How to Build a Rain Barrel for $40 | Ask This Old House

How to Build a Rain Barrel for $40 | Ask This Old House

I already leased here's your barrel great now this is a reclaimed food rated barrel okay alright now what do you think it was used for take a whiff of that fruit punch fruit punch that's pretty good it's actually a soda bottling company and I actually bought this barrel how much you think it was cost fifteen to twenty bucks good guess but only five bow alright so now we have to think about getting water in and getting water out so to get water out I'm going to use this right here this is a boiler shutoff and I paid seven bucks for it so what we're going to do is going to drill a hole right on the bottom of that and screw it into the barrel so I'm just going to start the hole right here we're going to drill a one-inch hole because the outside diameter of our valve is one each okay to make a watertight seal we're using thread sealing tape now I can just screw the valve into the barrel okay all right we put a tap in the top of the barrel and that's going to be our inlet for the water to get into it but now we have to figure out how we get water off the roof into the barrel so what I did is I went online and I bought this diverter right here for 25 bucks there's actually a filter in here so that there's any debris that comes down the downspout hits the filter bypasses it and goes down the downspout down below and doesn't go into your barrel all right so what we're going to do is we actually have to cut a section of the downspout out we'll insert the diverter connect the tube to the diverter and then the water will go into the barrel all right so now I got to cut a piece of the downspout out you want to hold my belt sure just kidding all right so now in the winter time you want to save this cap because you're going to want to remove the hose and cover that but in the summer you remove it and connect the hose to the diverter now just connect this to here to the barrel all right at least I put a little bit of water in it so we can charge the barrel up a little bit cuz it looks like we're gonna get some rain okay I want to try putting it water can under it yeah I need some water up yeah there it goes Wow fill that up and you get all your watering done yeah now you want to make sure in the wintertime you open up that Silcock to drain all the water out and disconnect the infeed from the diverter and plug up that hole okay we'll be sure to do that you


  1. Where can anyone else find a 50 gallon food grade barrel for $5? Prices I see would double the cost of this project.

  2. How do I pry off the lid of the barrel without cutting it. About 2 ins under the lid is a line and every 5-6 ins is a notch. How do I loosen the notches to take off the top?

  3. My rain water system cost me nothing, I took an old plastic trash can and placed it under the gutter, whenever I want water I dip a bucket in and the barrel and viola.

  4. This works if you get a free barrel and tap. Also you need tools to cut the hole. I paid 45.00 for my blue barrel with brass tap. Do not use a white barrel.

  5. Tommy does a great job but did he consider that the drum will weigh 400 pounds when full of water? Is the deck rated for that much weight at that location?

  6. I can't help but notice the bib has a handle that is in the same direction as the connector. Overtime, turning the handle will loosen the bib. Seems to me an easy solution is just use a bib to have a horizontal handle.

  7. You can see water seepage on the wood deck from the great installation of the lower valve, after he fills the barrel with water. She covers the leak with the watering can before the camera pans down. Needs a bulkhead for the bottom valve installation to prevent water from leaking around the imperfect cut, Teflon tape alone won't slove this problem.

  8. I finally got a barrel like the one in your video. My problem is that we don't have rain gutters. Can you think of a way that I can catch the rain water? Maybe a giant funnel? I really need your help.

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