The purpose of a rain barrel is to catch rainwater from a downspout and store it for future use. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that a rain barrel will save most gardeners about 1,300 gallons of water during the hot summer months. Saving water not only helps protect the environment, it saves money and energy. Diverting water from storm drains also decreases the impact of runoff to streams.
The rain barrel shown in this instructable was provided by a local Community Rain Barrel Program and was funded by a grant through the Chesapeake Bay Trust. To participate in the program, the user had to supply their own platform (at least 2 feet high) and be willing to help raise awareness of the program. This instructable documents the stand build and the installation of the rain barrel to the downspout.
Video of the Installation:
Step 1: Tools/Materials
- Table or Miter Saw
- Pocket hole jig (optional)
- Tape measure
- Pressure Treated 4”x4”x8’ (x2)
- Pressure Treated 2”x4”x8’ (x2)
- Deck Screws
- Pocket Hole Screws (optional)
- Stain or Paint (optional)
- Rain Barrel & Attachment Kit
Step 2: You Will Be Building to This Drawing
Step 3: Legs
Cut four 4x4s to 34.5" long. Notch the ends as shown. I used multiple passes on a table saw with the blade set to 1.75” high to make the notches. The video below shows another option using a miter saw.
Step 4: Top Support
Cut two supports as shown. Again, I used a table saw for the notches.
Step 5: Side Supports
Cut four 2x4 side supports to 13" long.
Step 6: Leg Assembly
Attach the top support to the legs with deck screws (3” long). Attach the side support to the legs as shown. I used a pocket hole jig to make this connection. Repeat this process to make another leg assembly.
Step 7: Connect Leg Assy
Attach the two leg assemblies together with the remaining 13” supports. Again, I used a pocket hole jig for these connections.
Step 8: Cut Top Pieces
Cut five 2x4s to 21" long.
Step 9: Attach Top
Attach top pieces as shown. I used deck screws from the top side.
Step 10: Paint/Stain (optional)
The wood is pressure treated so this step is optional. This stand is coated with cabernet colored stain from Varathane and a polyurethane from Minwax
Step 11: Installation Instructions
I'm showing a excerpts from EarthMinded Rainstation User Guide. For detailed instructions, refer to the user manual shown HERE.
Step 12: Select/Prepare Site
- Locate close to downspout
- Make sure stand is level
- If spigtot will be used, make sure it is easily accessible
Step 13: Install Spigot and Drain
Insert threaded seals into pre-drilled holes. Thread drain assembly and spigot into seals.
Step 14: Barrel Inlet
Drill 1.5" diameter hole for water inlet. Note that the rain barrel kit includes hole saws. Insert fill hose seal into hole.
Step 15: Downspout Hole
With barrel in place, mark a reference line at the same elevation as the top of the barrel (lid not included). Measure 3" below this reference line and mark the center of the downspout. Use the provided 2 1/8" hole saw to cut a hole into the downspout.
Step 16: Install Diverter
Insert diverter into the downspout hole. Use two self-tapping screws to attach the diverter to the downspout.
Step 17: Barrel to Diverter Hose Connection
Expand hose to desired length. Press one end into barrel seal and the other end into diverter.
Step 18: Install Lid
Snap lid over the rim of barrel. Use two self tapping screws to secure lid.
Step 19: Final Product
Step 20: Update - Shut Off Valve and Soaker Hose Addition
Multiple people asked why the faucet was so high. We've attached a soaker hose & valve to the bottom drain as shown. The soaker hose is placed next to the shrubs that surround the deck. It takes about 4 hours to drain a full tank of water with the soaker. We now have two options to extract water from the tank.