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How to Make a Rain Barrel

Learn how to make your own rain barrel with the help of Blains’ Farm & Fleet.

You know the importance of savings, and a rain barrel is a great way to decrease the damage on your water bill. You can save even more money when you build your own rain barrel. With the help of Blain’s Farm & Fleet, you can follow these easy steps to make your own rain barrel and start saving by the next rainfall.

How to Make a Rain Barrel
A homemade rain barrel is an inexpensive, easy way to collect rain water and save on your water bill. Learn how to make your own with the help of Blain’s Farm & Fleet.

How to Make a Rain Barrel

1. We recommend you find the largest garbage can possible. The larger the garbage can, the more rain water you will be able to collect. We used a 32 gallon refuse container with a flat lid. Flat lids are helpful when you later create the opening the rain will fall into.

2. Start by drilling a hole on the side of your can. This will be where the spigot will go to release the water you collect. Don’t drill the hole too low to the bottom or you won’t be able to get your watering can under it. Use a drill bit that is the same size or a little smaller than the spigot you have chosen.

3. Prepare the spigot for installation. Start by placing a metal washer onto the threaded end of spigot, then put a rubber washer that fits tightly over the threads. This will to help hold the washer in place and prevent leakage.

4. You’re already set to install the spigot into the hole you created! Apply the waterproof sealant over your rubber washer and insert the spigot into the hole. Wait for the sealant to dry.

5. Next, you’ll prep the inside. Run the second rubber washer, followed by the second metal washer, onto the threads of the spigot inside the barrel. Now you’ll want to secure the spigot in place inside your barrel. Use the hose clamp to tighten your spigot in place and prevent it from coming loose from the barrel.

6. Place the lid on the barrel and carefully cut a hole in the top of it. This hole needs to be large enough to accommodate the flow of water that will come out of your downspout during a storm.

7. Next, you will want to seal the hole you created on the lid of the can. Sealing the hole with landscaping fabric will help keep debris, mosquitoes and other pests from entering the rain barrel. To do this, cut a piece of the landscaping fabric to fit across the entire opening of the garbage can. Next, simply place the lid over the garbage can and you’re done!

8. You will also want to drill a hole or two on the sides near the top of your rain barrel to prevent overflow. Since the top of the barrel is covered, it’s important for water to be able to escape the barrel when it is full to prevent the lid from coming off.

9. Place the rain barrel on flat ground directly under a downspout of your choice. Pick a spot that will be convenient for you when you need to use it and one that is preferably out of the way from children. You may consider spreading dirt more evenly to accomplish this or stack bricks to create an even surface for the rain barrel to sit on. A flat surface will help to prevent the barrel from falling over and spilling your stored rain water.

10. Before building a rain barrel, check your local regulations to ensure that water collection is allowed as not all communities allow for the collection of rain water. Rain water collected is not suitable for human or animal consumption. Keep the lid on your rain barrel at all times to prevent this. It is also recommended that you do not use collected rain water on edible plants, since some roof materials may contain chemicals. Keep these things in mind and you’ll be saving money, and helping the environment in no time with your collected rain water.

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