Rain Barrel

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  #1  
Old 09-30-09, 11:22 AM
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Rain Barrel

I am trying to make a rain barrel from a wooden whiskey barrel. There are sites on line that tell how to do this. I have cut an opening in the top of the barrel which will connect to my house downspout, collecting rain run-off while keeping the barrel "sealed" from mosquitoes. I will put an overflow opening at the top of the barrel and run a hose/pipe/line from it away from the house foundation. The problem I need help with is this: I drilled out a hole at the bottom of the barrel into which I intend to install a spigot. The barrel will be positioned high enough for me to get a 5 gallon bucket under the spigot when we need to water our plants. All is good so far, EXCEPT, the drill bit I used is too small to allow the fittings to secure the spigot. (I deliberately made the hole smaller than the threads, hoping to get a really snug, leak-proof seal. But the hole I drilled is too small.) I can re-drill the hole with a larger drill bit, but since I no longer have solid wood to stick the point of the bit into I'm worried that the bit will skip around and butcher up the hole making an oblong opening or irregular hole that will make it impossible to seal around the spigot. Is there any way for a DIYourselfer who doesn't want to go out and buy expensive new tools to correct his mistake? I tried to borrow a pipe tap to cut threads into the barrel wall, but can't get the right size. I can buy a tap for $20 but the barrel only cost $75 and it kind of defeats the purpose of the DIY job for me to go out and buy an expensive tool that will only be used one time.
 
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  #2  
Old 10-04-09, 05:49 PM
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Location: Wet side of Washington state.
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Your local rental yard is your friend! You can rent a big drill bit and the pipe tap for probably less than $10 for the day.
 
  #3  
Old 10-04-09, 06:01 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 6,126
Rain Barrel

Make sure your overflow is at least 2" - 4" diameter (depending on the collection area). Once your "sealed" barrel is full the rain will keep coming if the drain is not big enough. Your little tap will have little effect even if it is wide open.

If your barrel is reasonably full it will not take much to over-fill the barrel. Just make a calculation on a 1" rain in one hour over the tributary area of the downspout. That will give you an idea of the amount of water that goes to replenish the moisture in the soil.

Dick
 
  #4  
Old 10-05-09, 02:15 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: New Zealand
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I'm not sure how hard the whiskey barrel wood is, but i'm guessing that filing the hole bigger with a cresent-shaped file wouldn't work? granted the hole wont be perfectly round, but I'm assuming you'd be putting a rubber sealaround the spigot in anycase.

As long as you're able to get someone to lock the barrel in place and you get the bigger drillbit over the hole and do a couple of test runs to get the grooves you wanted in the wood, and then go in 'for the kill' (so to speak).
 

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  #5  
Old 10-11-09, 06:14 AM
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Location: USA
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Cut a square piece of wood that is large enough so when you bang it into the hole the corners smash and wedge it in place. That will give you a place for your bit center to hold on to.
 
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