Heavy Duty 275 Gallon RAIN BARREL





Introduction: Heavy Duty 275 Gallon RAIN BARREL

My wife asked for a rain barrel for her flowers. Our water bill has added up again and again, so I started checking craigslist for possiblities. As luck would have it, I found a polytank that was original used for similac baby food storage. That was great, since I didn't want to worry about chemicals in the tank killing the plants and garden. The seller offered to deliver for the $35 purchase price. Great deal!!

Step 1:

The first thing I did was to go to the hardware store and get connections so I could hook up my downspouts. I found black plastic tubing that was cheap and useful.

Step 2:

The shower drain is on the left along with the coupling to attach it to the black gutter pipe I got at the store. As you can see the pipe in the background has a square opening, meant to receive the end of a normal downspout from the house.

Step 3:

I couldn't find a really good connection for the plastic. Most plumbing is meant to be screwed down and wouldn't work. So, I used 3" shower pan drain. It was a oversize screw type and I drilled a 3 1/8 hole, slipped the connection in and screwed on the retaining cap. Then I connected the downspout. The sizes were not the same, so I used a rubber connection meant for odd sized pipes. I used metal straps to hold both connections. And as a bonus, the shower drain cover acts as a large item filter for the tank.

Step 4:

I realized I needed a overflow for the water, just in case I filled the tank. (Which has happened twice in the last month!) So I added a second connection that simply goes to the other side and drains into the low ridge between my house and the neighbors, which leads to a sewer drain. So the final product is not the prettiest thing in the world, but it works great and helps to save me a little cash. All parts including the cinder blocks to support the tank were under $100. The tank is up a little to provide some water pressure for the hose. And actually, I may add two more blocks or a water pump soon, because the water pressure is still a little low.



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    Perfect. I have two of these totes and some ideal how iwanted to hook it up. Thanks. A great help.

    Howdy, Colorado and Oregon are the states with anti rain gathering laws. A man oregon just did thirty days for collecting rain water. I have no sympathy for the folks that live there as they voted the nazies in and the jury supported this unjust law. Use barley extract to keep alge growth down. Folks have been using barley straw for years to keep small ponds clear. All natural and non toxic. Check pond supply stores. If the waters are clear and clean mesquiteos will have no food to survive. Direct sunlight on the tank also keeps it too warm for them to survive. I prefer open headed drums as I can remove the top and dip out the water if I need it for things like flushing toilets or washing things. I just drill the top to attach the down spouts.

    4 replies

    Anti rain gathering law? That is the weirdest law I ever heard of. You would think the gov would support rain gathering to save water.

    The government likes to regulate everything. The epa is trying very hard to redefine waters of the United States. This would make them able to extend their grip to your back yard.

    Nobody living today in the States that still have laws prohibiting rain catchment voted in those who passed the laws. Some of those laws could be as old as 100 years old, born at a time when upstream property owners horded precipitation creating hardship for those down stream. Appears that those laws are being changed to reflect modern reality in some of the states.

    To clarify, Oregon encourages rainwater collection from rooftops. Collecting and storing millions of gallons is not encouraged.




    I imagine that it is if the overflow works

    I guess I can't tell if your lid is completely sealed

    So does your overflow pipe work? Looks like it would over flow from the tank lid before it could get over the first angle in the overflow...

    It might be a good idea to put a screening system in to keep
    items from flowing into the containment tank. Especially for
    'closed' head tanks with just holes cut into them.

    One problem with rain water systems is mosquitoes getting into the
    containment system and breeding in the water.

    I would suggest putting the appropriate screens/netting in both the incoming and outgoing (overflow) pipes. This is to say screens/netting with holes small enough to keep mosquitoes (and other) bugs out.

    It is entirely possible for bugs to fly down the gutters/pipes and into the
    containment tank.

    Personally, I use a pool filter net with a fine mesh.

    But this may cause another problem. the screens/netting can get clogged
    and may have to be cleaned.

    5 replies

    It's not very difficult to construct a self cleaning screen.

    A very simple type of this is as follows:

    Get a piece each of two different diameter pipes, and some screen.

    Cut one end off of the larger diameter pipe, at an angle.

    Cover the angled end of the pipe with the screen.

    Install the other end of this pipe straight downward into the top of the rain barrel.

    Have the rain from the roof pass through the smaller diameter piece of pipe, and then fall straight downward, through the air, to land in the middle of the screen.

    Most of the water will go through the screen, while the debris will get washed aside.

    You can keep insects from entering through the overflow simply by putting a flap over it, so it will only be open when water is flowing out.

    As long as you're careful not to drain the tank too much, a teaspoon or so of mineral oil will get rid of the mosquitoes and most other water-dwelling insects. The oil floats on top of the water and clogs the snorkle-ish appendage that mosquito larvae use to breathe. As long as you don't drain the tank enough to suck the oil off the top, add soap to the water, or seriously stir it up just prior to draining, the oil shouldn't be able to get out of the tank in any significant amount.

    Gonna try the mineral oil. Been using alot of it for woodworking and have it on hand right now. Thanks!

    Why not filter the rain water thru pantyhose?Or are the holes in the mesh too large? Personally, I don't wear them, So I don't know. I have used them to filter coffee grounds when making homemade Kaluah, that worked well.

    Gonna have to check on that. There are shower drains for larger debris, but I assumed smaller insects wouldn't go inside eight feet to get to the water.

    Sorry I missed so many commnets! My son got married this week and haven't had alot of time for internet. Honestly, I hoped people would like this project, as I find people locally not so interested in green applications. It's very refreshing to hear from people like me that enjoy the idea of helping however they can. Thanks to all the comments. I do appreciate them.

    where can you get these for $35 delivered? Here in Florida, they want $100 or more...usually more! PLUS delivery!

    Nice setup!