Build Your Own Rain Barrel

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Considering the heavy amounts of rain we have been getting in Florida recently, it is the perfect time to install a functioning rain barrel outside. Not only is this an environmentally friendly addition to your home, but it is also a source of free water. The building process is easier than you may think and it won’t break the bank.

What You’ll Need:

  • A large plastic trashcan
  • Some kind of watertight sealant
  • Rubber and metal washers (2 of each)
  • A spigot
  • A hose clamp
  • Fabric used for landscaping purposes
  • A drill

Barrel-Building Steps:

  1. Drill a hole near the bottom of the garbage can for the spigot placement. Make sure the hole drilled out is slightly smaller than the spigot to allow for a tight and secure fit. If you plan on filling buckets (for car washing) or watering cans from your rain barrel, make sure the spigot is placed high enough to fit those items underneath.
  2. Before you can push the spigot into the designated hole, there a couple of things you need to do first. Slide a metal washer and then a rubber washer onto the end that will be inserted into the barrel, apply a thin layer of waterproof sealant onto the rubber washer, and then insert the spigot in to place. The remaining washers should be attached from the inside of the trashcan – rubber first, followed by metal.
  3. Use the hose clamp to secure the spigot and prevent unwanted leaks.
  4. Cut a hole in the lid of the garbage can. This is how the rain water will enter the barrel, so the size and location of this hole depends on your home’s downspout or gutter runoff.
  5. In order to keep your water barrel free of animals and insects, cut a piece of landscaping fabric large enough to completely cover the circumference of the top of the trashcan, and then place the lid on top.
  6. The last thing you need to do is place your rain barrel in its desired location and wait for it to rain.