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Tips, Tricks and Troubleshooting

Here's where you can learn all there is to know about the use and care of your rain gauge. If you have questions about shipping, returns or any other questions not answered here, head over to our FAQs page

General Tips:

For best results, place your rain gauge at least 20' from buildings, trees or other obstructions. Try to keep it as straight as possible.

To check your gauge’s calibration, pour 1.2 fluid ounces of water into the copper flute. The tube should rise to show 1 inch. Be aware that local rainfall amounts can vary drastically, even over a small area. Don’t compare your readings with your neighbor’s rain gauge! Have you ever driven home from work in a deluge, only to find your driveway bone dry? If your neighbor’s rain gauge says 3 inches and yours says 1 inch, it’s probably because he got 3 inches and you got 1 inch!

If the tube is not rising, check the following:

Has the foam float deteriorated? That can happen sometimes. You'll need to replace it. Don't worry; it's easy to do. Order the parts here. See how it's done here.

Be sure the foam float is in place, even with the bottom of the measurement tube. 

Is there debris of any kind in the tube? Mold, dirt and other funk can impede the smooth operation of the rain gauge. Use a SOFT bottle brush to clean the inside of the tube. Do not use WD-40 or other lubricants inside the rain gauge!


Occasionally rinse out the measurement tube and copper or resin flute. You can clean the blue tube and the inside of the flute with warm, soapy water. Rinse thoroughly before putting it back outside.

Want a shiny, fancy-looking copper flute? You can use copper polish to shine your rain gauge.

Removing and Replacing End Cap:

If a rain gauge develops a leak, replace the end cap.

To remove the old cap, insert a broom or mop handle into the copper flute and push firmly to dislodge the cap. Use a piece of steel wool or scrubby pad to remove any residue around the end of the copper flute.

Cut a small opening in the silicone adhesive pack. Hold the end cap by the outer edge and carefully squeeze a bead of silicone around the inside corner and edge. Put the end cap down on a table and press the flute onto the cap. It's a snug fit and you may need to wiggle the flute a bit.

Leave the flute standing upright. Do not turn it over, even though it is more stable in that position -- the glue needs air to dry. Allow at least 12 hours drying time before reinserting the blue measurement tube.

See how it's done here.

Removing and Replacing the Foam Float:

Sometimes, the foam in a rain gauge float deteriorates. If that's the case, it will need to be replaced. Insert a broomstick or other long-handled gizmo into the blue tube and push steadily until the old foam pops out. A bottle brush is handy to remove any dirt or debris but it's not necessary.

To replace the foam, open the pack of silicone adhesive. Squeeze a bead of silicone along the inside edge of the blue tube. Use a toothpick or popsicle stick to smear the glue evenly around the inside of the tube.

Take one piece of foam and insert it into the glued end o the tube. Use a twisting motion to push the foam into the tube until it is flush with the bottom of the blue tube.

See how it's done here.