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Rain Barrels Buying Guide

Skip the water restrictions in your neighborhood with access to your own source of captured rainwater: a rain barrel. Here's how to decide which container is perfect for your landscape.

Types of Rain Barrels

Types of Rain Barrels

Perhaps you're looking for ways to trim your summertime water bill. Or maybe you're frustrated by runoff from rains. Or perhaps you want convenient access to garden-ready water. Whatever the case, a rain barrel may be the answer. It's a cost-effective way to trap all that water that would otherwise be lost to hard surfaces or saturated ground. It's also a great solution to providing close-by sources of water for items that require frequent hydration -- a collection of container plantings, for example. But before you start shopping for the perfect rain barrel, take a closer look at the types: plastic, clay/stone, wood, and metal.

Plastic

Plastic rain barrels can be molded into different shapes, styles, and colors to mimic the appearance of other, more expensive materials. However, plastic rain barrels may fade and not stand up as well to the elements.

shop Plastic
Mayne
$269.70
at Lowe's

Beautifully detailed collect rain from your downspout to water your flowers and save money on your water bill. Complete with a pl...anter top to display beautiful flowers or plants. Includes 3 overflow hose and 4 garden hose with shut-off valve. read more

Rain Wizard
$164.01
at Lowe's

Made of UV-resistant resin and will not fade for years. Linkable to other barrels for increased capacity using separately sold li...nking kit. Resistant to rust mold mildew and rotting. read more

Rain Wizard
$108.78
at Lowe's

Made of UV-resistant resin and will not fade for years. Linkable to other barrels for increased capacity using separately sold li...nking kit. Resistant to rust mold mildew and rotting. read more

Rain Wizard
$108.78
at Lowe's

Made of UV-resistant resin and will not fade for years. Linkable to other barrels for increased capacity using separately sold li...nking kit. Resistant to rust mold mildew and rotting. read more

Clay/Stone

Clay or stone rain barrels are very heavy, which means that once in place, they probably will stay in place. They can be simple in design or embellished with more decorative features. They tend to be much smaller than other types.

Wood

Wood rain barrels are also available; most have a fairly simple construction and a longer life than plastic versions. They are made from a variety of wood types and in a range of sizes and styles.

Metal

Typically used to catch very large quantities of rain, metal rain barrels have an interior liner that traps water. As with clay/stone or wood rain barrels, metal barrels are often heavy and unwieldy, making them more permanent fixtures once established.

Purchase Considerations

Purchase Considerations

All rain barrels are designed to do the same thing: capture runoff water for reuse. But even so, some provide more bells and whistles to get the job done. For example, size of rain barrels varies; if you have large water needs, a bigger rain barrel may be a good fit. Even small decisions such as storage, cover/screening, base, spigot, and location can have a big effect on how convenient it is to use your rain barrel and how much you can rely on it for your water needs. Here's a short guide to those purchase considerations.

Cover/Screening

All rain barrels should have a cover of some sort to prevent debris from contaminating the water. The cover may be integrated with a screen that helps to catch more runoff and prevent rocks and other items from entering the rain barrel.

Size

The size of the rain barrel determines how much water it can store. Rain barrels are available in sizes to accommodate a very small quantity -- perfect for watering a small bed or collection of containers -- or much larger storage system.

Storage

The construction of some rain barrels may require storage over cold winter months to prevent decay of the material. If so, make sure you can move the rain barrel and have the proper place to keep it.

Base

Your rain barrel should be level on the ground, which may require a base of some sort -- pavers, a concrete pad, or wood.

Spigot

All rain barrels should have a spigot located a convenient distance from the base that can be used to attach a hose.

Location

Before you begin shopping, make sure you establish the dimensions and placement of your rain barrel, such as adjacent to a gutter spout. Use that information as a guideline for selecting the appropriate rain barrel.

