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Online Vulcanbill

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Rain barrel?
« on: March 24, 2020, 01:11:26 PM »
Anybody use them to collect water for watering garden / plants / other?  What kind and how did you set them up?  Pixtures?  Thanks.

Thinking about something like this but open to cheaper and more realistic options

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Re: Rain barrel?
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2020, 01:31:55 PM »
We have a pond. 😁
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Re: Rain barrel?
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2020, 01:50:34 PM »
I had a cheap barrel set up under my gutters. The important parts are 1) put a cover on it to keep the mosquitos out and 2) put in a spigot at the bottom to use the water.

The current barrels I have at the garden also have a spigot at the top: if the barrel gets full then the excess water flows directly into my pond.

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Re: Rain barrel?
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2020, 01:53:23 PM »
you can always put fish in the barrel to eat mosquito larvae. guppies if it's warm, goldfish or white cloud mountain minnow if it's temperate.

BTW, that is one extremely impressive barrel.
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Re: Rain barrel?
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2020, 02:20:21 PM »
barrels are for beer! 
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Re: Rain barrel?
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2020, 03:19:13 PM »
Had a barrel for the last year or so. Wasn't worth it to me any more, replaced it with extra downspout to get water straight to the flower garden. 45 gal barrel being fed from 200 sq ft of patio awning would fill and overflow excessively with each spring rain. We ended up just opening the spigot and letting water flow through. YMMV of course, but whn we needed it, the water was filthy (even with cover and debris mesh), when we didn't, there was way too much of it to hold. Ended up being more of a pain than it was worth.
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Online Vulcanbill

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Re: Rain barrel?
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2020, 04:32:54 PM »
My theory is that some of the plants don't appreciate the Arctic water coming out of the well. Purpose is to have less freezing and potentially warm water available for some of the more temp sensitive sissies like peppers. Any soundness to this logic?
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Online chornbe

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Re: Rain barrel?
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2020, 05:06:11 PM »
I have about 20 plastic barrels that form the primary collection tanks in WV. They’re fed from gutters on the roof of the garage and covered patio area. Joined together in parallel. Filtered on the way in and out.
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Online squeezer

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Re: Rain barrel?
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2020, 05:46:10 PM »
I have about 20 plastic barrels that form the primary collection tanks in WV. They’re fed from gutters on the roof of the garage and covered patio area. Joined together in parallel. Filtered on the way in and out.

How are you filtering? As easy as mesh screens?

All the big box hardware stores out here had purpose built ones during the depths of the CA drought. Most install to a gutter or downspout like the pic above. Probably worth an online search just because they came in a lot of different designs, from standard barrel to terra cotta planter. Might find something that fits your spot. As I remember, they were mostly pretty inexpensive, especially since all the plumbing bits come with it.

I've got one I need to reinstall. I put a small shed where it was...
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Online sodapop6620

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Re: Rain barrel?
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2020, 07:21:35 PM »
Check with your town. They may have barrels at a discounted price.

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Re: Rain barrel?
« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2020, 05:39:34 AM »

Online chornbe

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Re: Rain barrel?
« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2020, 10:12:35 AM »
I have about 20 plastic barrels that form the primary collection tanks in WV. They’re fed from gutters on the roof of the garage and covered patio area. Joined together in parallel. Filtered on the way in and out.

How are you filtering? As easy as mesh screens?


There's what amounts to a tube-sock style over-pipe straining filter on the downspout that gets replaced every week or two. That keeps the bigger stuff from getting into the barrels. The spout->fill setup is just a loss-on-full thing where the barrels just overflow out the filler when they're full and it's still raining. Nothing at all sophisticated.

The barrels are pumped through a (25? micron, 2 in parallel) filter into the main holding tank using an as-needed transfer pump, and from there the water is pumped through another filter (2 in parallel) into the living quarters via a pressure-switched pump to feed the sinks, toilets, shower, etc. The barrels get dosed with a little chlorine now and then to help stabilize the water, and the barrels and main holding tank are opaque so there's no algae growth to worry about.

You can drink the water a couple weeks after chlorination, but usually there's plenty of bottled water for drinking. Brita also works wonders on the water for making coffee and such.

This summer, I'm tearing it all down, giving the barrels a good cleaning, and changing their location and layout a little bit, and moving them from cinder blocks on dirt to a more suitable footing for that much weight. There has been a little shifting since the first pics were snapped, and things aren't quite as perfectly level and straight any more.

But as proof-of-concept, it's a great layout. The barrels are salad dressing, one-use barrels from a distributor. I want to say they were like $20 each, and really only need a good hosing out.

Some of the barrels in use. These are spare holding tanks.
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« Last Edit: March 25, 2020, 12:56:54 PM by chornbe »
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Re: Rain barrel?
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2020, 10:13:45 AM »
Check with your town. They may have barrels at a discounted price.

