How should I set up my rain barrel?

The two most important considerations in setting up your rain barrel are a stable base and proper overflow control. Water is very heavy, over 8 pounds per gallon. A full 55-gallon barrel can weigh over 450 pounds! It’s important that you level the ground under your barrel and create a secure base using a material such as concrete blocks.

Your barrel should come with an overflow outlet installed near the top. This is where excess water will escape should your barrel start to overflow. The simplest method to deal with overflow is to attach a long hose or tubing to the overflow outlet and direct it well away from the foundation of your home. Another option is to use a short piece of tube and connect multiple barrels together. This is called "chaining" and increases the amount of your rainwater storage while decreasing the chance of overflows.

Once you have a secure base, determine how high up you will need to cut the downspout (most downspouts can easily be cut with a hacksaw). Once cut, you can leave as is, or add a flexible gutter piece to direct flow to the barrel opening.

Show All Answers

1. What is a Rain Barrel?
2. What are the benefits of using a Rain Barrel?
3. How should I set up my rain barrel?
4. Do I have to buy my rain barrel from a certain vendor?
5. How many times can I apply for the rebate?
6. What if my barrel costs less than $30?
7. Can I get the rebate if I build my own barrel?
8. How do I get help installing my rain barrel?
9. What is non-potable water?
10. Where should I send my rebate form?