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Step 1: Acquire the barrels

I shopped Craigslist and got lucky - found a guy that lived close to me who liberated them from his workplace - $15 each. One had peaches the other apricots - my yard has a new aroma. 
<p>Thanks for this build. I acquired my barrels (same as yours) a couple months ago but have been procrastinating over different plans. This one is simple and straight forward. I wouldn't have thought to flip the barrels upside down, but I like that much better.</p><p>I might add a slightly more robust filter on the top of mine, as I'm curious to see if I can harvest drinkable water out of these.</p>
<p>First, You are welcome. </p><p>Second, you are right on with the critique. </p><p>The filter is only thing that requires me to troubleshoot. The sock idea works but it literally traps everything so it if I don't keep it clean it dries up probably crusts over and then we get a hard rain and I have water backing up. When I winterize the barrels there is very little sediment, so the sock works, perhaps too well. Even with high functioning gutter guards there is alot that gets transported to the filter. </p><p>The water in my barrels stays pretty clean, I don't treat with anything and rarely do they smell even with long droughts. That said I'm not sure you could ever cost justify drinkable rainwater. You would need a multi-stage filtration and purification process, to guard against ecoli from birds, algea etc.. I have never researched it but it seems your purification and disinfection process is in fact what would need to be robust and thus likely expensive. Good luck with your build. </p>
Can you explain your process for winterizing? I live in Michigan, so I assume that once the temperature gets close to 32 degrees I will simmply need to disconnect the barrels and put them in storage for the winter months?
<p>Sure,</p><p>Your assumption is correct. I drain them, then disconnect the two barrels via the PVC Union (in the Manifold) which isolates each barrel from the other and further drains the plumbing. Some water is not an issue, it would need to fill the line and thus have no where (else) to expand, to burst the pipe. </p>
<p>PS - can you clarify - you did not use a special tool to pull the cap out of the bunghole, you just drilled straight through it?</p>
<p>As far as a tool I have found that channel locks combined with a crescent wrench is the special tool to extract the bung. In answer to your question I think I drilled it in place, I have since had to make repairs when the wind blew over in the winter and busted the plumbing, so I removed them then. I think my original thinking was to not disturb the factory seal, since upside downt this could be a leak point. </p><p>The most important thing is after drilling to use a brass or galvanized male piece to sort of tap in and out back and forth to cut in some good threads before the PVC. </p>
<p>That is great, it gives me quite a few ideas. The only problem I see is you have a 4&quot; inlet and only a 1&quot; overflow outlet. It almost any overflow situation your water will flash back out of the 4&quot; inlet. You need the same size overflow as your inlet.</p>
<p>Right you are. </p><p>I had to change out the overflow to a bigger opening.</p><p>Since I couldn't get a decent 4&quot; I did 2- 2&quot; hoses side by side. </p>
<p>I live in Riverside, CA and here is my rain water collection, I just made a simple one for my wife water the flowers, the barrels bought from Kahoot pet stores, 1/2 PVC hose and fitting bought from local Home Depot, note: the valves just in case for repair leaking.</p>
Do you realize that when both barrels are full you have almost 1/2 ton (918.5 lbs.) of water on about 12 square feet of deck space? You might want to make sure the deck will support that much weight in such a small area. An alternative is to spread the two barrels farther apart and make sure that they are against the house wall which will support more weight. Good instructable.
Oh ya, it occurred to me all right, it is why I limited it to 2 barrels. Some months they pretty much stay full, and some dryer months, I can't get enough. <br>Fortunately this was a latent add on to an old house, so it is very formatible. <br>Thnx for the post, kind of forgot this was out there.
Oh ya, it occurred to me all right, it is why I limited it to 2 barrels. Some months they pretty much stay full, and some dryer months, I can't get enough. <br>Fortunately this was a latent add on to an old house, so it is very formatible. <br>Thnx for the post, kind of forgot this was out there.
I like the idea of using the height of the second deck for natural head pressure. It looks like you have a nice deck, any thought about building a 'planter style' cedar enclosure to hide the bright blue barrels?<br />
why hide--easier to show off and BRAG about this way !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hey damoelid,<br /> No, but I did consider a generic gas grill cover but haven't found one without the customized shape. I need a straight &nbsp;24X48 which would fit perfect. &nbsp;As you can see the deck has a little railing which hides most of the barrels from view from the backyard, so they are&nbsp;unnoticeable for the most part.<br /> Great head though, I was even able to put on a 50' hose reel, it substantially reduces the pressure when wound, but reaches the gardens when unwound, and works fine then.<br /> <br />
&nbsp;On the porch, really? It couldn't be done at my house--the wife would kill me.
no biggie--many women are the Boss !!!
Love this.
Maybe I have missed it, but do you store it on the first floor to have some pressure?
If by &quot;first&quot; floor you mean second floor, yes. :-)<br /> My second floor deck&nbsp;is about 20' above the back yard.<br /> Noticable difference between pressure while standing on deck verses down on the ground.<br /> Thanks for your interest.
Eh, you're right second floor.

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