Author Topic: Rain Barrel project  (Read 11868 times)

Offline ncjeeper

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Rain Barrel project
« on: June 13, 2012, 07:05:18 PM »
Well I have had this plastic 55 gallon? barrel for several years. A friend gave it to me awhile back and I just stuck it out back in the yard (this was when I was a grasshopper). So since Im on a weeks vacation and doing projects around the house I thought I would go ahead and turn the barrel into a water catch system.
I went to Home Depot and dropped 100 bucks ( :o) on the stuff I was going to need to complete this.




I constructed the base for the barrel.

I got the stand constructed. I built it 4ft tall so I would have a decent flow of water by gravity.

Heres it together.

I then constructed a screen to go inside the barrel to filter out debris.

Drilled a 7/8" hole in the bottom of the barrel and put in the pvc fittings with some silicone sealant.




Next it was time to get on the roof. I hosed out the gutter so it was clean and dropped in a gutter screen.


Cut out a port for the gutter to attach to the lid.

Next I disconnected the old gutter and fastened in the new pieces.

I then plumbed the bottom with pvc pipe and fittings. I only cemented the elbows. I just press fitted the other pieces so that way I can disconnect it if need be.

There she is. Already to catch some rain. :)

I also added a clear tube to the outside so I can see how much water is in the barrel.

Lets hope this thing pays for itself.

Offline Nicodemus

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Re: Rain Barrel project
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2012, 07:13:21 PM »
Nice work jeeper! You build some well constructed stuff. I don't think I've ever seen one with a downspout coupler attached to the lid before.

Does it have an overflow?

Offline ncjeeper

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Re: Rain Barrel project
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2012, 07:54:11 PM »
Nice work jeeper! You build some well constructed stuff. I don't think I've ever seen one with a downspout coupler attached to the lid before.

Does it have an overflow?
Thanks.
Yes the clear sight hose I left open at the top so it can act as an overflow also.

Offline GeddyFlea

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Re: Rain Barrel project
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2012, 10:45:41 AM »
Nice work. A great example to go by, thanks.

Offline citizen.z

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Re: Rain Barrel project
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2012, 10:23:29 PM »
Looks like a great job. My only suggestion if I may be so bold is have you considered a "first flush diverter" for your system? Depending on how big of a catchment area you are collecting from it may only need to be a relatively small one and there are a number of ways to build them that can make their use easy and nearly maintenance free.

Offline ncjeeper

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Re: Rain Barrel project
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2012, 05:28:14 PM »
Interesting. I have not seen this system. Thanks.

Offline ncjeeper

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Re: Rain Barrel project
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2012, 09:01:01 AM »
A couple of nights ago we got one of those quick heavy rain storms that lasts like 10 minutes and then stops. Rain barrel worked perfect. I captured about 18 gallons of water. Yesterday I used the water. It came out nice and clear.

Offline frjoeb

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Re: Rain Barrel project
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2012, 01:35:27 PM »
Looks great.  Wish I had it here last week in FLorida with the Tropical Storm. 

Offline oktheniknow

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Re: Rain Barrel project
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2012, 11:55:21 AM »
Awesome. That's a project that I've been meaning to do. Have a couple of 55 gallon drums that I got from a car wash. Also have a 20 gallon one with plastic carrying handles. Has a little bit of soap in it. Thinking about cleaning it out, putting on a concrete block and using as extra emergency water in the house in case ever needed. Think it could be cleaned enough with vinegar/water to make it good enough for drinking water? If not, could just store out in my garage for other purposes - for cleaning dishes, put fuel in. Another possibility is I could cut in half and use as a planter.   

Offline Andy in NH

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Re: Rain Barrel project
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2012, 11:59:34 AM »
Great project!

I want to do something similar next to my chicken coop.

Are you having any trouble with algae in the clear tube?


Offline backwoods_engineer

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Re: Rain Barrel project
« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2012, 12:30:43 PM »
Excellent, really excellent work, ncjeeper.  Good photos, easy to follow, and reproducible.

I've had an auto-diverter system sitting in my garage for a few months; I bought it before we made the decision that we are going to move in the next 6 months.  I may go ahead and put up some temporary rain catchment along the lines of your system, to feed my fall garden anyway.

What you've put together is portable, anyway, and I could take it to the next homestead.

