the anaerobic bacteria that ensued. Maggots or grubs are not harmful or damaging to the compost. In fact, they are probably helping to get rid of the anaerobic materials. But you are likely to have flies once they metamorphose. If you can't stand to have these critters near your compost, try to dry the pile out a bit with dry top soil or blood meal. Be careful with what you add as you do not want to harm the beneficial bacteria in the mix.

What is the difference between batch composting/tumbling composters and continuous composting/standing bin composter?

Batch composters are typically tumblers and allow you to compost quickly by aerating the entire batch at once. The downside is that once you have started your batch, you cannot add more material unless you want to reset the clock on composting time. Bin composting uses a freestanding bin or even just a pile. This style just lets gravity and nature do the work. It is slower, however, and you'll need to aerate the pile manually with a rake or aerator to get even aeration. Many people are finding great benefits of combining the two methods together. They will use standing bins to store material in bulk. Then they can use some of the partially composted material in their tumblers for fast compost when they need it.

How much can my composter hold? When should I stop adding material?

This depends on the total capacity of the composter, but you should not exceed three-quarters of the full capacity of any composter. If you do, you will cut off oxygen supply and have a large mass of uncompostable material.