How To Install a Rain Barrel

Rain barrels are water-recycling devices that storehouse rain water for later use in backyard or garden watering.  Rain barrels are becoming increasingly popular with homeowners, due to water restrictions that are being imposed by cities. In the past, rain barrels were ugly eyesores that were constructed from pickle barrels. However, saving water doesn't have to look bad! With new manufacturing innovations, there now exist rain barrels that not only help you to store up to 65 gallons of water, but also look aesthetically pleasing! To follow are some steps on how to properly install your very own rain barrel.

Step 1

Purchase a rain barrel that best fits your decor. The Cascata rain barrel, for example, is a terracotta-colored rain barrel that combines the timeless aesthetic elegance of ceramics with the enduring longevity of modern plastics.

Step 2

Find a level area around your dwelling where a downspout is located. If no even ground is available, use cinder blocks, patio/interlock stones, or gravel to develop a flat area for the rain barrel to rest.

Step 3

Prop your rain barrel up off the ground 12”-24”. This will allow the rain barrel to empty easier once filled, and will also allow you to comfortably get a water can below the spigot.

Step 4

Mark your downspout where it comes in contact with the opening on the top of your rain barrel. This is the entry point for the rain water into the barrel. Depending on the make and model of the rain barrel, a downspout diverter maybe necessary.  Consult with the instructions or the manufacturer prior to cutting your downspout.

Step 5

Cut the downspout on the mark using a hacksaw. If the downspout is fastened to the wall, remove the brackets with a hammer, and replace once cutting is complete.

Step 6

Run the downspout directly into the top of the unit.

Step 7

Close off any exit points (spigots, hoses with valves).

Step 8

Set up the overflow port. If you have purchased a rain barrel with an overflow port, you have two options. You can either connect multiple units together (using appropriate tubing, creating a rain barrel chain), or you can fasten a hose or drip line to the overflow port. Whatever option you choose, the point is to prevent the rain barrel from overflowing during heavy rains, and guiding excess water away from you foundation. In both cases, a hose attached to the overflow port on the last rain barrel in the chain is a very smart, precautionary method to ensure neither foundation leaks nor wet basements.

Step 9

Wait for rain. When the rain barrel is full, you can use its spigot to fill a water can. Alternatively, you can also invest in a pump if you want to connect the rain barrel directly to a hose.


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