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Sunday, July 31, 2011

How to Install a Rain Barrel

The clay soil around my house compacted over the French drains in my side yard. Water pools instead of drains before, during, and several days after a rain. It’s perfect breeding ground for root rot and slime mold that kills everything in your flowerbeds.

Guess how I know?

Photobucket
I lived with the dead front garden for far too long

My Home Owner’s Association is supposed to take care of things like this but the Queen of No likes to half quote the rules so it’s on my dime instead of the HOA’s. As much as I would love to rent a backhoe and dig up my yard (seriously), the thought of laying out big dollar signs to do it stop me.

A cheaper solution is to install a rain barrel on that side of the house. I hope a rain barrel will solve my poor  drainage problem and encourage me to water the plants in the front yard more often.

Free water for my garden makes me giddy too.

Emsco Group 2284 WaterStones Rain Water Collection System 40 Gallon CapacityMy rain barrel is a rock.


Specifically, I bought a Water Stone rain barrel from Amazon for under a hundred smackeroos. By going with a rain barrel that looks like a garden doodad I don’t need to get special permission from the Queen of No because guess what the answer would most likely be?

Exactly.

How to Install a Rain Barrel Diverter

You will need:

Rain barrel and platform
Measuring tape
Level
Pencil
Safety glasses
Hacksaw OR Dremel
Screw driver and drill OR right angle impact driver

Do it:

1. Build the rain barrel platform. The platform allows you to access the water in the bottom of the barrel via gravity – it’s the law you know.

 I made my rain barrel platform from two rows of bricks 

2. Put the rain barrel on the platform.

3. Use the measuring tape and level to mark a cut line on the downspout that is level with the rain barrel.

It's more level in real life than in Photoshop.

4. Put on your safety glasses.

  Safety first!

5. Use either the hacksaw

  Careful, it's sharp!

OR the Dremel 

 I used my Dremel. Powertools = wheeee!

to cut the downspout along the cutting line.

Be careful. A rotary tool's cutting wheel is high speed sharpness!

All cut!
Cut it out!
Keep this part.


Cutting a couple of inches from the top of the downspout would hurt either but that’s optional.

6. Attach the rain barrel hose to the downspout diverter. My diverter came with the Water Stone. You can order down spout diverters that match the color of your downspouts from Amazon if your rain barrel doesn't come with a diverter.

 
Don't glue the hose. You'll need to remove it when you winterize your rain barrel

7. Attach the downspout diverter to the downspout.

It sticks like magic! (for about two seconds without screws.)

8. Screw the rain barrel diverter to the downspout using either the drill to drill a pilot hole and a screw driver to drive the screw OR the right angle impact driver.

No pilot hole required with this baby! It's speedy too.

I used the right impact driver because I did not have to haul extra tools from the garage because that's. too. hard. (not really, I'm just lazy.)

The reattached downspout

9. Attach the rain barrel diverter hose to the rain barrel.

 All attached! 

10. Wait for rain!

My rain barrel with a secret works! It collects rain water and its secret function fooled my neighbor into thinking I hauled a giant bolder into my garden when she wasn't looking.

Hopefully the yard will be less soggy too.

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