Garden & Outdoor Living on sale

Algreen Products
$132.99 $168.99
at Wayfair

Color: Terra Cotta Algreen 842 The Madison rain barrel is a flat, yet elegant 49 gallon rain barrel that fits up against any home...! The Madison rain barrel can also be upgraded to the Madison fountain with our fountain upgrade kit! Features: -Rain barrel with flat sides to fit against your house, under a downspout.-Dual access ports and drain outlet.-Corrosion proof screen guard.-49 Gallon capacity.-Durability of resin.-Includes garden hose, watering nozzle with shut-off, dual overflow outlets, hook for hanging garden hose and screen.-Product Type: Stationary.-Color: .-Distressed: No.Dimensions: -Overall Height - Top to Bottom: 20.-Overall Width - Side to Side: 20.-Overall Depth - Front to Back: 34.-Overall Product Weight: 21. read more

Algreen Fountain and Rain Barrel 842 Color: Terra Cotta
Algreen Products
$132.99 $168.99
at Wayfair

Algreen 842 The Madison rain barrel is a flat, yet elegant 49 gallon rain barrel that fits up against any home! The Madison rain ...barrel can also be upgraded to the Madison fountain with our fountain upgrade kit! Features: -Rain barrel with flat sides to fit against your house, under a downspout.-Dual access ports and drain outlet.-Corrosion proof screen guard.-49 Gallon capacity.-Durability of resin.-Includes garden hose, watering nozzle with shut-off, dual overflow outlets, hook for hanging garden hose and screen.-Product Type: Stationary.-Color: .-Distressed: No.Dimensions: -Overall Height - Top to Bottom: 20.-Overall Width - Side to Side: 20.-Overall Depth - Front to Back: 34.-Overall Product Weight: 21. read more

Algreen Fountain and Rain Barrel 842
Emsco
$18.30 $29.99
at Hayneedle

Creates a flat surface for rain barrels. Natural stone appearance will not crack. Constructed of durable poly-resin material. Grea...t for a variety of uses. Perfect companion for the Stoneware Rescue Rainwater Collection System (sold separately). Clear the path for pure water collection with the Rain Barrel Paver. Avoid spillover of collected rainwater with this stylish paver that features a natural stone appearance. The durable poly-resin material will not crack under the weight of your collector, even when it's full.This stylish paver provides a flat surface to rest any garden objects on. Beyond providing a solid base for your rainwater collector, the natural stone appearance creates a wonderful color counter-balance that will accent any decorative objects you keep in your flower space.About Emsco Group:Emsco Group was founded in 1867, manufacturing practical and innovative things to make life better and easier. While cow pokes and buggy whips have given way to snowboards and garden gadgets, Emsco still holds to the values its founder Theo J. Ely espoused 140 years ago: Innovation, Function, Quality, and Service. Emsco is based in Girard, Pennsylvania.Please note this product does not ship to Pennsylvania. read more

