Rain Barrel Bulkhead Fitting




For open top or sealed top barrels with at least a 2 inch bung hole.

Step 1: Installation for Open and Sealed Barrels (with 2" Bung Holes)

This is how to install a bulk head fitting on a rain barrel without silicone, without leaks, and ready for your water valve.

This can be done on sealed barrels that have the two inch bung holes. I used an open top barrel to show how it works. Be sure to get a fitting that will fit through the bung hole. Also, I bought one fitting at Home Depot, but when I got home and read the label it had a warning about it containing lead. I didn't want that in contact with my water, so I took it back. I recommend asking about lead content when you buy one.

Step 2:

The tools, the fitting, some string, and a pipe wrench or crescent wrench big enough to fit on the nut. I used a hole saw to make the hole in the barrel, and it turned out the hole was just a bit too small for this fitting. It was perfect for the last fitting I used, but I bought this one at a different store, and it was ever so slightly bigger, so I used a file to enlarge the hole

Step 3:

Unscrew the fitting, take the nut and one washer off.

Step 4:

Run the string through the fitting

Step 5:

Drop the string (but not the fitting) into the barrel. Tilt the barrel so the string can be seen through the hole.

Step 6:

Fish around with your finger and pull the string outside.

Step 7:

Let the fitting fall down while holding the string at the top outside the barrel, and using your finger, stick it in the fitting and pull it through the hole, then pull the string out.

Step 8:

Hold onto the threaded end, put the outside washer on, screw the nut on (which is left handed thread). Tighten slightly with a wrench, but remember you're dealing with plastic, so don't over tighten or you will crack it, and your done! A leak proof fitting without silicone or any other chemical sealant coming into contact with your water. The last picture is how it looks on the inside of the barrel.



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    6 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Search for "Bulkhead Fitting" on ebay. You will find a lot of them


    3 years ago on Introduction


    I LOVE this one! It's SO much easier than a lot of the rain barrel instructables but, I have a question; WHERE do you get this bulk head fitting??? I've tried Lowes, a high end plumbing store, John Deere Landscaping & a pool/spa place and no one carries it! Please let me know.


    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    Oh yeah, the specific one I used here came from a plumbing store. A-Boy Electric and Plumbing in Portland OR to be specific.


    3 years ago on Introduction

    I bought one at Lowes, one at Home Depot (which I returned), one at a plumbing store, and one online from a barrel/tote seller. A warning, nobody at Lowes or

    Home Depot that I talked to knew what it was. Could have just been bad luck with new employees... Just bought another barrel from a dealer in Gresham, OR, and he had started carrying them, so I bought one from him. And the box was marked food grade, so I'm sure it's lead free.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for the instructions and congratulations on your first Instructable! I hope we see many more from you in the future!

    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks! I hope it's easy to follow. For some reason when I explain it to people their eyes glaze over and they seem to think it's more complicated than it is, so I made a visual explanation.