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Old 04-16-2010, 04:15 PM   #16
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Rain Barrel Project


Thanks for the kind comments, all!

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Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
Just noticed your location...I guess freezing is not a huge problem
Nope, no deep freezes in this area, but it does get below freezing every now and then. I plan to drain the barrels for the winter (nothing much to water then, anyway).

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Old 04-16-2010, 08:28 PM   #17
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I was interested in doing something very similar until I read up on Black Walnut trees and their toxicity. So my dreams of a large garden have been dashed. I was going to do something like this but each barrel would be moved to garden and then used for drip irrigation. My design would have had each barrel attached to a pallet for easy moving. I have a tractor would just need to buy pallet forks. They make these huge plastic tanks that I guess I could pump these barrels into to take advantage of Spring rain. My property is sloped enough I could probably have chained 6 or 7 together to fill per storm.

I like your idea a lot as now I will be only doing a raised bed garden and a design like yours for drip would be very nice.

Looks GREAT!
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Old 04-16-2010, 09:44 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by dawktah View Post
I was interested in doing something very similar until I read up on Black Walnut trees and their toxicity. So my dreams of a large garden have been dashed. I was going to do something like this but each barrel would be moved to garden and then used for drip irrigation. My design would have had each barrel attached to a pallet for easy moving. I have a tractor would just need to buy pallet forks. They make these huge plastic tanks that I guess I could pump these barrels into to take advantage of Spring rain. My property is sloped enough I could probably have chained 6 or 7 together to fill per storm.

I like your idea a lot as now I will be only doing a raised bed garden and a design like yours for drip would be very nice.

Looks GREAT!
Thanks, Chris. It's a shame about the black walnut trees, but a raised garden -- particularly layered underneath with newspapers as a barrier -- should do the trick.

I looked at the larger tanks (like the kinds Scuba Dave referenced in post #14), but the linked barrels were much cheaper. If I could pick up a big tank for a good price, I'd use it for the other side of the house, where the main garden is. Otherwise, I'll use a similar system like I just did -- but maybe with more barrels, for greater capacity.
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Old 04-16-2010, 10:39 PM   #19
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I actually picked up the big tanks for free & several of the 55g drums for free
I'm really bumming I didn't go back & pick up 2 more
He had a few 800g tanks...but those were claimed before I had a chance
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Old 04-20-2010, 07:30 PM   #20
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Well, one rain is all it took! It didn't rain the night I completed the project, but it did the following night. Started at around midnight. I checked the barrels at 4:15am (had to catch an early flight out), and they were already full and overflowing out the air holes! Closed the shutoff, and the rest drained away. Love it when a plan comes together.

We now have 220 gallons at our disposal. Sorta wish now I'd added another barrel or two. Will have to consider making the next one (other side of the house) a bit bigger... -- but I'm still liking the design!

...Oh, and so is my wife, which is even better!
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Old 04-20-2010, 07:57 PM   #21
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Plug the air holes & let it back up the pipe & simply overflow out the drain pipe once full
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Old 04-20-2010, 08:49 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
Plug the air holes & let it back up the pipe & simply overflow out the drain pipe once full
Dunno...... I need the air holes for the rest of the manifold system to work, both for allowing all the barrels to fill evenly, and for allowing proper water pressure for running water out of the barrels.

Of course, if I devised a means of manually opening or closing the air vents (maybe a separate manifold system with its own shutoff), I could shut the vents off when full, and open them for filling and draining. Such a setup would eliminate the need for the large shutoff valve (and allow 3" pipe to mount directly to the barrel, without the 3/2 downsize fittings).

Could work. Have to think on that one a bit more...
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Old 04-20-2010, 08:52 PM   #23
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Ah...I didn't realize you are filling the barrels from the bottom pipe
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Old 04-20-2010, 09:29 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
Ah...I didn't realize you are filling the barrels from the bottom pipe
Yup, that the beauty of the manifold design. Water goes in one barrel, but all the barrels fill and empty evenly. Of course, it needs pressure equalization from the vent holes in each barrel for the whole thing to work.
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Old 04-20-2010, 10:53 PM   #25
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Good thinking on the screening also -- I have seen rain barrels sold by a non-profit group near my work and they come with screening to keep out insects etc. from laying eggs and hatching.

Also you can make your own as you did way cheaper then they are being sold for and you can put the holes and spigots etc where you want them to be I have thought about it here but need to take draining precautions due to freezing around here also
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Old 04-22-2010, 10:57 AM   #26
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It may not be very pleasing to the eye, but if you were to connect piping up vertically from each vent hole to a height greater than the overflow point on the downspout would that not also eliminate the need for the valve?
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Old 04-22-2010, 05:13 PM   #27
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It may not be very pleasing to the eye, but if you were to connect piping up vertically from each vent hole to a height greater than the overflow point on the downspout would that not also eliminate the need for the valve?
Great point! Unfortunately I couldn't do it in my situation, since I'd already put a large, extra hole in the first barrel to fit a downspout feed -- but then bypassed it for putting the round pipe into the barrel. I actually had to use the hole to access the inside of the barrel to attach a lock-ring onto the round 2" PVC male threaded fitting that goes into the barrel; otherwise, I could only have secured the pipe using silicone (not as secure for the extra weight of the PVC parts).

But when I do my next setup, I'll probably use extenders for the air vents, as you suggest. I'm not so worried about how pleasing it is to the eye, as long as it's self-maintaining! I like the elegance of a system that handles itself.

Thanks for the great input.
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Old 08-16-2010, 01:25 PM   #28
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Hello!

How is the system working out? I may need to start on a larger scale system myself.
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Old 08-16-2010, 02:50 PM   #29
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This is a nice system. I wanted to make something but I don't have a good place to put it that would be out of site.
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Old 08-16-2010, 03:03 PM   #30
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That's a nice setup.

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