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Elevated Dual Barrel Rainwater Collection System

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Step 1: Acquire the barrels

Picture of 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. 

Step 2: Barrel Orientation

Picture of Barrel Orientation
Since these were "closed lid" barrels I decided to go with an upside down setup for several reasons.
My thinking was that I just didn't trust the thickness of the sidewall for a tap in connection since I wouldn't be able to thread a nut on the backside, so I went with a connection into the bung plug, thus needed an upside down orientation.
This provides for the barrel to be completely emptied, unlike most with a side spiggot -  but also required me to build the base platform to elevate them slightly for the plumbing. 

Since they store on a second story I had no issues of elevation to accommodate a watering can either so the base was fairly routine to build as opposed to one 2' tall. 

Step 3: Platform/Base

Picture of Platform/Base
The barrels measure 23" around so a precut 2' X 4' of pressure treated 3/4" plywood was used as the base with 8 2-1/2" 4 X 4's scattered around underneath as feet.  I Painted with deck paint for extended durability.

Step 4: Downspout Gutter Connection

Picture of Downspout Gutter Connection
I removed about 5' of the existing downspout and reconfigured the angle with a new piece to aim it toward the barrel instead.  I then used a piece of flex-gutter for the final connection to the barrel.

Step 5: Barrel Input Connection

Picture of Barrel Input Connection
The cotter pins, wire, & wire tie hold the flex tube into the mouth of the filter - in case a heavy ran might try and disloge it from the filter due to back-pressure.
michl1 year ago
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.
J-Po (author)  michl1 year ago
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.
Fortunately this was a latent add on to an old house, so it is very formatible.
Thnx for the post, kind of forgot this was out there.
J-Po (author)  michl1 year ago
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.
Fortunately this was a latent add on to an old house, so it is very formatible.
Thnx for the post, kind of forgot this was out there.
damoelld3 years ago
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?
why hide--easier to show off and BRAG about this way !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
J-Po (author)  damoelld3 years ago
Hey damoelid,
No, but I did consider a generic gas grill cover but haven't found one without the customized shape. I need a straight  24X48 which would fit perfect.  As you can see the deck has a little railing which hides most of the barrels from view from the backyard, so they are unnoticeable for the most part.
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.

CaseyCase3 years ago
 On the porch, really? It couldn't be done at my house--the wife would kill me.
no biggie--many women are the Boss !!!
Ninzerbean3 years ago
Love this.
bertus52x113 years ago
Maybe I have missed it, but do you store it on the first floor to have some pressure?
J-Po (author)  bertus52x113 years ago
If by "first" floor you mean second floor, yes. :-)
My second floor deck is about 20' above the back yard.
Noticable difference between pressure while standing on deck verses down on the ground.
Thanks for your interest.
Eh, you're right second floor.
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