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homemade rain barrel

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Published on May 11, 2009

My husband and I made a rain barrel out of a 44 gal. trash bin and some other parts from Home Depot. This is the first time it rained since we made it. Looks like it works!

It's virtually mosquito proof because I used wire mesh from a broken window screen on the water entrance and I sealed all the pieces to the barrel with caulk. This also makes it watertight.

The water entrance is made of a large PVC reducing coupling with wire mesh secured with a hose clamp to keep out bugs and debris.

The overflow valve at the top directs excess water away from our foundation, toward a bush. For our overflow hose we used a 6' long pool hose and connected it to the barrel with a 2-1/2" plastic barbed male fitting. However, we couldn't find a locknut big enough for the fitting, so we used an adjustable rubber coupling to secure the fitting on the inside of the barrel. This works great. I felt it was important to have a wide hose for heavy downpours during which the water level would rise rapidly.

At the bottom of the barrel, we secured a 1/2" plastic hose bib with plumber's tape, a washer (the only washer we could find that was big enough was from the electrical department), and on the inside, a #14 rubber O ring, and a nut (also from the electrical department).

I stacked 6 cinder blocks to put the barrel on so that we would have room to put a watering can or bucket underneath.

And we replaced part of the drainpipe with a flexible drainpipe.

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