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Rain Gauge

Dixie2012's Avatar
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 532

01-29-18, 05:49 PM   #1 (permalink)  
Rain Gauge

Tips on buying a good rain gauge.

I bought a rain gauge from Tractor Supply about 3 or 4 months ago.

About 2 weeks ago, I was taking to my brother & we got on the topic of rain gauges. He said his broke. It developed a crack & finally, one day he went to pull it out to dump the water & it broke in two. Low & behold, a few days later, mine had a crack in it, then after emptying it a couple of times, I went to pull it out of the holder & it broke right in two. So, I'm wondering... is there cheap, good, better & best rain gauges? If so, since I gotta go buy another one, what do I need to look for. I'd kinda like to have one that will last more than a few weeks.

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Pilot Dane's Avatar
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Join Date: Mar 2003
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01-30-18, 05:48 AM   #2 (permalink)  
You can not leave a rain gauge outside when there is any chance of freezing/frost temperatures. Even if it's dry when you check it in the afternoon and there is no rain the evening's dew will settle in the bottom and a mild freeze or frost overnight can crack the plastic.

sdodder's Avatar

Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 346

01-30-18, 06:22 AM   #3 (permalink)  
I've found that the plastic ones are damaged by intense sunlight (as well as freezing water). I now have a cheap glass gauge tube in a homemade holder, and it works well. Can't remember where I got it, but it was either Lowes or Agway. The holder was crap, but the glass tube is easy to read and easy to clean. Sure it will eventually break when a surprise freeze gets it, but for a few bucks I'll get another one.

cwbuff's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,303

01-30-18, 06:31 AM   #4 (permalink)  
I've had a couple of plastic ones that cracked after a year or two even though I bring them inside for the winter. I'm back to using a shallow can.

I have a weather station with a rain gauge but it's not as reliable as the can.

Norm201's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 5,236

01-30-18, 07:38 AM   #5 (permalink)  
If you're really in to it you can get an all aluminum rain gauge.


To me a rain gauge is very arbitrary measurement. Even though there are specifications to it, location is only good for that very particular location. Twenty feet away and you may get an entirely different reading. And the type of rain makes a difference. If its a steady calm drizzle on an overall geographical area then that may give a general sense of average rainfall. But how do you measure rain fall with a wind driving it sideways? Or on those hot humid days that evaporation takes place as the rain actually falls.

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