Installing a Rain Barrel Tied to Gutter Downspout with Rain Diverter - Watering Plants with Rain Water
Plants love rain water. The chlorine in tap water is a real stress on plants. We could tell a big difference in all of our house plants when we started using only rain water. Capturing rain water is easy to do and good for the environment too. The old way of trying to position a bucket under the rain gutter downspout just wasn't cutting it anymore.
We bought a rain barrel in late summer last year but didn't get it installed. With warmer weather upon us it was time to get it done. We first had to come up with how we would elevate the barrel. We decided to build a cedar stand to place it on. The legs on the stand come up higher on all four corners so that it provides extra support in high winds. The bottom of this particular barrel gets slimmer than the top, so we wanted to give it that little bit of extra support.
We got the cedar wood to build the stand at Home Depot. They cut the 4x4 cedar posts for us out of a 10 foot long piece, so each of the legs is 2.5 feet tall. The rest of the stand came from cutting two 8 foot long cedar 2x6's into the lengths needed at home with a circular saw. There was a couple feet of the 2x6 material left over. We used 3 inch long outdoor deck screws to assemble everything.
Once the stand was done we had to connect the barrel to our rain water gutter downspout. We used a kit from Earthminded to do that. The kit came with the hole saws needed for the drill. The kit we ordered had only the parts we needed. Since our barrel already had the threaded outlet at the bottom for a nozzle we didn't need to add that. There are kits that come with everything you need to turn an ordinary 50 gallon barrel into a rain collecting storage. You have to measure your gutter downspout to ensure you get the right rain water diverter kit. The typical gutter downspouts are either 2x3 inches or 3x4 inches in diameter. They also have the kit for round gutter downspouts.
Using the larger of the included two hole saw drills there was a hole put into the rain gutter downspout. The kit has a thick rubber diverter that slides in through the hole on the downspout and is attached with two self tapping screws that come with it.
Next we used the smaller hole saw drill to make the hole in the barrel. There is a rubber grommet with the kit that goes into the hole on the barrel to create the finished hole to hold the hose.
With the gutter downspout diverter and the barrel hole in place we connected the flexible hose between the two. The ends on the hose just slide into each side, kind of like a vacuum hose. The rain water was now set to be diverted from within the rain gutter into the barrel.
We sprayed water on the roof with a water hose to confirm the water flowed into the barrel. It worked great! The thick rubber piece that goes into the rain gutter doesn't catch all of the water coming down. Some of it still comes out the downspout. When your rain barrel is full all of the water will just continue down the downspout to exit just as it had before.
Job complete! We are all set to catch a significant amount of rain water for our plants each time it rains. We might do another one on the side of our detached garage using the used 55 gallon barrel full DIY method. Just have to see how well the one can keep up after a rain or two.
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