Rain Barrel Paver
Great American Rain Barrel
$98.99 $179.99
at Hayneedle

Dimensions: 24 diam. x 39H inches. Made from recycled food grade plastic resin. Unfinished so you can decide the final look. 60-ga...llon capacity. Link to other barrels with a .75-inch piece of garden hose (not included). Approximate weight is 20 lbs.. UV protected for a long life. Overflow fitting, drain plug, screw on cover included. Optional spigot 4 or 14 inches from ground. Features an insect screen to keep water clear of debris. Rain happens. Rain is free. A 60-gallon rain barrel can fill up with less than .25 inch of rainfall. Rain barrels can go a long way in offsetting your domestic water needs, including gardening, car washing, and pool topping. In turn, the burden on the local water system or your well will diminish and ultimately save you money. Collecting rain water has become as typical as recycling bottles, cans, newspapers, and composting. Link two or three barrels together and you can save up to 180 gallons of precious rain water. The Great American Rain Barrel is built to be extremely durable with a wall thickness of 3/16, resulting in a rigid, heavy duty rain barrel that will last virtually forever. Each UV protected polyethylene rain barrel is manufactured in the USA from a recycled shipping barrel that stands 39 inches tall by 24 inches wide and weighs 20 lbs. empty. The barrel comes complete with overflow fitting, drain plug, screw on cover, and optional threaded spigot, which can be positioned either 4 or 14 inches from ground level. This is an ideal position for use with a watering can. Attach your garden hose to the spigot and water your garden or lawn, even wash your car. We suggest raising the barrel off the ground for use with a regular garden hose as it's gravity fed. Our rain barrel arrives with simple instructions for fast and easy installation. How to Link Barrels TogetherTo save even more water, you can link your first barrel to a second, using a (shorter) piece of 3/4 hose. Simply unscrew the upper plug (on the second barrel) and replace it with a second elbow. Attach one end of your hose to the overflow fitting (on barrel one) turning the fitting so that it is horizontal, and then attach it to the other end to the new elbow on the second barrel (which should also be turned horizontally). Attach your overflow hose to the second elbow (on barrel two) so that once that barrel has filled, you can direct excess water away from the foundation. We recommend keeping barrels close together for best results. Helpful Tips: To prevent ground saturation near your foundation, we recommend attaching a minimum of six feet of .75-inch hose to the overflow fitting and directing the water away from the foundation. To prevent insects from seeping into the barrel, a Teflon window screen can be draped over the barrel before screwing on the lid. If odor or insects become a problem, Clorox is an age old remedy; use approximately 1/4 cup to harmlessly disinfect the water. In order to avoid clogging, empty your barrel at least once a year to remove leaves and other debris that may have accumulated inside. Ice in barrels can cause permanent damage and is not covered by the warranty. Please be sure to winterize your barrel. CAUTION: Be sure to screw lid on tightly to prevent children or animals from falling into the barrel. The Great American Rain Barrel is intended for garden use only. Do not use barrel to store drinking water.About Great AmericanWith the support and enthusiasm of a remarkable customer base, The Great American Rain Barrel Company provides environmentally friendly rain barrels to communities and individuals everywhere. The company has been in business since 1990 and sold over 100,000 rain barrels nationwide. read more

Great American Rain Barrel
Great American Rain Barrel
$106.32 $179.99
at Hayneedle

