DIY:  Rain Barrel

It’s no secret that having a good rain barrel can drastically cut down on the cost of your outdoor water bill. Instead of using your hose to water the outdoor flower beds or wash he car, you can simply use clean rainwater that you’ve collected in your barrel!

Great. So, how can you get your hands on one without spending an arm and a leg? Make one, of course! Here’s how.

two red barrels

Find a barrel

First, you need to find yourself a suitable barrel. One that is roughly 55 gallons and made of plastic will work well. Some rain barrels are made of rust-resistant metal, but these are a lot harder to modify and use for this DIY project.

Rain barrel with drainage

Create drainage holes

To get your drainage barrel to work, you’ll need to make a few holes. To start, you’ll want to make a hole in the top to allow excess water to overflow and a hole in the bottom that enables you to drain water you want to use out of the barrel.

The size of the holes you make will depend largely on the size of filter basket you plan to use in the next steps. The holes should be large enough that the lip of the basket can sit on top of the barrel without falling in.

Make it watertight

In order to hold water, your barrel needs to be watertight. To achieve this, inset the male parts of a faucet assembly kit with rubber washes to the inside of the barrel and the faucet fixtures from the outside of it. Using the rubber washer on the inside of the barrel will ensure that there are no leaks.

rain barrel filter

Secure the filter

Next, install your chosen filter. The role of the filter within your rain barrel system is to prevent gutter debris from finding its way into your barrel water. The filter screen should be made of plastic or nylon, so that it doesn’t end up rusting.

At this point, you might also want to raise the barrel off the ground. You can do this by creating a stand or by using something you have on hand already to elevate the system.

Add a downspout

To make modifications to your downspout, separate sections or cut it carefully with a hack saw. Install a down spout elbow that sits at 90 degrees and then a plastic extender pipe. Modifying the downspout makes it easy to attach the extender tube and secure it to the filter that rests in the top hole you made.

Rain barrel with downspout

There! Now you know how to make your very own rain barrel. It’s a lot easier than it seems, as it turns out, and a lot more cost effective than purchasing one that has already been made. In addition, it can be a fun little summer project to keep you busy and get you out of the house and into the sunshine.