Friday, April 3, 2009

How to Build Your Own Rain Barrel

What you need:

• A Clean 50-gallon barrel
• A ¾” faucet measuring 1” on outside. They are easy to open, and you can see from a distance if water is flowing or if the faucet is closed.
• 2 Washers and 1 lock nut for the faucet
• Caulk (clear plumber’s)
• Screening (Nylon fabric-like netting is better than the metal type)
• Metal Hardware Cloth
• Hose adapter for your overflow
• Washer and lock nut needed for the adapter.
• Hosing (short piece) to connect one barrel to another or to direct your overflow to a nearby garden. Hose clamps as needed.
• Bricks or cinderblocks to raise your barrel above the ground (this will improve water pressure)

What to do:

1. Drill hole near bottom of barrel
2. Caulk around outside of hole
3. Screw faucet in (use washer)
4. Caulk inside, then put on lock nut with washer (use pliers)
5. Drill a hole near top for overflow
6. Put in a hose adapter for overflow. Use washers. Use pliers to tighten.
7. Cut out center of lid (or drill several 1 to 2 inch diameter holes into lid)
8. Cut screen and hardward cloth (metal mesh) larger than lid and put in place on top of barrel.
9. Level the dirt under the rain barrel, then add some sand
10. Rain barrels need to be higher than ground level—use bricks or cinder blocks
11. Measure and cut off part of downspout
12. Put the barrel in place
13. Connect the overflow from one barrel to the next, or have overflow hose divert excess rain to a garden or distant area of your choice, away from your home’s foundation.

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