Put your gutters to work!

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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?

Amanda Hearn
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16 Comments

  • When we move this is top on my list of must buys! And I really love the one that you got!

  • We just got a couple of rain barrels, so perfect timing with this post. Hopefully we'll be able to find those Flex-a-spouts at our local Home Depot! πŸ™‚

  • Getting a rain barrel is on our list of projects…but this post makes me want to do it right now.

    I suggest impatients for the top…they are such happy flowers πŸ™‚

  • I'm so glad they had your rain barrel on sale!! We're loving our Soilsaver as well. I love your barrel, and it's definitely on my list!

  • I've thought about these but have a concern. i haven't had a chance to research yet. How dp you keep bugs like mosquitoes from laying eggs in them? We have tons of bugs here!

  • I've thought about these but have a concern. i haven't had a chance to research yet. How dp you keep bugs like mosquitoes from laying eggs in them? We have tons of bugs here!

  • Oh my gosh, I absolutely want to get one!! My biggest issue is we live in Northern California and we (fortunately?) don't get a lot of rain throughout the summer months – and we tend to get plenty of rain the rest of the year…so I'm not sure if getting one would help us much…any thoughts. I love your blog!!! I found you through a link on the Eco-Friendly and Frugal site. If you get a chance check out my blog http://litasworld.com I'd love your thoughts. And I'd love to link to you….jen

  • Oh my gosh, I absolutely want to get one!! My biggest issue is we live in Northern California and we (fortunately?) don't get a lot of rain throughout the summer months – and we tend to get plenty of rain the rest of the year…so I'm not sure if getting one would help us much…any thoughts. I love your blog!!! I found you through a link on the Eco-Friendly and Frugal site. If you get a chance check out my blog http://litasworld.com I'd love your thoughts. And I'd love to link to you….jen

  • The Wife – It's got a great screen on top to prevent bugs/debris from getting into the water. I haven't notice anything trying to hang around it so far.

    Lita – I'm going to check your blog out right after this πŸ™‚ Thanks.

    Something else to consider in especially dry areas is a grey water system to salvage water from your laundry, sinks, showers. You could even keep a barrel and transfer water yourself if a system is too spendy. I haven't looked into that just yet, so I'm not sure what they run.

  • The Wife – It's got a great screen on top to prevent bugs/debris from getting into the water. I haven't notice anything trying to hang around it so far.

    Lita – I'm going to check your blog out right after this πŸ™‚ Thanks.

    Something else to consider in especially dry areas is a grey water system to salvage water from your laundry, sinks, showers. You could even keep a barrel and transfer water yourself if a system is too spendy. I haven't looked into that just yet, so I'm not sure what they run.

  • What you did to your gutter is absolutely unique and very eco-friendly. Water stored on your barrel will give good minerals to your plants.

    Quality gutters (Boston) are very helpful in filtering the debris, collecting and diverting rainwater that's shed from the roof.

  • What you did to your gutter is absolutely unique and very eco-friendly. Water stored on your barrel will give good minerals to your plants.

    Quality gutters (Boston) are very helpful in filtering the debris, collecting and diverting rainwater that's shed from the roof.

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