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?

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My Home Owner’s Association is supposed to take care of things like this but the Queen of No property manager likes to half quote the rules so this type of thing is 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 the big dollar signs to do it stop me because this is why I pay a fee to my Homeowner's Association in the first place. Grrr!

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?


How to Install a Rain Barrel Diverter

You will need:

Rain barrel and platform
Measuring tape
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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Unknown said...

haha, Lisa. You are so clever! I've been wanting a rain barrell for the longest time. We are on a water meter now and I think it would save a lot of money in the winter and spring. And I love how sneaky you are, or have to be!

Jill said...

I don't think i've ever seen the rock ones before! Love it! I need to get a rain barrel for over at my bf's much "wasted" water that we could be using for the garden!

Anonymous said...

Great idea- I am wondering how much water this holds?

Avenueswithoutlimit said...

this is an amazing idea for us gardeners with this problem. perfect solution, hopefully they darn snakes will not crawl under it...
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Have a fabulous week,

Mary said...

An under-cover rain barrel - what a good idea;)

julee said...

very clever and stylish!
My hubs is so afraid of cutting the gutter....that's why we don't have one.

Your directions may change his mind.

Steve said...

Where did you find a rain barrell disguised as a rock?

Kim Moldofsky said...

Much cuter than my huge purple(!) barrel. I'm impressed.

Lisa Nelsen-Woods said...

Mary Ellen - My Waterstone holds 40 gallons. There are larger Waterstones that hold more. You can also link more than one store up to another to store even more water.

Steve - I bought my Waterstone from Amazon

michele said...

I would also like to save rain water to use on the garden but I wonder if the stagnant water sitting around would bring harmful insects?

Lisa Nelsen-Woods said...

Michele - most rain barrels have a mesh screen on the overflow holes to keep out insects. Mine doesn't. I ordered a liquid version of the mosquito disks and added it to my rain barrel to keep them out.

Micupoftea said...

Clever...looks great!

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