Project Guide

DIY Rain Barrels

1
Install Drain Hole
Install Drain Hole

Drill a hole in a 55-gallon plastic barrel with screw-top lid using a 1” drill bit 5” from the base. Drill just above the curve of the barrel. Apply sealant to the threading of a boiler drain and screw it into the hole. Some force is necessary.

2
Create Overflow Hole
Create Overflow Hole

Drill an overflow hole hidden in the back of the barrel 3” from the top using a 1” drill bit. Apply sealant to the threading on the hex nipple and screw it in to the hole. Cap the overflow hole to prevent bugs or debris from entering.

3
Attach Adapters
Attach Adapters

Apply sealant to the inside threading of your boiler drain. Attach an adapter while a helper holds the boiler drain from the outside with a wrench. Repeat for the overflow hole.

4
Cover the Filter Holes
Cover the Filter Holes

Cut two screen pieces to cover the filter holes on the underside of the barrel lid. Apply a liberal amount of sealant around the underside of the lid around the holes and place the screens over the holes. Repeat this on the top side of the lid.

5
Install Rain Barrel
Install Rain Barrel

Determine which gutter the barrel will collect rain from. Level out an area underneath or near the gutter. Place the barrel atop retaining wall blocks. Attach a flex-a-spout to your rain gutter using the manufacturer’s instructions. Hover the other end of the spout over the filter holes.

TIP: Use a food-grade barrel so the water isn’t contaminated by any toxic material.