Made from recycled food grade polyethylene. 60-gallon capacity. Link to other barrels with a .75-inch piece of garden hose . Measu...res 24 diam. x 39H inches; weighs approx. 20 lbs.. Additional featuresUV protected for a long lifeOverflow fitting, drain plug, screw on cover includedOptional spigot 4 or 14 inches from groundFeatures an insect screen to keep water clear of debris 1 year limited warranty Rain happens. Rain is free. A 60 gallon rain barrel can fill in less than .25-inches of rainfall (depending on the size of your roof and gutter system). Rain barrels can go a long way in offsetting your domestic water needs: including gardening, car washing, and pool topping. In turn, the burden on the local water system or your well will diminish and ultimately save you money. Collecting rain water has become as typical as recycling bottles, cans, newspapers, and composting. Link two or three barrels together (linking hose not included) and you can save up to 180 gallons of precious rain water.The Great American Rain Barrel is built to be extremely durable with a wall thickness of 3/16, resulting in a rigid, heavy duty rain barrel that will last virtually forever. Each UV protected polyethylene rain barrel is manufactured in the USA from a recycled shipping barrel that stands 39-inches tall by 24-inches wide and weighs 20 lbs. empty. The barrel comes complete with overflow fitting, drain plug, and screw on cover. You can choose an optional spigot, too, and you have a choice of the spigot positioned at 4 or 14 inches off the ground. Attach your garden hose to the spigot and water your garden or lawn, even wash your car. We suggest raising the barrel for use with a regular garden hose as it's gravity fed. Our rain barrel arrives with simple instructions for fast and easy installation.How to Link Barrels TogetherTo save even more water, you can link your first barrel to a second, also using a (shorter) piece of 3/4 hose. Simply unscrew the upper plug (on the second barrel) and replace it with a second elbow. Attach one end of your hose to the overflow fitting (on barrel one) turning the fitting so that it is horizontal, and then attach it to the other end to the new elbow on the second barrel (which should also be turned horizontally). Attach your overflow hose to the second elbow (on barrel two) so that once that barrel has filled, you can direct excess water away from the foundation. We recommend keeping barrels close together for best results.Helpful Tips:To prevent ground saturation near your foundation, we recommend attaching a minimum of six feet of 3/4 hose to the overflow fitting and directing the water away from the foundation.To prevent insects from seeping into the barrel, a Teflon window screen can be draped over the barrel before screwing on the lid.If odor or insects become a problem, Clorox is an age old remedy; use approximately 1/4 cup to harmlessly disinfect the water.In order to avoid clogging, empty your barrel at least once a year to remove leaves and other debris that may have accumulated inside.Ice in barrels can cause permanent damage and is not covered by the warranty. Please be sure to winterize your barrel.CAUTION: Be sure to screw lid on tightly to prevent children or animals from falling into the barrel.The Great American Rain Barrel is intended for garden use only. Do not use barrel to store drinking water.About Great AmericanWith the support and enthusiasm of a remarkable customer base, The Great American Rain Barrel Company provides environmentally friendly rain barrels to communities and individuals everywhere. The company has been in business since 1990 and sold over 100,000 rain barrels nationwide. There's a new R in the recycling motto: reduce, reuse, recycle, rain barrel. This one has a 60-gallon capacity and is made from recycled food grade polyethylene to be extra green. It includes a sturdy base and spigot perfect for standard garden hoses. It even links to other rain barrels via a .75-inch piece of garden hose so you can create a custom watering system from the water nature provides. The overflow fitting, drain plug, and screw-on cover are included and it has an insect screen to keep water clear of bugs and debris. Color: Nantucket Grey. read more

Great American Painted Rain Barrel Nantucket Grey
Good Ideas
$98.41 $164.99
at Hayneedle

Dimensions: 22L x 22W x 30H inches. Made of plastic resin . Choose from a variety of colors. Resistant to rust, mold, mildew, and ...rotting. UV-resistance prevents fading and deterioration. High-quality brass spigot. Shut-off valve for hose hook-up or dual overflow. Screen keeps water free of debris and insects. The Good Ideas Rain Wizard Flat Back Rain Barrel is a stylish and easy way to catch and store rainwater that would normally just drain onto the ground and be lost. All you have to do is position this molded plastic barrel under your down spout and water will pass through the screen and into the barrel for use later. Child and pet proof this rain barrel will hold up to 50 gallons of pure rainwater which can be used to water gardens and potted plants. Made of plastic resin this rain barrel is resistant to rust mold mildew rotting UV rays fading and deterioration. The spigot is made of high-quality brass which lasts longer and is more reliable than plastic spigots found on other models. Especially useful during dry seasons the Rain Wizard is a smart and inexpensive investment that will pay for itself several times over in water bill savings. Please note - the brass spigot is included with your rain barrel. It is shipped inside the barrel - remove before use. An Eco-friendly Practice: Using a rain barrel is one way you can become more environmentally conscious. Saving rain water reduces the amount of usable water you need which decreases demand for treated water and saves you money. Because the rain barrel catches water that would normally flow to the ground it also helps the environment by reducing runoff waste water. Storing rain water can also supply you with an alternative water source during dry weather spells. And to top it all off rain water is healthier for plants than tap water. What are you waiting for? Order a rain barrel today and go green. About Good Ideas Inc.Based in Lake City Penn. Good Ideas Inc. was founded in 2001 and has been promoting green living ever since. Many of their innovative products have been featured in magazines newspapers TV shows and news stories. Good Ideas' products focus on sustainability and are developed from practical common-sense ideas generated from consumer needs. Good Ideas' great products include the Rain Wizard Big Blue Rain Saver Compost Wizard and many more. Collect water quickly and easily with this rain barrel. A top screen keeps insects and animals out of the water and a spigot on the bottom lets you quickly empty the barrel for yard work and other uses around the house. It comes in five colors that will blend into your outdoor decorations and the plastic resin barrel is resistant to mildew mold rot and rust. When you need to attach a hose for drainage simply slide the hose over the shut-off valve. Color: Khaki. read more

