Vote for me if you think my idea is worth passing on to show people being green doesn't have to mean sacrificing quality or convenience . Thank you for taking the time to look at my instructable!
Step 1: Water Supplied From Mother Nature
Step 2: Overflow Back to the Downspout
1" pvc overflow line from last barrel back to downspout. ensure you maintain a drain angle towards the downspout or sediment could collect in the line.
Step 3: Downspout Drain Connection
Step 4: Manifold
this photo of the manifold is before I put the water gauge on. (shown on intro and last step)
Step 5: Water Filter
Step 6: Battery Box With Power Switch
Step 7: Inside View of Battery Box With Motor
The pump was recycled from an older sailboat. The battery is a standard size lawn tractor 12v, and with proper maintenance should last 6-10 years before being needing to be recycled at the depot.
An older car battery that just doesn't have the power to crank the car fast anymore would be more than adequate for this application, and a great alternative to buying a new battery.
The 5.5W solar cell was also recycled for a fraction of it's original cost from an online classified, and solar cells have a lifespan of aprox 15-20 years. I wanted this little project to last as long as possible before needing any repairs.
Step 8: Flowjet Pump
another pump that I have seen that is almost identical to this is made by shurflo
This type of pump is used in RV's or sailboats to supply water pressure, as well as for using as a wash down pump on boats.
I chose this type because it had an internal pressure switch that stopped it from running all the time, only turning on when the water pressure in the hose drops. In addition I got a super deal on it secondhand.
There are many different styles of pump available that will be more than adequate for this application. It depends on your budget, and availability of secondhand pumps in your area.
Other things to consider would be whether or not you want the pump running all the time (lawn sprinkler) or only when you press the trigger on your hose nozzle. Without a built-in pressure switch, the pump would run all the time as soon as you turned on power. In all types of applications, make sure the pump output pressure does not exceed the pressure rating of your hose/pipe or you might burst it if the outlet was closed or blocked unexpectedly.
Step 9: Water Gauge
This was fun to install as I didn't want to waste all the nice rainwater and drain the tank before I drilled a 3/4" hole in the bottom of the tank to install the angled shut-off valve. Reminded myself to only use a battery powered drill :)
I reused some 1/2 inch plastic tubing that I had left over from another application and connected it to a 3/4 inch angle valve with a shut off (which came in handy during install)
I sealed around and under all penetrations into the barrel (valve and screws) with a two part epoxy that was a water proof filler and sealer.
It is important to not completely seal the tube or the level will not change to reflect the level in the barrel.