DIY Rain Collection Barrel on My Downspout

I wanted to setup a rain collection system that will allow me to water a flower bed using rainwater collected from my downspouts. The way the spouts are setup on my house most of the spouts come back to the same place, so i have an excellent opportunity to collect it. Total cost... about $50.

Supplies:

Step 1: Cut Open the Barrel

I bought a 55 gallon plastic barrel for 20 bucks Canadian on Kijiji. For whatever reason, people sell them all over the place. I drilled a hole in the top, and used my jig saw to cut a nice circle in the top. I'm only planning on watering plants with mine, so i'm not too worried about a little debris getting in. You could use a handsaw to do it... it'd take a little longer.

Step 2: Insert the Spigot

Seems these spigots come in 1/2" and 3/4" varieties. Not sure it matters much which one you pick. Mine was a 1/2" spigot and took a 3/4" drill bit (i used a forstner bit). I used an o-ring - found in the plumbing section of the hardware store - and a 1/2" locknut (found in the electrical dept) to attach the spigot.

Step 3: Create a Base for the Rain Barrel

I used some boards i had lying around to build a little base for it. You could use cinder blocks (also easy to get on kijiji). Just try to get it as level as possible. If anything, the slightest of tilt towards the front might be a good idea.

Step 4: Add the Hose and Get Ready to Water

So i found a permeable hose at Home Depot that will slowly weep water. The idea here is that i can put the hose in the planter and it will keep it watered as long as there's water in the barrel. I'm going to fix those downspouts so that they look nicer, but for now the functional work of the rain barrel is ready to go.

Step 5: Future Plans

I have a few improvements planned.

  1. I'm going to fix the downspouts so that they go directly into the rain barrel
  2. I'm going to attach a second spigot at the top in the back with a hose that will be used as an overflow valve
  3. I'm going to build a wooden decorative top that will go over the top of the barrel
  4. I'm going to build a fence to go around it and attach a second spigot on the outside of the fence.
  5. Other ideas?

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seamster

4 weeks ago

Very useful, thank you : )