DIY Tutorial --Build a Rain Barrel
Rain Barrels can save you a bundle of $$$$$!!!! You can use the caught rain water to water your garden, trees, plants, to fill a bird bath, fill a pool, toilet flushing, laundry, and much more!!!
Let's get to building!!!!
The first step is drilling the hole for the faucet. You’ll want to drill it as low as possible (since the water below the hole won’t flow out) but not too low that you can’t attach a hose or place a watering can under it (which obviously would be no good). A regular drill with a hole-cutting attachment will work great for this step. In less than 20 seconds, you will have a hole for your faucet.
You’ll want to keep the barrel on its side and then use your faucet (or “hose bibb”) to thread the plastic edges of the hole. You’ll do this by screwing it all the way into and back out of your newly made hole once. It may take a little bit of force to get the faucet threads to catch, but be careful not to push it so hard that you damage the plastic threads you’re creating.
Once you’ve unscrewed the faucet, you’ll want to apply a thin line of caulk around the edge of the hole:
Then you’ll place a reducing washer over the hole, with the caulk acting as the adhesive. Reducing washers have a raised lip on the inner rim, and that raised portion should go against the barrel.
With the reducing washer firmly in place, you can screw your faucet back into place for good (this will be a lot easier since you’ve already created threads by screwing the faucet into the hole and removing it a few steps back). When it’s firmly in place, you are ready for the next step.
Now that you’ve created a watertight seal on the outside – here comes the fun part – you’ve got to do the same on the INSIDE. Yep, time to crawl inside the barrel!!!
Inside the barrel, you’ll be repeating the process with the caulk and reducing washer – so remember to bring those with you when you go in. You’ll also want to bring a flashlight, because it’s dark in there. Once you’ve got your washer caulked in place, you’ll screw on a locknut to secure the faucet. You’ll probably need the help of some pliers to ensure you’ve got the locknut on there nice and tight.
That completes the process of attaching the faucet.
You can repeat the process at the top of the barrel with a “rigid nipple.” Basically, it’s an overflow spout that you could use to connect multiple barrels together.
Also, depending on your barrel, you may need to drill a 6 inch lid on top of your rain barrel just in case there is no hole on top. Some barrels come with bungs on top which serves as the entry way for the water to transfer from the gutter to your container.
**Be sure and have some type of screen to prevent debris from entering your barrel once your top entry hole has been created.**
Connecting Your Rain Barrel to Your Gutter System
To begin lets NOTE: It’s extremely important that the barrel sits on level ground (you may want to use a shovel to level the ground and even lay some sand to be sure, or use some cylinder blocks or stones to be sure the ground is level). A full barrel can weight up to 450lbs so you don’t want it tipping over on you.
Once you are certain the ground is prepped and level for your barrel you are ready for the final step: Adjusting the height of the current downspout. You need to adjust the height of your downspout so that it will spill into the top of the barrel. We detached the elbow at the bottom of the spout and dug out the underground plastic tubing that had been in place. A simple box cutter could do the trick unless you have a fancy gutter!
With the gutter cut to the right height you can just attach the existing end spout and slide the barrel into place underneath it!!!
BRING ON THE RAIN!!!!
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