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Rain Barrels

PostPosted: Apr 23, 2007 10:05 pm
by kHT
This was the Honey Do Project for this afternoon!! This is just one of the 4 down spouts, we will be doing one more.

PostPosted: Apr 26, 2007 5:05 am
by newtohosta-no more
Great, Karma! That is one project on my wish list for this year. DH and I just saw a segment of Ask This Old House and they showed how easy it is to install a rain barrel. They showed a nice attachment to the downspout that will allow the overflow to go back into the downspout if the barrel gets full. I can see that won't be a problem for you since it looks like you have several barrels hooked together. Of course, I think you get waaaaay more rain than we do also. Anyway...the spigot on the bottom of their rain barrel was hooked to a soaker hose. I told DH I'd like two or three of those to help water my plants. I don't need one on one corner of the least not yet. :wink:

PostPosted: Apr 26, 2007 5:39 am
by Buckeye
I like your setup. What kind of fittings did you use for the spigots and the connectors between barrels...and where did you get them?

PostPosted: Apr 26, 2007 10:56 am
by kHT
Joan, with these to close to the house when we just had one for the first 6 months we had an over flow hose that directed it back into the downspout's dry well. DH doesn't think we will need this now with all the watering I do. We has a little rainfall and it filled one barrel, the blue one and just 3 inches of the first white barrel. So we know it will take a lot to fill all 4. Hostas need watering so I don't feel this will keep them all filled, one barrel is hooked to the soaker hoses for them. I will be trying to get a few more for other areas.
Buckeye, here are a couple more photos on the fittings, which DH found at a local plumbing supply place that helped him. There is just a small PVC pipe in between the screw on fittings. They recommended the bigger fittings for better water flow. The spigot is a regular outside one not a heavy duty one that threads onto the hoses. They also recommended doing each barrel that way you can use them all. We found a guy that got these from a food source, the white ones used to have mineral oil in them. The blue one was a pure water one that a friend's mother had due to the Y2K scare. I like the white ones due to you can see the water level. Any how back to this guy who had them, his setup was to die for as he just had the fitting at the bottom and the tops were cut completely open. He put in those donuts so the insects won't lay eggs and had all his drains running into barrels. The whole gardens were watered off his many barrels with soaker hoses and he even used them for larger planters. It was a real learning experience to visit with him!! I have one of these cut at the top and used it to over winter one of my palms that is planted in the ground!! Check food warehouses that use these in your local areas, we also check Craigslist and other recycle sites.

PostPosted: Apr 26, 2007 1:16 pm
by Mary Ann
I have a hard time keeping roofing pebbles and tree needles from clogging the outlets. A nylon stocking fitted over the downspout to strain the run-off helped a little but the top is still open to falling debris. I also use mosquito dunkers.

PostPosted: Apr 27, 2007 10:28 am
by kHT
Mary Ann, DH used the screen off the old patio door that we replaced for a screen to keep that stuff out of the barrels.

I had to laugh as I went out to get water yesterday and someone forgot to turn off the tap that feed the hosta bed so we are completely empty now!!

PostPosted: May 18, 2007 6:38 pm
by thy
Great to see :D

if you can get them for free.. hurry up.. they were free here 15 years ago , now they are 60$ each :roll:

PostPosted: Sep 20, 2007 3:00 pm
by Pieter
Doing some going back through old postings and ran across this one. We too added a couple of rainbarrels this year, after all, we might as well take advantage of the 'Wet Coast' moniker and we ended up using a locally manufactured diverter in conjunction with 2 barrels. We were fortunate in that the city actually offers the needed bits and pieces at a subsidized price. You can see the handywork towards the bottom of the linked page to get a better idea of how it works.

Since that picture was taken I have done some slight re-arranging of the kit-n-kaboodle. It turned out that with the staggered barrels I had an issue with overrun. The higher barrel would always want to drain into the lowest point (duh) and of course that was a bit of an issue. What is supposed to happen is that once the barrel reaches a certain level the water would remain standing in the diverter tube and the water would run back into the downspout again. That never happened, so periodically I would have to put a plug into the diverter because I would have 2 full barrels already. Now the 2 barrels are at the same level, it's been raining of and on over the past week and I have not seen any overrun as yet, but then again, I haven't looked very closely either.

It is amazing by the way how quickly these barrels fill up and how quickly you can go through 100 gallons of water even when you handwater only the pots and baskets. There were many days over the hotter parts of the summer where we ended up having to resort to city water again because both barrels were empty. I think we'll find a way to add at least another 2 for next year, the water will not go to waste.

Re: Rain Barrels - Hey, kHT

PostPosted: Jul 29, 2010 11:20 pm
by JaneG
Hey Karma!! I thought of this old post when I read a news article today . . .

I'm not sure exactly where in the PNW you live . . . but did you know that in Washington State (as well as Utah and Colorado), it's illegal to collect the rainwater from your roof?? Apparently it's an old law about diverting water from 'downstream'.

I'm sure environmentally we are better off collecting and using the rain water, I don't think any of our residential roofs are going to greatly impact the amount of rain our neighbor gets!

Anyway, I owe you a thanks . . . after showing DH the pictures of your rain barrels he got a little more enthusiastic about the idea and now we have rain barrels collecting all the water from his shop roof and about a third of the water from the house. I love them for watering plants!

Re: Rain Barrels

PostPosted: Jul 30, 2010 11:27 am
by kHT
Hey JaneG, don't laugh but it was the highlight of the Commissioner visit to see ours in use. I know of the law but with the equally use of density all over this place and the smaller lots there is plenty of rainwater to go around. I'm in hopes of this year getting the ones on the south side of the house in after I pay for new glasses so I can see! :lol:

Re: Rain Barrels

PostPosted: Feb 17, 2012 9:10 pm
by thy
An old but still useful topic.

I can only shake my head. Here we are told to collect rainwater, not because off lack off water, but due to the new sort of heavy rains we have got. The cloack system here can not handle all the water coming soo fast in a short time.
So, rainbarrels is a good thing, but more significant is, in some areas it is illegal to pave all of the driveway, there have to be an area for the water to soak to the ground before it meet the cloack system. Lot of sense in my mind, just sad it is not illegal in all comunities- yet

Re: Rain Barrels

PostPosted: Feb 18, 2012 10:25 am
by kHT
thy, starting this month the local water company has started a tier ranking in billing for water here. There are three tiers, the more you use the more the water costs. So the rain barrels will come in handy!! DH thinks it might be wise to add more at this point. It maybe illegal here but they are sure pushing for us to use them and when I had a Commissioner come for coffee, he went nuts when he saw what we do here.