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Old 01-21-2012, 09:17 AM   #1
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DIY Rain Barrels


Anyone ever done this? Saw some fairly simple plans using a rubbermaid garbage can w/ lid. I'd rather do it in such a way as to ruin my current gutters and downspout, but thought if there was a way to do a rain barrel economically it might be worth it.
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Old 01-21-2012, 09:37 AM   #2
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DIY Rain Barrels


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I'd rather do it in such a way as to ruin my current gutters and downspout,
Huh,..??
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Old 01-21-2012, 09:39 AM   #3
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Huh,..??
downspouts, not gutters.
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Old 01-21-2012, 10:18 AM   #4
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DIY Rain Barrels


Ours is made out of a blue plastic 55 drum that soap (I think) came in. Hole cut in top for a short flex pipe off the shortened downspout. Plastic hose bib near the bottom. Our back yard is down hill, so a hose on the bib works great. If your yard is level, set the drum a little higher on blocks, so you can get a watering can underneath.
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Old 01-22-2012, 11:51 AM   #5
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DIY Rain Barrels


Ratherbefishing has the right idea. A plastic trash can might work, but it won't last long being full of water. And the plastic chemical drums are free if you look in the right places. And unless your downspout is copper, you can easily get a new piece and fix it. Most important....cover the top with screen so you don't create a mosquito problem.
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Old 01-22-2012, 09:15 PM   #6
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DIY Rain Barrels


A Rubbermaid thing is just not heavy enough to hold up to being filled with water for long. Make sure you think through how you are going to water out of the rain barrel and how your system will handle overflow. Moving a rain barrel of any size full of water is not something easily accomplished.

Is a rain barrel system designed for the purpose with all the fittings and so forth beyond you? Google or even eBay something like "rain harvesting systems" for some ideas.
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Old 01-23-2012, 05:45 AM   #7
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DIY Rain Barrels


I think they are so popular now you can grab an inexpensive one at a grocery store gardening centre. No modifications required
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Old 01-23-2012, 07:44 AM   #8
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I think they are so popular now you can grab an inexpensive one at a grocery store gardening centre. No modifications required
That is what I am thinking and by the time you buy filters, spickets, gaskets, caulk and stuff and try to make a Rubbermaid work?

I have seen some that get pricey since they seek to look prettier than regular rain barrels but to me it is rather like painting a hippo trying to disguise what it is.
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Old 01-23-2012, 08:38 AM   #9
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DIY Rain Barrels


The barrel is a decorative element.

Use it to hide the uglier pipe fittings that adapt the downspout to you
in the ground 5000 gallon cistern that you can pump out of to irrigate.
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Old 01-23-2012, 08:50 AM   #10
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The barrel is a decorative element.

Use it to hide the uglier pipe fittings that adapt the downspout to you
in the ground 5000 gallon cistern that you can pump out of to irrigate.
Unfortunately good old fashioned cisterns are allowed in very few places anymore. Part of a bygone era. My neighbor had a huge disabled one from the 1800s that was in immaculate shape. It served as a bomb shelter during the Cuban crisis and then a magical underground doll house for his daughters.
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Old 02-02-2012, 03:58 PM   #11
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DIY Rain Barrels


I built a setup just last year expressly for watering plants and my soon-to-be-made garden. I used two of the commercial grade cans (35 gallon Brute) with lids put out by Rubbermaid, that I got at Sam's Club. As others have pointed out, residential garbage cans are not made to take the continual stress that a full container of water would put on the side structures. They have been going strong with no problems for more than a year and have been about 80% full on average for that entire time. I removed the downspout at the bend under the gutter and connected a length of 3 inch corrugated drain pipe that connects to a fitting made for the pipe that I put in the lid of one of the cans. A simple bit of screen in the fitting filters out large debris and is easy to clean since the connection is just friction and not glue or threads. Because the it is exponentially easier to put a spout on the underside of the can than on the side due to the curvature of the can's walls, the entire setup is located on a stand built from 4x4 and deck planks. This gives access to the underside of the cans for plumbing and also gives a bit of water pressure to the system. Without the boost in water pressure from the added height, water comes out at a very slow rate. This is a close approximation of the rain barrel setup I made. http://www.familyhandyman.com/DIY-Pr...-a-rain-barrel This setup could theoretically contain as many barrels as you want and the necessary parts can be found at any home and garden supply store. This setup works great for me in Fl where water isn't so cheap (recently moved from NJ). I use the rainwater for not only gardening but for rinsing things that don't need to be "kitchen-drawer clean" like golf clubs, tools, garbage cans etc. Another added bonus is that rainwater is said to be healthier for plants in that it doesn't contain chlorine to the same levels as most tap water. I can't say that I've noticed a difference in my house plants but it can't hurt(?). The whole thing, stand and barrels, took about an entire weekend.
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Old 04-15-2012, 08:17 PM   #12
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A Rubbermaid thing is just not heavy enough to hold up to being filled with water for long.
An old thread that I came across, but being that it is rain barren season in my area, I thought I'd bump with some info.

The Rubbermaid Brute series trash cans can indeed hold water for a long time. These are very frequently used in the reefing community to store RO/DI water or salt mix and are done in so in continuous use. I know many who have used the 40g Brutes. I personally have used the 32 and 20g Brutes and have had mine in full time operation for about 6 years (same container).
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Old 04-15-2012, 08:30 PM   #13
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DIY Rain Barrels


Did you know that in some states its actually Illegal to collect rain water......
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Old 04-15-2012, 08:36 PM   #14
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Rain water rights are kinda retarded.
At least where I live, rain barrels are actively encouraged
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Old 04-16-2012, 06:08 AM   #15
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Did you know that in some states its actually Illegal to collect rain water......
You mean you are supposed to sump-pump the excess out to run down the street gutters?

As I see it you need more capacity than a few Rubbermaid trash containers to hold rainwater for later use watering the lawn.
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