How To Make Your Own Rain Barrel System

A rain barrel system is a method you can use to collect rainwater.  Also known as rainwater storage, it is used to catch water running from your roof.  Having your own rain catcher has its own perks.  The barrels of water that will be collected can be utilized for cleaning cars, watering the garden or cleaning parts of your house hence, saving you a significant amount of your water bill.  Of course, you have an option to buy a ready made rain barrel kit, but that would be too expensive.  Making your own rain barrel system, however, is a low-cost project and a highly effective technique.  Below are quick and easy steps in creating your rain barrel  in the comfort of your own backyard.

Tools you will need:

  • An electric drill
  • A saw
  • A utility knife
  • A wrench
  • A drill bit (preferably 15/16 inches in size)

List of materials:  (You can buy these at your local hardware store.)

  • One Plastic Barrel (55 gallon, preferably used)
  • Mesh screen
  • One PVC Pipe
  • One Spigot/Faucet
  • Teflon Tape
  • Waterproof Sealant
  • Garden Hose (optional)

Here are the steps you need to follow:

  1. It is advisable that you use a second-hand barrel.  Make sure you clean the barrel thoroughly with soap and water.  Do not use any products with ammonia or bleach, as this is harmful to the environment.
  2. On top of your drum, specifically on the lid, drill a hole that is big enough to insert the drainpipe that's coming from your roof. 
  3. On the side, just below the rim, cut a ¾ hole with at least a distance of an inch and a half from the lid.  This is for the overflow.
  4. Insert the drainpipe on the top hole and check if it fits. Remove it and wrap it with Teflon tape to avoid an outflow.  Make sure you cover the top of the pipe with a mesh screen to avoid insects and debris.
  5. For spigot/faucet assembly, drill a hole near the bottom of the side of your plastic barrel.  It should be at least 2 inches from the bottom to maximize the water flow.  Wrap the spigot three or four times with Teflon tape, secure it and seal with waterproof sealant. 
  6. Attach the garden hose on the spigot if desired.
  7. Cut the drainpipe by using a saw and replace it with a PVC pipe.  This is so the water goes straight to the barrel.  Elevate the barrel on a level surface for better water flow.

There you have it.  Any layman can do this.  All you have to do is follow these simple instructions carefully.  You can accomplish this in just an hour.  By having a rain barrel system at home, you will definitely see significant decrease in your water bill.  Not only is it economical in the long run, but also mother nature will surely smile on you for this one.  It is a great way to make use of rainwater while being environmentally friendly as well.


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