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Correct Rain Barrel Installation . . HELP!

Huntersville, NC

not sure if this is the right place for this question but I finally bought a rain barrel - 40 gallons I think.

I wanted to place it under the drain sprout at the back of our home. We'd have to cut the existing pipe, attach a curve or 'S' shape for all to drain into barrel.

Hon says, "No". Hon wants to keep the drain as it is now (at ground level) but add a piece to angle upwards.
So the water goes down to the usual ground level but then goes up then down again into the barrel.

I dont think Hons idea is good. First im not sure gravity will "permit" water to just be averted upwards unless there is extreme pressure like a very heavy torrential down pour. Then I worry about debris collecting at the lower level causing clogging and backing up of water too.

need some advise about all of this
- before Hon does it their way, we get problems and the rain barrel & I get blamed! ^_^

Missouri City, TX

That like trying to push a piece of string - "T'aint gonna work".

It is possible to siphon water into the barrel, but something has to start the syphon, and falling rain won't do it.

Winter Haven, FL(Zone 9b)

As long as the top of the barrel is lower than the roof level, it will work as long as there are no leaks in the downspout (which there are usually minute holes in the pipe between joints and so forth that free falling water won't backup and cause pressure). But it will clog over time. The "S" is like the trap under your sink "made to catch things" shingle grit, leaves, anything is going to get clogged up in the "S".

Fallbrook, CA(Zone 10b)

Hate to disagree with you Dan, but there's not enough "pressure" in the gutter to push the water through. It will overflow the gutter and you'll lose more to overflow than you'll collect through the "trap". (in addition to the clogging you mentioned) Best to put a couple of "90s" in it above the barrel level and divert it directly into the top.

Winter Haven, FL(Zone 9b)

Well you should try it because Science and engineering (unless my engineering professors in college were wrong) says that per 2.3 feet you get 1 PSI of water pressure. I build water plants that are solely gravity fed. As long as every tank in the process is slightly lower geographically then the previous tank, everything works great. Now given this... as long as his down spout is water tight for say maybe 3.5 psi, it will fill the barrel even with the "S" installed. If you doubt me... try it.

Fallbrook, CA(Zone 10b)

Don't know much about the physics of it, just my own experience. I do know, however, that according to physics, bumblebees and F-4 jets can't fly.

Winter Haven, FL(Zone 9b)

Here is an easy way to test that theory... take a water hose, hold it at gutter level or clamp it... let it dangle down to the grown, then lift it up and droop it over the barrel, this would simulate the downspout with the "S" at the right heights. Now, take another hose or jug of water and start filling the hose up, i guarantee that the water will flow as it should... If it doesn't, i will make a dunce cap and take a picture of myself wearing it.

Portland, OR(Zone 8a)

Dunce hats or no dunce hats, I agree it is not a good idea because of the clogging problem. I assume that the barrel has a filter. There are a number of attachments on the market that allow the drain pipe to stay as is but has a valve to shuttle the water to the rain barrel until it gets full. By the way, good for you for getting a rain barrel.

Winter Haven, FL(Zone 9b)

Totally agree, i am not saying it is a good idea to configure it the way they are saying, but it could work if you really had to. But I do believe the rain barrel is a great idea. Believe me whatever rain water you can use the better (you would be surprised at what chemicals get put in "fresh" tap water).

Huntersville, NC

well the water question as addressed. but the leaves and other stuff clogging in the lower point of the "S" is the real issue . . .

Thanks all of you.

Me'thinks Ill just let my Hon read all of this for themselves.

Thanks again!

Winter Haven, FL(Zone 9b)

Good luck! I just started one of my own. My father works for a landscaping company and gets industrial strength weed killer called Prosecutor by the 30gal barrels. So he is giving them to me as they use them up. I just have to spend a lot of time cleaning them out. It would be ashamed to water my babies with that stuff ha ha.

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