How to make a Rain Barrel

 We (Bill) made a Rain Barrel today and I wanted to share the “how to” with you.  We were able to complete the project for just under $20.0o and only took about 20-25 minutes.

What you need

  • 55 Gallon food grade barrel
  • 3/4 inch male spigot
  • 3/4 inch extension
  • 1 inch hole bit
  • 4 inch Atrium Gate
  • Plumbers Tape
  • Drain Sleeve or “Sock”
  • Bonding Putty
  • 3/4 inch male fitting
  • Cinder blocks to put barrel on.
  • Jigsaw
  • Drill

First obtain a barrel.   It should be a 55 gallon barrel previously used in food production.  A “food grade” barrel.   Do not use White barrels.  Use Blue or Black so no algae can grow. 

 Atrium Gate

Place atrium gate upside down on top of the barrel at the location where you want the water to enter the barrel.  Trace around the atrium gate.

Cut out the traced circle:   Using the 1 inch hole bit on drill,  place hole in middle of circle you just traced.  Using Jigsaw, carefully cut out circle.

Cut 8-10 inches of drain sock and knot at one end.  Place around gate,  (this keeps mosquitos out and debris out of water.)  Put into opening.

On right side of barrel drill a 1 inch hole and place your 3/4 inch male fitting (with plumbers tape)  in hole.  The hole should be 5-6inches below the lip of the barrel and at least 1 inch below the bottom of the atrium gates lowest point.

You can put a small amount of bonding putty around the fitting to prevent leaks but it is not necessary because it should be a good fit.  Connect a hose to allow overflow out to ground or to another barrel.

At the bottom of the front of the barrel drill another 1 inch hole.  Use  3/4 inch extension onto 3/4 inch spigot with plumbers tape on it and insert into the barrel.  Put a small amount of bonding putty around spigot and let dry.

The Next step is to place the rain barrel on cinder blocks under down spout.  Pictures of this coming soon.

Check out this great how to if you need more visuals:  Rain Barrels

Linking to Great Site check it out, she decorates beautifully on the cheap!  A must see!

This entry was posted in budget living, DIY, gardening, green living, reuse, Simplify, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to How to make a Rain Barrel

  1. Lillian says:

    This is AWESOME!!! Adding it to the project list asap:)

  2. Jenn says:

    Thanks Lillian, and good luck on the project.:) It really is very simple and worth the time versus expense of a ready made one.

  3. Looks good! We wanted to make these, but we don’t have gutters, so we wouldnt get as much water. 😦

    Thanks for visiting & commenting on my rainbow wreath! I’d love to see yours when you finish!

  4. Pingback: Spring Love «

  5. Karen says:

    Love this idea! Where do you find the food grade barrell? Will a restaurant give you one?
    Thanks, Karen

    • Jenn says:

      Call around to local food production companies. Remember to make sure the barrels are blue or black. Not white. Ask if they have 55 gallon food grade barrels they are getting rid of. We asked if could give them $5.oo a barrel and they were more than happy to save a few for us! I think ours had vinegar in it. I don’t think that a restaurant would have that size. Thanks for stopping by and happy rain collecting:)

  6. Todd says:

    Hey where did you buy the atrium gate? I’ve looked online and asked in a few stores and they just look at me strange.

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