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Sustainable Alternatives: joining rain barrels

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bezziec

bezziec
Beverly Pflugerville, TX
(Zone 8b)

September 22, 2012
11:28 AM

Post #9283141

We have a 55 gallon rain barrel. Want to connect a couple more. Does anyone know of a plumbing part that would snug up to both sides of the round barrel so that it has a good chance of not leaking? . I have a hose bib on the first barrel, so just need something to join the others. Thanks.
yardener
Greenfield, OH
(Zone 6a)

October 1, 2012
5:06 AM

Post #9291787

This is what I did and it may seem strange but it works. (wish I had pictures for you).
I went to Lowe's and purchased PVC shower drains that would tighten completely to the flange. The drains have to be the type that are solvent welded (glued) and NOT the type that uses a rubber insert and is pressed onto pipe.

http://www.lowes.com/ProductDisplay?partNumber=253149-138-420453&langId=-1&storeId=10151&productId=3133415&catalogId=10051&cmRelshp=req&rel=nofollow&cId=PDIO1

Drilled holes in the bottom of my barrels that fit the shower drains. Installed drains using clear silicone caulk or sealant to seal the flange to the barrel. You'll need a hand holding the drain while you tighten the nut. Don't use a latex caulk.(for typical shower installations, most use plumbers putty but I found the caulk to hold better)
Using PVC reducers, I reduced the 2" shower drain down to my hose bib size which was 3/4".
I dropped down out of the drain with PCV pipe and glued on a PVC tee and connected the barrels together with PVC pipe.
The end where I wanted to draw off water I installed a PVC male adapter and screwed on a hose bib, fasteneing it to the stand I built.
The last barrel on the opposite end of the hose bib had an elbow and not a tee that it dropped down into.
I've successfully done this with 2 barrels. This winter, I plan on installing a 5 barrel system on the back of my barn.
Let me know if you have questions since I'm sure this wasn't clear.

bezziec

bezziec
Beverly Pflugerville, TX
(Zone 8b)

October 1, 2012
8:35 AM

Post #9292071

Yardener, thank you for the information. I showed this to my husband (our resident plumber) and it made total sense to him. He thinks that while a little more expensive, your plan is much better than one that he was trying to come up with. Thanks again and happy rain gathering!!
yardener
Greenfield, OH
(Zone 6a)

October 1, 2012
9:58 AM

Post #9292208

I'm glad I could help and I hope it works out for you. You'll benefit more in your zone since I have to drain my rainbarrels 5 months out of the year.

bezziec

bezziec
Beverly Pflugerville, TX
(Zone 8b)

October 24, 2012
6:30 PM

Post #9314515

Yardener, Don't know if you have done your fall project of rainbarrels on the barn, but if not you might or might not find this helpful. My husband went to the home center and bought all the plumbing parts for joining rain barrels as you posted earlier. We decided to put 4 together rather than adding them to the one we already had. (Found a larger area of roof to drain into the 4). When he turned the barrel over to cut the top out so that I could hold one side of the drain while he screwed the other side, he had a "lightbulb" moment. One of the bunge holes was sealed and the other had threads that would fit a 2" male pvc adapter. From there he plumbed it with 2" pvc and reduced it to 1/2" pvc pipe so that we could have a faucet coming through the fence near the flower bed. The cost of the 2" adapters was $1.19 each vs. 9.00 for the shower drains. He drilled a small hole in the bottom of each barrel (which of course is now the top) so that air can go in an water can come out. There is no need for screening with this method. He also put a 4' dip stick in one of them so that I can tell how much water I have. I am sending two pictures that sort of shows the setup. The barrels are between the shed and the fence, so a good picture was kind of hard to get. Also, due to the configuration of our setup, the downspout in picture two comes down to the ground, a 3" pipe is buried underground along the fence and then a 2" pipe goes up into each barrel. If you have any interest in a better explanation of this, my husband will be glad to explain it in language that a plumber could understand. Happy rain gathering!! Picture 2 is coming in a second post. I failed to get it attached.

Thumbnail by bezziec
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bezziec

bezziec
Beverly Pflugerville, TX
(Zone 8b)

October 24, 2012
6:35 PM

Post #9314524

Picture #2 for above post.

Thumbnail by bezziec
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yardener
Greenfield, OH
(Zone 6a)

October 26, 2012
11:31 AM

Post #9316135

That looks sweet. I should have mentioned about your idea but my barrels already had the tops cut off so I had to make a way to adapt through the bottom. Did you have to drill a hole on top of the barrels to let the air out so the water can fill it? How big of a hole?
My new barrels have their tops and I may just try your way. How has it been working?

bezziec

bezziec
Beverly Pflugerville, TX
(Zone 8b)

October 26, 2012
12:46 PM

Post #9316174

This is working great. Yes, we drilled a 1/4" air hole in 3 barrels and a 1/2" hole for the dipstick. This negates the need for any screening. The dipstick is a vinyl plant support that I bought at Home Depot. Dipstick is shown in picture #2. I just pull it out and see how deep it is wet and know that each barrel has that much water. Now all we need is more rain, more often.

Thumbnail by bezziec   Thumbnail by bezziec         
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yardener
Greenfield, OH
(Zone 6a)

October 29, 2012
4:28 AM

Post #9318687

We're finally getting rain but its to late. I've got my barrels winterized. Now I have 5 months of down time to get the stand built for my 5 barrels. I think I'll do it your way since it does seem easier! Thanks for sharing that with me.

bezziec

bezziec
Beverly Pflugerville, TX
(Zone 8b)

October 29, 2012
9:47 AM

Post #9319021

You're welcome. We don't usually have to winterize here, but have a plug at the end of the 3" pipe if it becomes necessary.

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