Something we’ve been interested in for a while is a rain barrel. We put of getting one because they can be a little pricey, but recently Sam’s Club had the one we’ve been eying on sale for around $60. We took that chance to grab one. If you recall, we also purchased our composters there for a great price. I highly recommend checking clubs stores for these types of items!
So back to the rain barrel. We fell in love with this Algreen Rain Barrel. It’s a nice simple design that blends in with our home (they come in other colors too I believe). It also has a fun planter in the top to further help integrate it to your outdoor decor.
When we started thinking about using a rain barrel the main questions of what is it, how does it work are somewhat straight forward. It collects water from your gutters and you can use that for watering, etc. Most have a spigot at the bottom from which to collect water. Some have a hose attached to make it a bit easier to get to, but it’s the same concept.
The more complicated question we asked ourselves was how best to hook it up. I would like to share with you what we decided to go with.
Flex-A-Spout! This stuff is easy to use and very forgiving. It also comes in several colors to match your downspout. The first thing we did was set our barrel up where we intended to use it. We set then bent the Flex-A-Spout into a shape that would work for attaching the downspout to the barrel. Flex-A-Spout is much like a bendy straw. It’s very simple to use. We had our helpers there so that we could easily see and mark where we would need to cut the downspout.
Once we knew where to cut (and because of the Flex-A-Spout, even this part is forgiving), my husband took to it! He cut the top first and then his second cut was made below the level of the barrel’s overflow spout (which is near the top of the barrel). You just want it below it for gravity to be able to do it’s job.
Once cut you can simply slip the end of the Flex-A-Spout that fits your downspout to over the upper cut end (we added a couple of screws for security – but that is not a must) and simply set the other end on the top/screen of your rain barrel.
Here you can see how we attached the overflow. We would have used a hose of some sort, but the store didn’t have one at the store that would fit over the overflow spout (it’s the same size as the orange piece you see sticking out there). My husband picked up a couple pieces of hard pipe and ran it right into the existing piece of pipe that we left – voila, done! Also notice that he used silicone to cover the hard/sharp edges of the cut downspout. We have 3 small children and wanted to be sure no one got hurt.
I also want to mention that we left the piece of downspout at the bottom intentionally. We wanted to be able to reattach the downspout in the winter (freezing) months when we will empty the barrel and store it.
That’s it! All installed. That very night we had a huge downpour and our 50 gallon barrel was full. Now I just need to put something in the planter. Any ideas?