Friday, June 20, 2008

Saving Money on Water: Homemade Rain Water Barrel

I finally decided to make my own rain water barrel for the garden. The ones I priced online were almost $100.00! Our local Ace Hardware has a huge one that is ready to install but it was $118.00, so we settled on a large garbage can from Wallyworld for $7.99. It was a bit more expensive than the ones at Dollar General, but this can was light weight and easy to cut. The can is eco-friendly, made with 75% recycled materials.

We bought a flexible drain extender from Home Depot, disconnected the top gutter, and then screwed the flexible extender into place. We cut a hole in the top of the lid and fit the plastic extender right through it. The lid was thin enough that I was able to cut into it with a knife, and then heavy duty scissors.

Last night it rained for about 30 minutes, and the can overflowed. We'll be adding a hole near the top as an overflow, and probably hook it up to another can. I'm thinking this could be done with some caulk and a large funnel or PVC pipe. Speaking of caulk, here are is a free sample.
We get a lot of water coming off our roof in this particular location. If we add another extender, I could probably reach it to the kiddie pool and fill it when it rains.
It was so nice to use free water today on my garden! I just dunked the watering can in and was able to water all my new plantings, vegetables, and indoor plants. I have plenty left. This was so easy!

See more at the Make It From ScratchCarnival


Katie said...

Brilliant! :-)

My husband and I were just talking about collecting rain water!

Thanks for sharing!

Alexandra said... simple, huh?! I can't believe I had trouble thinking out of the box for this one. it's been at least two years that I have wanted a rain barrel.

Thanks for commenting, and I hope this helps. :)

Dorothy said...


We connected a small hose near the top of our rainwater barrel, draped the hose through the veg plot and put small holes in it. It sort of works.

Ours overflows a lot! Britain isn't green for no reason!

Alexandra said...

Thanks Dorothy! What a great idea. I have another gutter spout on the other side of the house next to the garden. My garden is small enough to hand water with a can, but as I get more proficient at veggie gardening, I'll need soaker hoses set up.

Lily said...

My friends over at did a post in May or June about how to construct a really awesome rain barrel with an overflow barrel, for relatively little money. They also go into the cost effectiveness of it in NJ, for watering their garden. They didn't think it paid for them, but those of us on wells would benefit from it. I love your idea of the pool house, but we live where the wind is so strong that it would blow away. That is too bad because it is a fabulous idea for keeping the pool clean. We have a screen house that would be perfect. Thanks for all your great ideas.

Crunchy Domestic Goddess said...

so cool! thanks for sharing this. rain barrels are illegal where i live, but if i decide to try and fly under the radar, i'm using your inexpensive setup. :)

Grandmother Wren said...

Very clever! I really like the second barrel for the overflow idea. And the extender for the kiddie pool.
That one alone would save a lot of water at our house. Thank you!

rain barrels said...

I have a pump in my rain barrel and can water my garden directly from a hose hooked up to my rain barrel.

Life As A Sheldon said...

Check out! You will like it!!!

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