Anyone made their own Rain Barrel?

Raleigh, NC

Getting ready to install gutters and thinking ahead to needing a rain barrel where they come off the roof. The commercial ones are soooo expensive, and I know I could improvise with any old container, but I would like one with a spigot to attach a hose. Has anyone out there made one for themselves? Give me some ideas...please...

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

You can buy spigot kits so that you can make your own--I can't remember off the top of my head where I've seen them, but if you try googling rain barrel kits or something along those lines I'm sure you'll find them.

Raleigh, NC

Thanks for always helping me out, Ecrane! I'll look--I know you can just buy the individual pieces to install a spigot, but had a feeling that this would leak, especially if trying to install a heavy spigot into a lighter weight container (I was hoping to use a large plastic trash can or similar).

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

I guess I'm not really clear on what you're trying to do then--how would you make your own rain barrel without buying the individual pieces for a spigot? Not all spigots are big heavy things, the one I bought a couple years ago was a lightweight plastic one (I was making a big tub to brew compost tea in and I wanted to be able to pour the liquid out from the bottom). Mine didn't have a hose connection because that's not what I wanted, but I'm sure there are lighter weight ones that do have the hose connection.

Raleigh, NC

Yes, there are, I only meant that if the plastic of the container wasn't thick/strong enough, it was doubtful that a spigot with hose attachment would stay put and not leak. I did find some instructions at this link, if anyone else is interested. I'm still pondering my design....!

This message was edited Feb 17, 2007 5:32 PM

Burkesville, KY

We have rain barrels made from old 55 gal plastic pickle barrels and bought barrel spigots from the local hardware for $8.00 ea. They work on metal or plastic barrels of almost any thickness. A lot of plumbing and farm supply (Tractor Supply) also stock the same spigot for farm water troughs.

Peoria, IL

I made my rain barrel out of an old wooden whiskey barrel.

Have you looked at a local recycling facility? One of our recycling centers sell plastic rainbarrels for around $60, which I thought was reasonable. The plastic ones will last a lot longer than the wooden ones, that I have found I need to replace about every 4 years. But I prefer the look of the wooden barrel.

Raleigh, NC

I'm still trying to figure out how to wrangle a free barrel out of some bottling facility or food plant! Not sure I'll be successful as most of them get re-used, which is a good thing. Thanks for the advice!

San Francisco Bay Ar, CA(Zone 9b)

Check with local salvage operations. The large olive barrels from the food industry are great as rain barrels if you can find one. We're competing with the canoe enthusiasts for barrels. Apparently the screw top on the olive barrel makes a perfect container to keep gear and supplies dry when the canoe tips over.

Raleigh, NC

Yippee! I found some for almost nothing--they held biodegradable soap, so I think they will be fine after a thorough scrubbing. I'll post some pics after I "transform" them. More where they came from, so if I screw it up, oh well....

Lumberton, TX(Zone 8b)

I made mine out of an old olive barrel which was under $50. I don't have a spigot but drilled a hole toward the top that I just stuck a hose in so it will drain into the yard rather than splash out the top into the rose garden (I'm still working on getting that to work, by the way...) I think this is the right picture.

Thumbnail by brigidlily
Lumberton, TX(Zone 8b)

No, wrong picture. Try this one.

Thumbnail by brigidlily
Raleigh, NC

Very nice--I think your olive barrel looks much classier than my barrel will look (I predict..). I haven't picked it up yet, but I suspect it looks more industrial! Has to go in the back, not the front, though, so I think it will be fine. Yours looks great, and its the perfect location with the roses right there...

Mannford, OK

brigidlily, wherer did you get the olive barrell?

Raleigh, NC

I don't know where she got her's (or is it he got his??? I'm making an assumption here....), but I have seen them on Ebay, FYI. I bet you could also find them at anyplace that sells bulk olives or food items (for example, our Whole Foods store has an olive bar where you purchase olives bulk). Not sure. I found my barrels on CraigsList, but the olive barrel looks much better, plus you know its safe since it contained a food item.

NW Qtr, AR(Zone 6a)

One can also check with any butcher/meat market/processing plants.

The casings for sausage (among other items) .. are bulk packaged in those types of barrels .. with the screw on lids, to boot!

- Magpye

Lumberton, TX(Zone 8b)

I'm SO sorry -- I lost track of this thread. I've looked to see for sure where I got the barrels (I have 2 out back as well) and I can't find it. You might try -- it might be the one. Or google "olive barrel" or "rain barrel" -- these will NOT be on the first page! I love mine. I think I will add a bottom spigot -- it gets tiresome hauling it around by the bucket. Also, that way I could put screen at the top and keep out the lizards (which I rescue) and the beetles (which I don't).

Edited to say she's a she. :)

This message was edited Apr 4, 2007 12:23 PM

Raleigh, NC

Here's a pic of the finished product, finally. The barrels came from a carwash. They held biodegradable soap (make sure you get the soap ones only--not other cleaners, waxes etc which are not biodegradable). I let them sit in the sun to warm and liquify any residue and cleaned them out. After we made them and they filled, I also drained them to ensure they were completely clean. Final cost about $25 per barrel, at the most (this included the $10 I paid for each barrel--maybe you can get yours for free.....). They aren't too attractive, but mine are mostly out of sight and I'm too lazy to paint them, but you could, of course.

Thumbnail by yotedog
So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

There are several threads on the new Sustainability Forum that discuss rain barrels, solar pumps for them to pump uphill or through seeper hoses, and many other ideas for rainwater cachement.

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