Perhaps the single biggest regular expense that a person can face when gardening or landscaping is the water bill. One of the best ways to that you can limit the cost of this bill is with the help of a rain barrel. Making a rain barrel is pretty simple to do, and can have a huge impact on your water bill. For example one of the benefits that a rain barrel can have is by allowing you to save up to 1000 gallons of water a year that you can use for our gardening or landscaping.
- 1 large barrel or plastic garbage can (the material is optional)
- 1 roll of Teflon plumbing tape
- 1 tube of Silicone water sealant
- 2 rubber washers
- 2 metal washers
- 1 hose clamp
- 1 spigot
- Landscaping fabric
- Waterproofing material or sealant (if you choose a barrel other than plastic or metal)
- Cut and drill your holes. Once you have gathered together your materials, it is time to begin making your rain barrel. Start off by drilling a hole near the bottom of the barrel. Use a drill bit that is slightly smaller than your spigot to make this hole, and be sure that you leave enough space underneath so that you can later on either fill a watering can or attach a hose. On the average, about six inches of space will be a good distance. After you have drilled that hole, you will also need to cut an entrance hole in the lid (if you have one) for the water to enter. This hole should be a little bigger than the end of your rain gutter. Across from this entrance hole be sure that you also cut or drill another hole for overflow.
- Seal the barrel. Begin sealing your rain barrel by first inserting the spigot into the lower drainage hole. Before inserting the spigot though, make sure that you have first placed a metal washer, and then a rubber washer onto the threaded end. After having inserted the spigot into the drilled hole place your other rubber and metal washers onto the spigot. Next, apply a little bit of the plumbing tape to the threads of your spigot, and then attach the hose clamp to keep the spigot from coming loose. Apply a little silicone sealant around the rubber washers to help protect against any leaks.
- Protect the barrel. Around the top of the barrel, apply a little bit if your sealant, and then place some landscaping fabric across the top. Place the lid of the barrel onto the top of this landscaping material to help hold everything in place. This landscaping material will allow the water to get into the barrel, but will not allow anything else (such as dirt and debris or mosquitoes) to get in.
- Properly place the barrel. All that you have left to do now is place your new rain barrel. Place it right underneath your downspout. If at all possible, raise it from the ground just a little bit (about 1 to 2 feet) in order allow a little more pressure to build up when you attach a hose.