How to Make a Rain Barrel


Having a rain barrel that can collect the rain water that falls within your house compound will definitely help you conserve water usage for your house and your garden activities. Rain barrels are normally made of a large container that can capture rainwater and be placed at the end of your downspout. During a good rain down fall, your rain barrel will be filled up within minutes.

To make a Rain Barrel, you need:

  • 55-gallon plastic barrel
  • Drill
  • 6-inch Hole Saw (or an electric jigsaw or a saber saw or a keyhole saw, or a drywall saw)
  • 29/32-inch Drill Bit
  • 3/4-inch Pipe Tap
  • Louvered Screen or 12-inch x 12-inch piece of fiberglass window screen
  • 3/4-inch Brass Faucet
  • Teflon Tape or All Purpose Caulk
  • 3/4-inch Hose Adapter
  • Utility knife
  • Marker
  • Skimmer basket
  • 5-ft. section of garden hose

Making a Rain Barrel

How to Make a Rain Barrel

  • First of all, you need to start working on a large, food-quality, plastic barrel by drilling a hole in the cap of your barrel using a large 3/4-inch drill bit. It is recommended that you use a large plastic or waterproof container because this material will not rust over time.
  • Once you have finished with the first step:
    • You need to drill another hole just within the side of the large barrel at least one or two inches from its top.
    • After that, you have to flip the barrel over and drill the third hole into the barrel’s base.
    • You should also determine how many pipe adaptors (male) and couplings (female) that you want to use meaning that the distance required by you starting from the hole of your barrel’s base to its outer edge.

Make sure that you wrapped each threaded adaptor end of your piping using a plumber’s tape so that it is watertight sealed and you must also screw each of its sections securely.

  • The next step is for you to attach a curved coupling to the hole located on your barrel’s base before connecting the additional adaptors to the curved section.
    • Then, you need to join the attached pipe section’s end with a spigot to enable you to control the release and flow of the water.
    • Bear in mind that the hole that you made earlier on the side of your barrel will be used for the spigot. You have to secure a small piece of pipe (PVC type) right through that particular hole in order to connect the spigot.
  • Once you have joined the spigot to the pipe, you can attach your garden hose to the spigot
  • Next thing to do is to make a water collection funnel:
    • Firstly, you have to cut a piece of window screening following the size of your PVC coupling, but a little bigger before you secure it onto your hose clamp.
    • Then, slide the pipe into the barrel’s large hole.

Before you attach the rain collector to your home, make sure you determine the right location, which is leveled, so that the barrel will always be in a stable position. A full rain barrel can weigh up to 400 pounds.

  • The next step is for you to cut out at least one or two inches and hinge an elbow section right above your rain barrel just along the gutter
    • Then, you need to fit the base of the section together with a metal screen.
    • Once finished, a pad needs to be placed on your metal screen so that it will reduce and soften the sound of water hitting the metal during heavy rain.
  • If you noticed that your rain barrel is already full, you can simply hinge the downspout in order to stop water flowing into the barrel.
    • Besides that, you can also add some more rain barrels if you have lots of water access by simply redirecting the surplus water into the other additional barrels.
    • An overflow pipe can also be added to the rain barrel enabling excess water to escape and flow away from your house’s foundation or to your main drainage.
  • Finally, you must make sure to place a lid on top of your rain barrel to prevent your
    • Children from playing near it
    • Animals from toppling the barrel
    • Making it a breeding area for mosquitoes

    Always remember that you need to

    • Place and raise the rain barrel off the ground using stacked cinderblocks to create enough spaces beneath the barrel in order to release spigot and enabling water to access to the rainwater.
    • You must also ensure the cinderblocks are on a level area and stable.
    • Always unhook the rain barrel for about two weeks whenever you are doing treatment to your roof for pests as well as woods.

Image Credit:
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