Portable Gravity Irrigator




Collecting rainwater for irrigating your lawn or garden is a great idea, but getting that water to where you need it is sometimes difficult. This instructable shows how to build a very cheap and easy portable irrigation device and unlike a watering can, this one waters the ground for you.

Estimated construction time: 15 minutes

Step 1: Tools and Materials


1 " clean, plastic bucket (don't use containers that held toxic chemicals)
1 " 1/2 inch hose bib
1 " 1/2 conduit locknut
1 " soaker hose
and silicone sealant or caulk


Drill, 3/4 inch spade bit

Step 2: Locating Spout

The hose bib needs to be placed as low as possible on the bucket while still leaving some clearance between the spout and ground (so you can set it down flat without damaging it). Hold the hose bib where you want it to be and mark the bucket where it will attach.

Step 3: There's a Hole in the Bucket

Using the 3/4 inch spade bit, drill a hole in the bucket where you marked it. You may notice that the spade bit is just a little bit smaller than the 1/2 hose bib threads. This will ensure a tight fit.

Step 4: Attaching Hose Bib Spout

The hose bib should just fit into the hole you've made. Hold it as perpendicular to the bucket surface as you can and screw it into the bucket. You may be tempted to make the hole larger, but it should thread itself onto the bucket. For added leak-proofing place a bead of silicone around the hose bib on the outside of the bucket before you screw it in all the way. Then screw in the spout the rest of the way, turning it until the spout is pointed down.

At this point, the spout should be firmly in place, but since this is going to be moved around some extra reinforcement is advised. On the inside of the bucket place the conduit locknut onto the hose bib and tighten.

Step 5: Finishing

Once the silicon has dried your irrigator is ready for use. Make sure the valve is closed and fill the bucket with water. Carry it to a point uphill from where you want to water, or place it on a chair (another bucket or anything to get it elevated). Screw the soaker hose onto the spout and turn on the water. Now walk away and let it do the watering for you.



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    11 Discussions


    9 months ago

    Would this work if you had the hose attached at each end to a bucket? Double the amount of water and increase pressure?


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Nice job good pictures too.

    You could go a step further using some bungee cords or better Ratchet straps and attach this bucket to a lightweight dolly. We did something similar for my grandma who couldn't lift heavy things. You can put some wood blocks under the bucket to give it some height for the water to run out.

    1 reply

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Excellent idea. maybe an old golf club caddy would work. Light weight and larger wheels for rolling over the grass. Probably need a little more modification to keep it in place and you could probably find one in a second hand store or yard sale. Maybe even the "dump".

    Yes. We have been using the same soaker hose for several years. This year the hose became clogged (dirt, growth?), and I had to blast it with some tap water pressure. It worked fine after that. We usually use it with our rain barrel which has 55 gallons of water weight pressuring it, but the bucket still works too.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    TOTALLY AWESOME INSTRUCTIONS! i have been looking to make my own rainbarrels out of garbage cans, but couldn't find details on attaching the faucet and making it leakproof.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Great idea! I'm using it at home thanks to you. One change I made is use a quick connect hose coupler instead of the spout. It makes for an easier hook up to the soaker hose. This is because I carry my bucket to the watering spot every time :(


    10 years ago on Step 3

    dear Liza, dear Liza, :D


    10 years ago on Introduction

    This is great, this is exactly what I've been looking for for a DIY greywater system I'm working on. Put the bucket in your shower when you are using it to fill it up. Attach the spigot to a hose that is connected to the supply line into your toilet. Put the bucket on to of the toilet tank and when you flush your tank it will fill with the greywater so that the next time you flush it you aren't wasting precious freshwater! Use a T fitting on the supply hose so that either the greywater or freshwater can be used (in case you BM more than you shower).


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Looks handy! Another potential way to use this would be to use a bigger bucket/tank, and just pour in buckets of rainwater.