Acquiring or creating a rain barrel is a really great way to capture water for your garden project. I really enjoy and prefer watering my garden with rain water over city water. You should probably check your local ordinances before endeavoring on this project because not everyone in the world is so open minded about collecting the water that falls on your own property. 

Disclaimer out of the way, let's get started! 

This how to will not include the gutter system, I figure that it's pretty variable depending on the scenario, but the barrel itself is easy and approachable by everyone. 

Step 1: Materials and Step 1

You will need a suitably sized container. 

My choice is a 200 L bioprocess container. It used to hold glucose. 

You can acquire these barrels from various sources. I got mine free from a local manufacturing company. They throw things like this out or back into recycling all the time. Another viable option is a local carwash, they have large barrels for detergent that they need to dispose of all the time. In any case, where ever you get yours, wash the heck out of it before you start watering your food crop with it. 

You will also require: 
Power drill
Rubber mallet
Drill bit (3/4 inch)
teflon tape
3/4 inch spigot union (this is going to be snug fit)
3/4 inch black connectors
plumbers putty
plumbers adhesive 
standard house spigot (which should also fit a 3/4 inch fitting. 

Drill the hole into the barrel near the bottom (but not at the bottom (see figure 2). 
Use the rubber mallet to seat the union through your hole. This will be pretty snug I assure you. Do not bang hard, just take your time. After you've seated your union, teflon tape the threaded bits. 

I hear this has become illegal [collecting rain water]. here in America. For now, thank God , bill to make personal gardening on own property wasn't passed [yet!] . Wake up , guys, CHANGE wasn't just a slogan. Your rights &amp; Freedom, or what ever this is*, are no more. Keep your guns, but what good are they when the ammo is illegal (ar15 rounds just got outlawed). Communism has arrived. Street preachers are being attested for sharing Gospel on public property / Islamist do Call to Prayer on Gov. property in every large city ,no hassle. Church services can no longer say Jesus Christ name. The internet just became a government utility, so utilize it before it too becomes illegal or censored. The Bible really did prophesied the world we live in, scary how much detail was said to be,and is now reality 2000+ years later. The hour is near, get your ducks in a row, and remember &quot; man can not live on bread and water alone, but by every word of Gods mouth (Holy Bible) Matt 4:4<br>god bless
This is really well written!<br>If anybody wants some more information I've been using this as my go-to info page: http://www.aquabarrel.com/product_rain_barrel_plastic_parts.php
Nice instructable. Saving rain water is great.<br> I've had one of these for many years at my bush cabin. I now use a bent copper pipe with a tap attached as a siphon stuck in the top, after finding the barrel empty one day due to a leak. I don't go there for months at a time, and just pull the pipe out and cover the hole when I'm not there.<br> This is a better system if you aren't absent for long periods.<br>
agreed. Water barrels definitely need to be let dry during unattended periods. I open the valves on this on and turn it upside down for the winter months. <br><br>In your bush cabin do you use the water for washing pots and pans and such?
...and showering/washing, tooth brushing and I drink a little as well.
that's awesome. beats digging a well.
Looks really great. Nice project!
hey thank you ! it was fun and it got my son involved.

About This Instructable


73 favorites


Bio: Building things to pass the time and sharing the good ones with others.
More by falling_stone: Stainless smoker Iron-leg Poplar Dining Table Barrel Furnace Build
Add instructable to: