How to set up a rain barrel? It doesn’t take much time to set up a rain barrel as it can be very simple. But just how do you install the barrel after buying it. Could be you have never used a barrel before. How do you set it up? Have you dealt with technicians especially when they know you don’t know what you have invited them to help you solve? You don’t want such an experience. On such occasions, the technicians may become crafty –they will do shoddy work just because they know you know not what you want. Moreover, they will charge you exorbitantly. Have you set up your rain barrel? How do you connect them?
Though having a rain barrel is such a surreal feeling, most people are intimidated by the thought of setting it up. They wonder whether they will incur the same cost in the installation. Are you known for rain harvesting? You want to follow these instructions. They are specifically made for you who is yet to acquire his rain barrel.
1. Where do you install a rain barrel?
Even more than how it works, the most common question is how to set up a rain barrel. Before you buy something, you have already envisioned how you are going to use it. This includes where to install it, the labor, and those who will be in charge. Before choosing the location, you want to have a look at the downspouts of your house, shed, or even garage. While at it, you want to consider the following.
Has it been installed where you can easily access it?
You don’t want to install it a hundred meters from your house. Doing so will get you wondering how you will be transporting the water to the required destination. But how do you set up a rain barrel so that its proximity to water use is enhanced? You want to have it close to where the water is needed the most. Do you use it in your garden? Do you use it on potted plants? You want to increase its proximity to the two.
Make sure it is installed on level ground.
You know how heavy water is and you have a tank. What happens when the tank is not installed on a flat surface? How does it behave when full? You want the barrel to be installed on a flat surface just so it doesn’t fall when full. Therefore, you want to have the barrel full because think about it, I will not rain all the time. You want to have enough water to cushion during such times.
Sometimes, if not installed with a spigot, the overflow may collect around your house and you don’t want that. It may weaken the foundation of the house. Moreover, it will be breeding sites for mosquitos which may present health hazards. You want to have a downspout that automatically turns off the flow of water once it is full. With this, excess water will run through the gutter normally.
Bricks and landscaping blocks can be used to elevate the barrel. You want the water to flow under gravity because the barrel doesn’t come with a pump. This eases your work as gravity helps with water pressure. It also gives extra space just below the spigot making it easier to access.
2. How to Set Up A Rain Barrel – The Process
This takes only a few minutes. Only a few tools are needed to accomplish this. Probably you are having some of these tools even before buying a rain barrel.
Tools you must have.
- Rian barrel
- Flexible tubing
- Flathead screwdriver
Have you gathered your tools? Some other tools may be needed though they are optional. The time estimated for setting up the barrel is normally 30 minutes subject to variation depending on the type of tools you have. Here is the procedure to follow.
How to Set Up A Rain Barrel Step 1: Remove the downspout
With your hammer and screwdriver in your hands, you want to grab the best spot for detaching the downspout. You want to do it right just so you avoid changing the downspout just a few days after having to detach it. Can you see anywhere close to the seam? You want to find a seam in the gutter which is closest to the top of the barrel. Thereafter, remove the screws from the downspout. Has it been removed?
Step 2: Level out the ground
After being filled, the rain barrel gets heavy. How do you set up a rain barrel in the sloping ground? To make it more stable even when full, you want to ensure that it is installed on leveled ground. But how do you know that ground is leveled-it is flat. Just by mere comparison with our naked eyes, we may subject the barrel to future instability. To avoid this, place it in the installation spot, thereafter use your level to determine how off it is. Is it sloppy? Are there some spots that are hilly in the installation spot? If planting, you can dig soil and add it to the planting spot. If hilly, dig out soil from the same. How did you do it? Did you notice the difficulty in leveling the soil? You want to acquire a tamper tool, it makes your work very easy.
Step 3: Have the barrel elevated
To raise the barrel off the ground, consider placing it on top of concrete blocks. You know very well that barrels don’t come with pumps. Why do you think water tanks are always elevated? You want to ensure that the water flows under gravity. You can use concrete blocks for the same. Even so, there are barrel stands. These provide stability and ensure that the barrel has a good outlook.
Step 4: Add a flexible downspout tubing
How will you direct the water from the gutter to the barrel? You don’t want your downspout to blow away. You want an efficient water delivery from the gutter to the barrel. Have a flexible tubing secured onto the gutter using the screws obtained from the original spout. At times, screwing the tubing to the gutter is not easy. You may be forced to poke holes on it just so it is screwed onto the gutter. Then you simply adjust it so that they are aligned with the gutter. This alignment allows it to empty into the opening.
