Connecting a Rain Barrel to a Downspout Connecting a Rain Barrel to a Downspout

Connecting a rain barrel to a downspout is a very simple and efficient way to conserve water for gardening and watering, especially in drought conditions.

Choosing and Placing Your Rain Barrel

You can always buy a rain barrel already pre-cut and ready to go, or you can get a food-quality barrel and make the adjustments yourself. Whether using a precut or purchased barrel, move it to the downspout you are going to connect it to. Keep in mind if you are using it to water a garden that you will want it attached to a downspout closest to the garden. If you are using a food barrel, be sure to clean it thoroughly to remove any leftover food or juices.

Getting Your Rain Barrel Ready to Use

About two inches from the bottom of the barrel, drill a 15/16 inch hole and install a ¾ inch hose spigot. Using a clear silicone sealant or Teflon tape on the spigot threads will help make a seal to prevent leaking. Do not install your spigot less than 2 inches from the bottom so that debris can settle to the bottom and help eliminate blockages to the water flow.

Drill another hole about 4 inches from the top and attach a hose adapter for your overflow hose. Be sure the hose is long enough to reach another area several feet away or to another barrel for overflow to prevent erosion at the base of your rain barrel. If you have a compost pile nearby, this would be a good location to direct your overflow hose to keep compost damp in hot summer months.

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