Good point. Also, some municipalities disallow private water collection. Not the case in WV, so Bill, you're fine, but others - def do check with local regs.
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Online 1KPerDay

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Re: Rain barrel?
« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2020, 12:36:18 PM »
Yep, it's illegal lots of places around here. yes it's on your property, yes it's rainwater or snow... doesn't matter. Doesn't belong to you and it's illegal to cistern/barrel/collect/save it.
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Re: Rain barrel?
« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2020, 12:43:29 PM »
All the more reason to own enough property so nobody knows what you're up to.

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Re: Rain barrel?
« Reply #15 on: March 25, 2020, 12:53:59 PM »
I have several, got the barrels from a car wash (free to take plastic) rinsed and was good to go. I have my downspout coming to the top of the barrel which sits on cinder block for height.The opening there is a circle cut out with a screened flower pot to catch debris and keep the skeeters out , at the bottom I installed a ( all pvc) 1/4 turn valve self treading pc of pipe1/2 inch with a threaded end in case i want to use a soaker hose.On one set up I have two barrels connected to catch the water, with a pc of hose on pvc ends at the top for cross over flow to fill both from one downspout.I have a small overflow at the very top on all of them, and keep the cap s tight. 3/8 pvc with a screened end to keep skeeters out.
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Re: Rain barrel?
« Reply #16 on: March 25, 2020, 01:19:48 PM »
I picked up a air of totes (275 gal) off craiglist a few years back. Guy who had them bought the totes for rainwater collection (once held fructose) but never set them up. Wife told him to make it happen or sell them. I got them dirt cheep as she had had enough.
 
  I pulled the tanks out of the cage and painted them black so no sunlight to feed the growth of plant material. Then put them back in the cages and moved them into place. One is under the stairs on the deck (can't see it unless you get real close). Second is under the rear deck,  and in the backyard above the garden level. Both on steady footing, quite heavy when full (close to 2k lbs).

 Picked up two 110v pumps when Orchard Supply was going out of business and a bit of piping and check valves. With a flip of a switch I have water under pressure, goof volume as well.

  Filling the totes is done with a drain spout diverter (https://www.amazon.com/Fiskars-Rain-Barrel-DiverterPro-Kit/dp/B00387FP5M) the work quite well. Filter out large bits and the flow stops when the tanks reach the desired level. I clean the screen out before the rain storms come and keep an eye on them once a month. The water is not meant to be portable just for the garden, so no need to be super clean.
 
  The tanks are sealed to keep the mosquitos out. I do drop a bit of chlorine in if the water gets to have a tainted smell and don't water the plants for a few days after.

  Something I did not expect as useful when I was putting the tanks in, the water is a great source to cool down the still when making whiskey. Small fountain pump and some tubing keeps the condenser nice and cool.   
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Re: Rain barrel?
« Reply #17 on: March 25, 2020, 01:43:35 PM »
I picked up a air of totes (275 gal) off craiglist a few years back. Guy who had them bought the totes for rainwater collection (once held fructose) but never set them up. Wife told him to make it happen or sell them. I got them dirt cheep as she had had enough.
 
  I pulled the tanks out of the cage and painted them black so no sunlight to feed the growth of plant material. Then put them back in the cages and moved them into place. One is under the stairs on the deck (can't see it unless you get real close). Second is under the rear deck,  and in the backyard above the garden level. Both on steady footing, quite heavy when full (close to 2k lbs).

 Picked up two 110v pumps when Orchard Supply was going out of business and a bit of piping and check valves. With a flip of a switch I have water under pressure, goof volume as well.

  Filling the totes is done with a drain spout diverter (https://www.amazon.com/Fiskars-Rain-Barrel-DiverterPro-Kit/dp/B00387FP5M) the work quite well. Filter out large bits and the flow stops when the tanks reach the desired level. I clean the screen out before the rain storms come and keep an eye on them once a month. The water is not meant to be portable just for the garden, so no need to be super clean.
 
  The tanks are sealed to keep the mosquitos out. I do drop a bit of chlorine in if the water gets to have a tainted smell and don't water the plants for a few days after.

  Something I did not expect as useful when I was putting the tanks in, the water is a great source to cool down the still when making whiskey. Small fountain pump and some tubing keeps the condenser nice and cool.   

Pretty much the exact setup I had for a few years, but with one tote.  After I put in the pool I ran a sprinkler zone to the garden to the drip irrigation there (we have a well) I eventually sold the setup.  I just wasn't using it.

Totes are cheap and much larger than barrels- I'd grab one of those for plants/garden for sure.  For potable water it'd be tough to clean and you'd want to know what was in it before you started using it.
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Re: Rain barrel?
« Reply #18 on: March 25, 2020, 02:34:08 PM »
We have 4 barrels around the house. The two that are by the garage are primarily used to water the garden. The on the northwest side of the house is used to water the front landscaping. The one on the north side of the house is for water management there. We’ve had a couple of incidents in the past where water from that downspout pooled and spilled over into the window wells.

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