How to Set Up A Rain Barrel Step 5: Control the overflow
Near the top, your barrel should have an overflow spout. What does it feel like to have the overflow empty near your house-right next to your house? You want to control where the overflow goes. For me, I have cut a piece of an old hose and redirected the overflow. It works well especially if you have a streaked budget.
Even so, you can buy a downspout diverter attachment. This is magic. It automatically turns off the flow once the barrel is full. This allows the excess to run to the gutter as it normally does. Could be the downspout diverter attachment is not just your thing. There is a very fancy diverter kit that can be used for the same. It makes your installation easier. You have the gutter, the barrel, the spigot. How exactly do you install the rain barrel diverter? With a diverter, how do you set up the rain barrel? How do you connect it to the gutter? You want to use a hacksaw to cut the gutter. This eases your work.
Step 6: Cover the opening
Some barrels fill up through the top which is normally left wide open. As you may have noticed, any open pool of water becomes a breeding ground for mosquitos and bugs. Moreover, leaving the opening open may expose the water to debris. This limits the use of water. Could be you wanted to use the water for washing your car. With the accumulated debris, would you risk having the water on your car? Could be you wanted to wash the windows using the water collected in the barrel. With the accumulated mosquitos, would you risk having the water on your windows? The water has mosquito eggs and you may make your house the breeding ground for mosquitos. To keep the mosquitos away, you want to ensure that the opening is covered with a piece of a window screen.
Step 7: Add a hose to the bottom spigot
As a final step of the installation, attach a hose spigot at the bottom. Nowadays, water is usually available in the taps thanks to our well-maintained drainage systems. We have become so used to it that we don’t want any inconveniences as it pertains to the water supply. You want to ensure that you easily can use the barrel. You don’t want to be frustrated while using the barrel. Normally we carry frustrations from one facet of life to another. This may affect your life in general. Do you have a hose-even an old piece? You can use it for the same. For me, I cut an old hose piece. Do you prefer a regular-sized garden horse? Do you have it? You can use that as well.
Step 8: How to connect two rain barrels
Could be you need more volume of water. We have different water needs. For someone who has a garden and some potted plants, the water needs will be higher. For a person who needs a high volume of water, how do you set up a rain barrel? Could be you want your car to be washed at home. You can install two rain barrels. This is the caveat though. You want to ensure that there is enough space for the same. To accomplish this, you simply run the hose from the overflow valve on the first one. The second is empty, right. You direct the hose to the second barrel. However, you can use a connector kit to hook them up.
How to Set Up A Rain Barrel Step 9: Winterize your rain barrel
Where do you live? What is the temperature of your surrounding area? Does it normally drop below the freezing point? If so, you don’t want the water to freeze before draining it’s it already frozen? Don’t worry. Even so, you don’t want to bang off the sides of the barrel in an attempt to dislodge the ice. You will break the barrel. Instead, move the rain barrel to a warm place such as a garage or a shade so that the water can melt.
When winter approaches, you should drain your rain barrel. Even so, you want to fill the jugs with rainwater. Could be you have indoor plants, how would you water them? Don’t waste the barrel water, store it for future use. To drain it, you only need to open up the spigot and let it pour out below the spigot, it is very light. You can just tip it so you drain the rest.
10. Using a Rain Barrel
You know very well that the water collected in the barrel is untreated. Given that there is no chlorine content in the water, it’s good for plants though human beings and pets shouldn’t consume it. Moreover, you shouldn’t use it for cooking, washing your hands or washing food. In any case, you use the water for herb irrigation, let it be applied to the soil, not the plants. Any part of your body that comes in contact with the water must be thoroughly washed with soap and warm water.
While operating the rain barrel, you want to ensure that it’s not a mosquito breeding area.
Though a debris screen bars mosquitos from entering the barrel, you want to caulk any gaps that may allow them in. You want to note that mosquitoes may still enter through overflow outlets. So without noticing, eggs and larvae may be washed into the barrel from the gutter. Add anti larvae tablets as they contain Bacillus thuringiensis to the water to kill the mosquito larvae. To help prevent odors from stagnant water, sue the water within a week.
Secure the barrel just so it doesn’t tip.
As recommended by manufacturers, always leave some water in the barrel to keep it in place. When not collecting rainwater, ensure that the spigot is left open. To prevent erosion or even keep the water from entering your foundation, place a splash block under the barrel and connect it to the hose.
For you who have a dream of owning a barrel, for you who have scoured the web just trying to know the requisites of owning and setting up a barrel, for you who have searched for how to set up rain barrel information, you are wee covered with these tips. Make them your guiding results and satisfy all your water needs.