Rain into a barrel I know I know it's series-us
September 27, 2014 12:49 PM   Subscribe

Please share with me your experiences with rain barrels linked in series.

In particular, I'm looking for answers to the following questions. How do you support them on the ground next to your house? Do yours differ in height? Why or why not? How does this affect the plumbing links between them? How does this affect the ground support?
posted by infinitewindow to Home & Garden (3 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
I have five rain barrels in a row. They are on a stand made of cinder blocks with pressure treated four by fours laid across. The are all the same level. I drilled 1 1/2 holes on the sides near the top and then used 1 1/2 PVC to connect them. There is a drain pipe from the gutters that go to each end barrel, as these fill they overflow through the PVC pipes and fill the middle barrels. We have no clever contingency for when they all fill, it just overflows. Each barrel has it's own faucet at the bottom. For me the hardest part has been keeping everything tight enough to keep Mosquitos out, everything is sealed with caulk and the entry holes are covered with metal screening.
posted by InkaLomax at 1:41 PM on September 27, 2014


I've set up rain catchment systems but don't currently have one. The thing people seem to forget, based on a lot of the photos I see, is that water weighs more than eight pounds per US gallon (or one kilo per liter if you are in the metric world), so while the barrels can stand on the ground just fine, if you need them elevated the support has to be able to take the weight, and it's easy to find examples of inadequate supports. People often need to elevate them in order to solve the "how does the water get out?" problem -- one I set up had to be up high enough to gravity feed the house's bathroom fixtures, for example. They can drain independently (as in InkaLomax's system) or you can connect them in series and have one drain point. Either way there's no need to have them at different heights as long as you have the vertical clearance for the drainpipe.

The other thing people do is set up tiny little barrels that hold so little water as to be of only ceremonial use and as mosquito breeding stations. Do at least some very rough estimation of how much water you need and when during the year relative to the rainy season, and that will tell you how much storage you need for it to have any practical use.
posted by Dip Flash at 2:21 PM on September 27, 2014


You can link them by making a 'U' or better 'Omega' shape out of two inch PVC pipe: fill the pipe with water and then keeping it filled (say by capping one end), lower it so that both arms are each in a neighboring tank. As long as the open ends are under water the level between the tanks will be the same.

For Mosquitos I've found goldfish best followed by those 'ring' things you get at the hardware store.

And the whole thing on a leveled base of cinder block.
posted by From Bklyn at 7:54 PM on September 27, 2014


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