Written on July 2, 2013 at 9:42 am , by Shawna Coronado
Now is the perfect time to install a rain barrel. Summer is here and some parts of the country get very hot and dry late in the season – installing a rain barrel now means you will get some water in the barrel to help you save money and save water later in the season. Benefits of rain barrels go beyond saving money and watering your garden. By having a rain barrel, you are keeping rain water out of urban sewer systems, giving water back to the water table, and helping our environment. Today we are assembling and installing the 55 gallon Rain Saver from Tierra Derco with Quattro Downspout Filter and Universal Spout (see top photo).
Rain barrels come in many shapes and sizes, but almost all rain barrels are gravity fed and have no power to push the water through a hose. If the rain barrel is installed on blocks or raised slightly on a base support, it will guarantee that the water will more easily reach your garden beds if a hose is attached. Most frequently, I use a bucket or watering can and take water from the rain barrel spigot.
To install a rain barrel you will need tools – a rain barrel, flexible downspout, and a hacksaw. If you have an aluminum downspout you will need several screws, screwdriver, and a drill. If you have a PVC downspout you will also need PVC cement instead of screws. If you are unskilled in assembling and drilling like I am, you will need to find a helper like my buddy Ricky Rolon (thanks for helping me assemble the rain barrel Ricky – you’re the best).
Connecting a Downspout To A Rain Barrel in 3 Easy Steps
1. Place the barrel near a downspout. Position exactly where it will be when complete and measure the downspout portion you will need to cut in order to put the connection or downspout filter to the downspout. If your rain barrel does not have predrilled holes for the water tap and hose attachment, drill those now and install tap (photo right).
2. Disconnect your downspout by sawing the downspout above where the top of the rain barrel rests. Be sure to save all the parts you have removed so you can reattach during the winter.
3. Attach a downspout filter or a flexible elbow to the cut end of your downspout so water is redirected into the rain barrel either through the filter hose or through a screened hole on top of the rain barrel dependent upon which rain barrel variety you have (photo right). Secure with screws. Or if you have a PVC downspout, secure with PVC cement so it will not come off during a heavy downpour. Make sure the water overflow is redirected away from the house foundation.
Rain Barrel Success Tip
Additional care for a rain barrel includes when temperatures in your community fall below freezing you should reconnect your old downspouts and drain your rain barrel to protect it from cracking. I turn my rain barrels upside-down, but you could simply keep the rain barrel spigot open so that rain does not gather in the barrel basin.
Helping the environment and saving money while watering your plants is a win-win. Including a rain barrel in your garden is a great way to contribute to a drought tolerant landscaping plan. Get a rain barrel and make a difference.
According the FTC, I need to let you know that I received a product in this story at no cost in exchange for reviewing it.
Categories: Better Gardener, Products, Quick & Easy Tips | Tags: aluminum, barrel, blocks, downspout, drought tolerant, filter, gravity, hacksaw, hose, pvc, rain, rain barrel, rain saver, save money, save water, screwdriver, screws, Shawna Coronado, spout, Tierra Derco, water, watering can