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Too much leachate

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  • Too much leachate

    I find my compost is just too wet and pours out leachate on a daily basis. This is despite maintaining excellent working temperatures. I also note this does increase in the rain. Has anyone found the rain gets in through the top ventilation hole? Has anyone made any DIY solutions if that is the case. I am toying with attaching a chimney cowl to the lid as I do not want to close the vent in rain as I will adversely effect the function of the bin.

  • #2
    Like that idea v. Much. Have you come up with a solution for this yet?


    • Annabel
      Annabel commented
      Editing a comment
      Yes, I found that when we were getting downpours (some weeks ago!), the temperature of the bin suddenly went down to 30, and the rain had clearly got in. So if there's a danger of rain now I put a small swing-bin lid over the vent, with the swing bit propped open, so that air can get in but not rain. I did find problems with the instructions for how far open to have the valve open - how do you measure a 2mm vent, shaped the way it is?!

  • #3
    The HOTBIN should not be expelling more than an espresso cup worth of leachate a week, any more than this suggests that there maybe an inbalance in the HOTBIN's internal moisture content and the amount of shredded paper and/ or torn cardboard being added to the HOTBIN. What types of waste are you adding to your HOTBIN, in roughly what quantities and how often? Are you adding some shredded paper and/or torn cardboard to the HOTBIN? If so, roughly often are you adding it and in what sort of quantities?


    • #4
      Similarly to Annabel, I’ve noticed a dramatic drop in temperature and huge increase in leachate when it rains. I’ve emptied almost 2 litres of dark brown non-offensive leachate in 24hrs. Prior to the rain It was dark, thick and coming out weekly in small quantities.
      I follow the filling instructions closely with generous quantities of Shredded paper and card, cut the raw food waste into small pieces, shred garden waste and mix it by gloved hands to ensure a good blend.

      Its only a problem when it rains.

      I currently have a bucket over the vent and slits as it is due to rain again tonight. Not ideal.

      Has anyone had similar issues more recently and found a solution?


      • JayneHoy
        JayneHoy commented
        Editing a comment
        Since writing this I’ve had a reply from Hotbin Helpdesk to say this is quite normal and as long as temperatures rise again to 40-60degrees I’m still hot composting.

        I think however, I’ve determined the source some of the leak. My right hand wall and the front panel are bowing, so despite tightening the cam bands there was a lip at the front of 1cm. Since placing a cross of wooden stakes under the top band, the leachate has once again reduced. I’m emptying about 20ml out twice daily 1-2weeks later and the external temp is 65degrees. Hopefully it is resolved.

        Next time it rains heavily I can test it without the bucket on top and see what happens. Hope this is helpful.

    • #5
      Hopefully I'm not too late to jump onto this thread. I've only had my bin about 2 months. I got it up to temperature after about a month but since then it dropped to about 30 degrees which is roughly where it has stayed since. It is pouring with leachate. I've just removed about a litre and a half, and I last emptied it less than a week ago. I am going to put some grass cuttings in today to kick the temperature back up. My regular load for composting is a caddy of kitchen waste (mostly veg and fruit choppings with some bread, coffee grounds and tea bags mixed in); five large handfuls of the hotline bulking agent and a half caddy equivalent of shredded paper and/or shredded cardboard. I guess I just need to up the quantities of shreddings? Any other tips? One other question - does anyone else find collecting the leachate tricky? The cap is so low down I struggle to get a container under it and loads is spilled every time. Thanks for any ideas!


      • #6
        Agree Micmac the leachate position makes it difficult to collect, I am considering raising bin up onto blocks to make it easier, similar to a water butt. This might make mixing material in the top trickier though.
        I have way too much liquid, and think there may be something in the rain getting in via the top vent - I live in a very rainy part of Scotland. I go to great trouble to avoid excess moisture in material and wipe condensation off inside lid frequently. Had three empties now and despite following all guidance religiously, still pretty unimpressed with results.


        • #7
          Argyleandy. I'm in Argyll and I get tons of leachate coming out mine I could fill the whole thing with cardboard and paper and still when I open the tap have brown stuff pouring out. I'm thinking of making a kind of shelter to go over mine to see if that helps but I'm also unimpressed, not managing to get compost anywhere near as regularly as anyone else who uses one and when I do its always sludgy and a bit rank when I empty it.


          • #8
            Completely agree, sounds identical to my experience. Just today emptied my bin in order to move, spread contents and mixed with dry materials and started of fresh with twigs in base etc. Had a couple of downpours this morning, opened leachate tap and water poured out. These bins are not watertight.


            • #9
              Check whether it has rained. After heavy rain I can get pints of lechlate the next day. Have asked Hotbin about this many times but no response.


              • #10
                There's a group on Facebook called 'keep calm and make compost' I asked on there a while ago and someone suggested a more scientific explination about the drop in air pressure and temperature (or something similar) that happens when it rains and that could cause inside of the bin to produce more water rather than water getting in from outside.
                That would almost be worse though because there would probably be no way to fix that where I live anyway.
                I also contacted hotbin and got no reply.