Rain Barrels and Your Gutters
Rain barrels collect the water from gutters (or other forms of runoff) on a home. Also known as rainwater tanks, people use the water in rain barrels for many purposes such as collecting irrigation water or having water around in case of drought.
Here are some of the best ways to get water going from your gutters and into your rain barrel.
Place the rain barrel underneath the downspout
Since you should already have a gutter system installation done, simply place your rainwater tank of choice underneath the spout.
Make sure the downspout goes into the barrel. Ensure there is a wide hole underneath the barrel and the downspout so all water gets into the barrel.
Retrofit the gutter for your rain barrel needs
You will more than likely have to refit your downspout to connect the rain barrel successfully.
If that’s the case, you may have to do one of the following:
- Shorten the gutter — if you can easily place the rain barrel underneath where a gutter drains, you may need to just place a barrel underneath a short downspout.Talk to a gutter installation expert about how to shorten a downspout and fit it into a barrel.
- Create new downspout — Can’t fit a rain barrel underneath the downspout? Seal off the piece that would connect to a downspout and create new piping.Creating new piping instead of laying different gutter may be easier for water flow and workload. However, to successfully guarantee water flow into the rain barrel, you may have to drill into the gutter and get an airtight seal.The spigot for the new piping should also match the horizontal gutter slope. That way, water will flow easily into the new pipes and flow into wherever you place the rain barrel.From there, the horizontal piping should flow to a vertically placed pipe that is sealed to the barrel. The water should flow into the barrel with ease.
Note: Make sure the downspout/piping extends above the barrel.
If the piping is too deep, you will not be able to remove the top of the barrel and be able to maneuver the water within.
Place a debris filter on top of the downspout
To prevent your rain barrels from getting contaminated with water, install a filter. This will keep twigs, leaves, nuts, and whatever else from getting into the rain barrels.
Filters come in many shapes and forms, from a simple gutter guard to an in-depth filter installed inside the downspout. Gutter guards are great for getting rid of larger pieces of debris, but downspout filters can filter out even smaller residue.
Need help with your rain barrel gutters?
Live in the greater San Antonio area and want to use a rain barrel? American Hill Country Gutters can install a gutter system for your rain barrel. Contact us now for a free estimate and get your rain barrel ready for rain.