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Rain Barrels for Practically Free

Category Water
By asking around at various businesses you may be able to find suitable plastic barrels to make your own rain barrels for little or no cost. This is a guide about rain barrels for practically free.


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By 2 found this helpful
June 25, 2008

Make your own rain barrels with what you have, practically free. My husband asked around at local companies and came up with white plastic barrels. The rest he already had in his shop. He then connected them to our gutters and added a spigot at the bottom, to let gravity feed the water out. He even put screen where the gutter goes into barrel to keep out trash. He connects the water hose to spigot and waters the flowers. We waste less water and always have extra water for the flowers. They don't look bad either, you could paint them if you like. It's been dry in NC and every drop of water saved is an advantage and we don't have to water from our well.

By Wanda from Climax, NC

Comment Was this helpful? 2
June 25, 20080 found this helpful
Top Comment

Making and having a rain barrel to water my garden has been so much fun. We live in GA and it is HOT and DRY here with water restrictions.

We made the rain barrels this year. It only takes 1/4" of rain to fill the barrels up.

Here's a photo of two 55 gallon barrels that we connected to each other. That makes 110 gallons of water. They're raised up 3 cement blocks high in order to gravity feed through a hose to my garden across the yard.

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By guest (Guest Post)
June 25, 20080 found this helpful

What kind of places did he get the barrels from?

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By guest (Guest Post)
June 26, 20080 found this helpful

I've been using rain barrels for years and my plants both in ground and in pots are thriving beautifully. I tried watering them with tap water several years ago and the flowers drooped and appeared to be dying. It could have been the chlorine in the water, or any number of things that's added to our drinking water which we've adjusted. I guess you know I returned to using the rain water again.

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June 26, 20080 found this helpful

I am curious if you have considered the materials used to manufacture the plastic barrels and if there is anything that might contaminant the water when the plastic heats up in warm weather.

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By guest (Guest Post)
June 26, 20080 found this helpful

What about mosquitos hatching in there? Are you covering it?

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By guest (Guest Post)
June 26, 20080 found this helpful

As far as the barrels, you want to get food-grade barrels, ones that food/liquids were shipped in.

Can you or your hubby provide details on directing the gutter into the rain barrel and installing the spigot? I have a barrel; I just don't know what to do next. Thanks!

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By guest (Guest Post)
June 26, 20080 found this helpful

I had a wonderful 80 gallon barrel that was really thick. I stored tap water in it hoping the chlorine would dissipate, but it froze solid one really cold winter and cracked badly. I had to toss it. I learned the hard way to remember to drain it for winter!

; (

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June 27, 20080 found this helpful

You can google "rain barrels" and get free how-to instructions from other people who have posted their barrel designs.

We did that and downloaded several different designs, then picked out pieces or portions of each design that would fit our situation. Some of the materials in one person's design may not be available in your area. We had to come up with similar type things to make our barrels.

For instance, for mosquito control, we have covered all the openings on the top of the barrel with pieces of window screening and used those plastic ribbed tie zips to hold them on.

We used a black plastic drain pipe cover (that we got at home depot) upside down to aim the guttering into the barrel (covered with screening).

We used plastic faucets with rubber washers to seal it with. A couple faucets were done with metal washers and glue because we couldn't find all the right sizes of all the materials.

Some Home Depot's have DIY rain barrel classes on Saturdays.

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July 10, 20080 found this helpful

I would like to try to create/use rain barrels this year. However, we do not have gutters on our house. Will the barrels fill enough if just placed in the yard? Or is it necessary to divert/collect from a larger source (i.e., rain diverted off an entire roof)?


Zone 5 - Massachusetts

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By guest (Guest Post)
July 23, 20080 found this helpful

I work for a local soil and water conservation district and the request for rain barrels are very high. Is there any one or any company willing to donate 55 gallon barrels to the district?

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