Offline ncjeeper

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Re: Rain Barrel project
« Reply #11 on: September 10, 2012, 12:43:22 PM »
Thanks. Its amazing how fast it fills up from a quick rain shower. So I added this. http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=35956.0

Offline Pathman

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Re: Rain Barrel project
« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2013, 08:38:28 AM »
This is exactly what I want to do. I saw an ad on craigslist for two free 55 gal blue plastic barrels the owner said would make excellent rain barrels. I went and picked one up since that is all I could fit in my car. I didn't look at the label since he said it would make an excellent rain barrel. Big mistake.  Got down the road and felt a little funny. Stopped at the next town and checked the label. Redux-300. Googled it and turns out it can cause respiratory irritation.  Drove the rest of the way home with the windows down. I can't find much info on it other then the MSDS. It is an Aqueous blended deposit control agent. I have no idea what that means. It contains acrylate copolymer 4%, organic phosphorus compound 16%, potassium hydroxide 9% and the rest water. The barrel is mostly empty. Owner had said there might be a little water in it from rain. Not sure about that since both openings on top seemed closed. Now Im wondering if it can be cleaned out to use as a rain barrel or composter or if I should just cut the top off and use it to store tall items.

Offline ncjeeper

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Re: Rain Barrel project
« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2013, 12:33:11 PM »
If the chemicals didnt leach into the plastic you should be alright. Mine hade some funky chemical in it originally. Cleaned it real good and no issues. I water my plants and fill up our fish pond with the rain barrel water. Nothing has died so far.

Offline ksdon

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Re: Rain Barrel project
« Reply #14 on: March 17, 2013, 01:32:44 PM »
silly question.
why didnt you create a diverter for the first flush off the roof which will contain bird poop and such?
I would suggest looking at catchment systems used on many islands that depend on rain water for their fresh water supply.

For the bulk head fitting in the bottom, you can salvage and cut off the base of a toilet tank filler valve or go to the local sporting goods and get a live well bulk head  to avoid all the caulking

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Re: Rain Barrel project
« Reply #15 on: March 18, 2013, 05:50:40 AM »


Very cool ideas.   This is one of my 13 Skills.   I will definately use the photos for a guide.

Not sure, but do you treat the rain water once it is stored w/ anything?   Does it just cycle in fresh as it rains, flushing the older water?   Not sure how that works.


Offline ncjeeper

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Re: Rain Barrel project
« Reply #16 on: March 18, 2013, 03:38:58 PM »
silly question.
why didnt you create a diverter for the first flush off the roof which will contain bird poop and such?
Not really worried about the bird poop. The wire mess at the gutter does a great jog at catching the big stuff. So far the water has always been clean and debris free.

Offline ncjeeper

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Re: Rain Barrel project
« Reply #17 on: March 18, 2013, 03:41:31 PM »

Very cool ideas.   This is one of my 13 Skills.   I will definately use the photos for a guide.

Not sure, but do you treat the rain water once it is stored w/ anything?   Does it just cycle in fresh as it rains, flushing the older water?   Not sure how that works.
I dont treat the water. old water and new water just mixes together. Now during dry spells It will become empty so its all new water the next rain it catches.

Offline wraithe

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Re: Rain Barrel project
« Reply #18 on: March 18, 2013, 07:22:58 PM »
Great, simple and portable installation. Thanks for the ideas.

Offline TexasGal

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Re: Rain Barrel project
« Reply #19 on: March 26, 2013, 05:10:44 PM »
Great work! I'm marking for future reference :)

Offline ncjeeper

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Re: Rain Barrel project
« Reply #20 on: September 22, 2013, 03:38:12 PM »
Update. It has been over a year now and the barrel has been working fine. I did take it down and wash it out. The screen at the gutter worked real well in catching the debris. I only had very small stuff in the bottom of the barrel.

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Re: Rain Barrel project
« Reply #21 on: September 23, 2013, 06:44:22 AM »
Update. It has been over a year now and the barrel has been working fine. I did take it down and wash it out. The screen at the gutter worked real well in catching the debris. I only had very small stuff in the bottom of the barrel.

This is a timely reply.   I scrubbed out my first barrel to get started.   Using this thread as a guide. 

Offline Andy in NH

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Re: Rain Barrel project
« Reply #22 on: August 28, 2015, 01:18:18 PM »
Finally got around to building mine.

Thanks for the inspiration!

More info on it here


d3nni5

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Re: Rain Barrel project
« Reply #23 on: August 28, 2015, 01:20:03 PM »
Finally got around to building mine.

Thanks for the inspiration!

More info on it here



Looks great!   

Offline archer

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Re: Rain Barrel project
« Reply #24 on: August 28, 2015, 02:01:46 PM »
Good job!

Looking at your detailed steps, I agree that the first flush diverter tube is too long, especially for the size of the roof. But I like how you did that. good job!