Monday, April 11, 2011

Rain, rain come and play

Photo Dude and I decided we wanted to try and make a rain barrel last year. Like many projects we never got around to it. I'm glad we hadn't done this sooner since it probably wouldn't have been a whole lot of fun to pack this up for our move last fall. Our barrel came from a sale this guy was having at his house. He had a bunch of these but I'm not sure where he had gotten them from originally.
Most of these photos will have commentary by Photo Dude since he was the one building this. Yet again just a reminder all text in green are the thoughts and comments of Jeff AKA Photo Dude. So as not to make this to techie as I tend to ramble about thread sizes and stuff like that. At the bottom of this post is a link to the you tube video where I got the plans for this project. Same kind of barrel and every thing.
The basic's of what you are seeing in these shots are this. I was making this up and trying to look like I knew what I was doing. Well I kind of did thanks to the video. I drilled the holes in the lid with a stepper drill which gives a pretty clean hole. They are kind of expensive so a spade drill works just as well but I have the others for work so I used it. The Spigot I used is a half inch that is at a 90 degree angle. I would recommend getting one that is at a 45 degree angle because mine is touching the barrel and tends to run down the side. Lesson learned. See I told you I would get techie on you, sorry.Drilled the hole for the spigot and If you have this kind of barrel I would listen to the video again before starting your drilling. I did not so it could have been better but it works and I do have plans to improve the water collection system next year. I hope.Spigot going in a bit tight but forgot to check the size before drilling. I am a guy so that is just how it works sometimes.The next few pictures are of the overflow. Prety basic. Get a 3/4" NPT to garden hose fitting and screw it in. Put a piece of hose on it and wham you have an overflow. The next step is the screen. Important for keeping chunks out of you water and bugs. don't forget it needs to go over the top and a piece needs to go over the end of your overflow hose.

Finished barrel ready to be installed.I lost most of the Photos for the install but the short version is cut your down spout to fit and see what comes out of it. I guessed at a lot of this part but it works great.
The next door neighbor had a bunch of these patio stones in their backyard that were there when they moved in and said we could have them. This added height will make it much easier to fill a watering can from. We pointed the overflow hose down the cement trough so that hopefully we don't end up with a low spot in the yard from where the water comes out. If you don't have gutters on your house and you have that little moat around your house you know what I'm talking about.

If you would like to see a set by step video of how to make this here is one we found on YouTube.


  1. Very informative, you two! I have been pestering, I mean talking with my husband about getting a hold of some rain barrels.
    And gutters.
    I love the whole idea of a rain catching system, and here in SW VA, we have no restrictions on that, so I figure we oughta have a go at it!
    Thanks for the pictures and the video link!

  2. Looks great and doable, and don't worry about the techy parts - they were helpful, too.

    We went with a standard trash can for ours, but I would love to keep the bugs and the kids out.

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