How to Make a Rain Barrel

Save Money on Your Water Bill by Turning Rain Water into Usable Water

Recycling rain water is easier than you think. In the past, if you wanted to capture rain water, you just put a bucket out in the yard and waited for it to fill up. Of course, if it was raining hard, it was going to be a little more difficult – you had to find multiple buckets, then store the water when the buckets filled up, and on top of it all, you’re soaking wet from running in and out of the rain to gather buckets. It wasn’t pretty.

Now we can rid ourselves of the bucket hassles by making a rain barrel to capture the water. Using re-claimed water will save you money and is also a great way to help out the environment by limiting your water usage on our tapped water supplies. Here are 5 easy steps to show you how to make a rain barrel.

Step 1: Collect the Rain Barrel Materials

  • (1) large plastic garbage can or a food-grade plastic barrel
  • (1) tube of sealant that is watertight
  • (1) water spigot
  • (2) each of rubber and metal washers
  • Mesh landscaping material
  • (1) hose clamp
  • A charged drill and drill bit
  • (1) razor blade

Step 2: Insert a Spigot into the Rain Barrel

  • Choose a drill bit that is slightly smaller than the spigot or the exact same size
  • Measure 5″ from the bottom of the barrel and drill the hole
  • Add a metal washer and then a rubber washer over the threads of the spigot
  • Add the watertight sealant around the rubber washer and place the spigot into the hole. Note: Allow the sealant to dry before moving to the next step.
  • Inside the rain barrel, put a rubber washer and then a metal washer onto the spigot threads
  • Fasten the hose clamp to the spigot threads inside the barrel

Step 3: Add Mesh Landscaping Material (if you are using a garbage can)

  • Cut a piece of the landscaping material big enough to cover the top of your rain barrel
  • Lay the material over the top of the garbage can and push the lid on tight
  • The material will keep pests and bugs out

Step 4: Cut Entry Holes

  • Using a razor blade, cut 2 holes in the top of the barrel that are big enough for your gutter downspout to fit into
  • Run the downspout from your home into one of the holes
  • The other hole will allow the barrel to overflow. You could also attach a pipe to the second hole and connect it to another rain barrel to capture the overflow water.

Step 5: Collect & Use Your Rain Water

  • As it rains, you can watch the water accumulate in your new rain barrel.
  • When you need to water your garden, outdoor pots, or anything else, simply fill up a watering can through the spigot.
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