Good Ideas 50 Gallon Rain Wizard Flat Back Rain Barrel Khaki
Good Ideas
$99.77 $139.99
at Hayneedle

Thick durable polyethylene resin is weather-resistant65 gallon capacity for a large water supplyFlat back design optimizes space w...ith barrel against wallMeasures 25L x 26W x 35H inches. Able to conserve water house flowers and look stylish all at once the Rain Wizard 65 Gallon Rain Barrel Urn is a smart choice for your backyard. It's constructed from thick durable polyethylene resin which holds up to the harshest elements. This barrel won't fade crack or splinter. It has a natural-looking terra cotta finish to make it look right at home in its outdoor setting. A graceful shape and attractive details on the exterior make it an accent piece in addition to something that's working hard for you. This rain barrel has a flat back design to optimize space. It will sit flush against walls giving you greater flexibility on where to place it. It's the only one of its kind. There is also a channel built into the rim to divert overflowing water to the front away from the barrel and your home's foundation. About Good Ideas Inc.Based in Lake City Penn. Good Ideas Inc. was founded in 2001 and has been promoting green living ever since. Many of their innovative products have been featured in magazines newspapers TV shows and news stories. Good Ideas' products focus on sustainability and are developed from practical common-sense ideas generated from consumer needs. Good Ideas' great products include the Rain Wizard Big Blue Rain Saver Compost Wizard and many more. Please note this product does not ship to Pennsylvania. This innovative and practical rain barrel lets you save for a sunny day. Thanks to the barrel's unique design you can enjoy a store of fresh rainfall with no effort on your part. Every time it rains the durable barrel will efficiently collect the water so that you can later use it to nurture growing plants. When it isn't in use the urn is also a cute planter inviting you to show off your green thumb. The bright terra cotta finish and weather-resistant construction keep this barrel looking great. Color: Green. read more

Good Ideas Rain Wizard 65 Gallon Rain Barrel Urn Green
Good Ideas
$97.88 $139.99
at Hayneedle

Durable resin construction in a variety of colorsDimensions: 21.5L x 22W x 28.25H inchesResistant to rust mold mildew and rottingC...an be linked to other barrels for increased capacityFlat back design for placement up against the houseHigh-quality brass spigot. The Good Ideas Rain Wizard Resin Rain Flat Back Rain Barrel is a stylish and easy way to catch and store rainwater that would normally just drain onto the ground and be lost. All you have to do is position this molded plastic barrel under your down spout and water will pass through the screen and into the barrel for use later. The use of the screen means water gets in but debris and insects don't. Thanks to the flat back design of the barrel it will sit right against the house and take up less space on your walkway or patio. Child and pet proof this rain barrel will hold up to 40 gallons of pure rainwater which can be used to water gardens and potted plants. It can also be linked to other Rain Wizards by using a link kit (sold separately) to increase water capacity. This barrel features a shut-off valve for hose hook-up or dual overflow. Made of weather-resistant resin (the black option is recycled plastic) this rain barrel is resistant to rust mold mildew rotting UV rays fading and deterioration. The spigot is made of high-quality brass which lasts longer and is more reliable than plastic spigots found on other models. Especially useful during dry seasons the Rain Wizard is a smart and inexpensive investment that will pay for itself several times over in water bill savings. Please note - the brass spigot is included with your rain barrel. It is shipped inside the barrel - remove before use. An Eco-friendly Practice: Using a rain barrel is one way you can become more environmentally conscious. Saving rain water reduces the amount of usable water you need which decreases demand for treated water and saves you money. Because the rain barrel catches water that would normally flow to the ground it also helps the environment by reducing runoff waste water. Storing rain water can also supply you with an alternative water source during dry weather spells. And to top it all off rain water is healthier for plants than tap water. What are you waiting for? Order a rain barrel today and go green. About Good Ideas Inc.Based in Lake City Penn. Good Ideas Inc. was founded in 2001 and has been promoting green living ever since. Many of their innovative products have been featured in magazines newspapers TV shows and news stories. Good Ideas' products focus on sustainability and are developed from practical common-sense ideas generated from consumer needs. Good Ideas' great products include the Rain Wizard Big Blue Rain Saver Compost Wizard and many more. The rain wizard conjures water from the sky! It's made of durable resin has the look of an actual barrel and comes in a variety of color options. Its brass spigot provides access to the water its flat back design saves space and it may be linked to other rain barrels for increased water holding capacity. Color: Oak. read more

