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DIY Hack
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Now that Labor day is almost here, and I have a full summer's use to reflect on, I thought I'd share my rain barrel experience. I had planned to just get a couple of those blue 55 gallon food barrels and make my own, but my wife HATED that idea,

so I ended up finding these on sale at my local Tractor Supply, and picked up a couple. I put one at the downspout on the side of my house, another in the back.




I liked the look of these a lot, and mine looked even nicer after I used some Krylon Fusion and painted the bands black. I also built a base for mine, out of PT 2x12 and decking ( the pict above is from the TSC website)This gives me some room to get a water can under the spigot, and gives me a little added pressure when i hook up a hose.

i use mine primarily for watering landscaping, since we have had yeild problems with our well, and it's been GREAT. I have been amazed at how quickly these fill up and it's been great having the water for irrigation, or anything else that can be done with gray water.

These barrels seem to be well made, but not well thought out. I have yet to be able to find an automatic diverter that will work with this style barrel. the problem is the way the connectors near the top point toward the back. This is where you would hook up a hose to connect multiple barrels together, or hook up a divertor, but because they face back, and back of the barrel is flat, there is really no usable room to hook up an autodiverter. The only diverter I have been able to find is the one that looks like a Y shaped downspout, with a manual lever. The problem with these is they cost almost as much as the barrel, and require you to remember to go out in the pouring rain to flip it once the barrels fill ( they do fill fast at my house)

If anyone has one of these, I'd love to hear what you are doing for a diverter
 

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Newbie Bill
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Hey Mr. Chips,

We use a similar setup at our cabin. Rather than fool with diverters and such, we just drilled a hole in the side of the barrel near the top. To that hole we attached I think it is 1" flexible black PVC pipe. We direct the overflow onto our lawn. Works great and very inexpensive.

With a couple of fittings and 90degree elbows, you could set up one near the back of your barrel and run where ever you want.
 

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DIY Hack
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have done something similiar.


I have connected a hose to those little "knubs" on both sides, and use this to carry the overflow as well. The problem is when it REALLY comes down hard and fast, i am getting a little water in the basement, the hose I hooked up is 1" i.d., but the way these little knubs are molded, I can only drill about 5/8" hole in them, so I can't get the water out nearly as fast as it goes in

i'll post a picture of my actual barrel a little later, thanks
 

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we have a little different setup and I have seen probably 10 different setups. I think you need to see if there is anywhere else on the barrel you can drill and seal a connection. That way you can hook up a larger pipe, another faucets etc. I've seen them with multiple barrels connected to each other and also with an additional hose that runs off into the yard somewhere as an overflow diverter. The system I have actually has like a 1 1/2 inch overflow hole in the back and just a flexible hose attached to that to be able to handle alot of water for the downpours.
 

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I just made a rain barrel out of a food barrel, it's not pretty but it's functional. I used a flexible hose for the overflow and I am now redirecting it back to the down spout but if I need to I could just attach it to another barrel. It should be easy enough to drill a hole near the top of your barrel and attach a hose. Use a dark color and it should still look nice, too.
 

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DIY Hack
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
i like the color of that rain barrel Mr Chips! :) i would want to make a similar set up as soon as i get the best idea.
THANKS! I'll have to take a picture of them after i painted the bands, looks even better.
 

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the Musigician
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Of course, in at least one state, (Colorado) it's illegal to use a rain barrel since the state owns the rain. (true story)
If the rain barrel police catch you, they kill your wife, rape your dog and burn your house down. (possibly not true)

DM
 

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If the rain barrel police catch you, they kill your wife, rape your dog and burn your house down. (possibly not true)

DM
Careful DM. Some angry guy in Colorado who pays alimony is going to set up a couple of these barrels in front of his ex-wife's house, take the dog with him when he leaves and call the cops to report the barrels.

The govt. owns the rain in Colorado?
 

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Super Moderator
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Of course, in at least one state, (Colorado) it's illegal to use a rain barrel since the state owns the rain. (true story)If the rain barrel police catch you, they kill your wife, rape your dog and burn your house down. (possibly not true)

DM
Kidding, right?
 

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Wire Chewer
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lol that's pretty sad that they're illegal.

I've thought of installing some barrels (guess I'd need one per downspout). Could hook them up to a pump that is set to stop when it reaches a certain pressure and basically use it as a hose. Maybe a camper pump would work? Our water here is not metered so I would not really be saving anything but at least it would be a green thing to do.
 

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DIY Hack
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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
I think that Colorado law was overturned or at least given several exemptions a couple years ago (Google Colorado Senate Bill 09-080)
 

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I used a couple of old whiskey casks for rain barrels..found them at a local "green" products place. worked great last summer, and so far this one as well.
 

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Learning by Doing
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Ranger1227 said:
Are there any problems with mosquitos with using rain barrels?
I have some that are sealed really well; so they don't get Mosquitos. One has a loose lid and I keep BT dunks in it.
 

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DIY Hack
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Are there any problems with mosquitos with using rain barrels?
Most commercial barrels have a fine screen over the inlet to keep insects and debris from the roof and gutters out of the barrel. You just need to clear it and the downspout out every so often if you have a lot of trees so they don't clog up.
 
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