Good Ideas Rain Wizard Resin 40 Gallon Flat Back Rain Barrel Oak
Good Ideas
$125.35 $199.99
at Hayneedle

Durable plastic resin constructionAvailable in several colors with darkened bandsDimensions: 23L x 22W x 31H inchesResistant to ru...st, mold, mildew, and rottingCan be linked to other barrels for increased capacityFlat back design for placement up against the houseHigh-quality brass spigot . Fulfill your resolution to go green and inspire the neighbors to do the same with the Good Ideas 50 Gallon Rain Wizard Darkened Rib Rain Barrel. This weather resistant resin barrel features darkened bands for a more authentic look. Now you can catch and store rainwater that would normally run off your house and into the ground. All you have to do is position this molded plastic barrel under your down spout and water will pass through the screen and into the barrel for use at a later time. The use of the screen means water gets in but debris and insects don't. Thanks to the flat back design of the barrel it will sit right against the house and take up less space on your walkway or patio. Child and pet proof this rain barrel will hold up to 50 gallons of pure rainwater which can be used to water gardens and potted plants. It can also be linked to other Rain Wizards by using a link kit (sold separately) to increase water capacity. This barrel features a shut-off valve for hose hook-up or dual overflow. Made of resilient resin this rain barrel is resistant to rust mold mildew rotting UV rays fading and deterioration. The spigot is made of high-quality brass which lasts longer and is more reliable than plastic spigots found on other models. Especially useful during dry seasons the Rain Wizard is a smart and inexpensive investment that will pay for itself several times over in water bill savings. Please note - the brass spigot is included with your rain barrel. It is shipped inside the barrel - remove before use. An Eco-friendly Practice: Using a rain barrel is one way you can become more environmentally conscious. Saving rain water reduces the amount of usable water you need which decreases demand for treated water and saves you money. Because the rain barrel catches water that would normally flow to the ground it also helps the environment by reducing runoff waste water. Storing rain water can also supply you with an alternative water source during dry weather spells. And to top it all off rain water is healthier for plants than tap water. What are you waiting for? Order a rain barrel today and go green. About Good Ideas Inc.Based in Lake City Penn. Good Ideas Inc. was founded in 2001 and has been promoting green living ever since. Many of their innovative products have been featured in magazines newspapers TV shows and news stories. Good Ideas' products focus on sustainability and are developed from practical common-sense ideas generated from consumer needs. Good Ideas' great products include the Rain Wizard Big Blue Rain Saver Compost Wizard and many more. Please note this product does not ship to Pennsylvania. Like a wizard conjuring water, this rain barrels magically collects its water right from the sky. It has a 50-gallon capacity and is made of plastic resin in a classic barrel look that comes in a variety of colors. It includes a spigot to access the rainwater, has a flat back design to snuggle up against your house, and can even link to other rain barrels via a .75-inch piece of garden hose. Color: Khaki. read more

Good Ideas 50 Gallon Rain Wizard Darkened Rib Rain Barrel Khaki

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