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Rain Barrel Installation Guide

What You Will Need

Installing your Rain Barrel

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  1. The first thing you want to do when installing your rain barrel is finding the ideal location for it. You need your rain barrel to be close to a downspout, but you also want it to be in a location that is easy to get to, and that is close to gardens, flower pots, and anything else you would need to carry a watering can to. You should consider drainage of the rain barrel Ė at the back of the rain barrel, there is an overflow valve. If you have had problems with water getting into the foundation of your home previously, then you probably donít want the over flow draining directly into your foundation. If you do have this problem, add a hose to the overflow valve and place it so that the water will run away from your house if your rain barrel overflows.
  2. Once you have decided on the ideal location of your rain barrel, you need to make sure that the ground is level. If it isnít, you can use cinder blocks, wood, patio/interlock stones, or gravel to develop a flat area for the rain barrel to rest.
  3. Once the desired height is established mark your down spout where it comes in contact with the opening on the top of your rain barrel. This is the entry point for the rain water into the barrel. Depending on the make and model of the rain barrel, a downspout diverter may be necessary; consult with the instructions or the manufacturer prior to cutting your down spout.
  4. Cut the down spout on the mark using a hack saw, or tin snips. If the downspout is fastened to the wall, remove the brackets with a hammer or drill, and replace once cutting is complete. Again, depending on make and model of rain barrel, a downspout diverter can be used to allow the downspout to lay flat against the home right up until contact with the opening of the rain barrel.
  5. Once your down spout is at the appropriate height, direct it over the top of the rain barrelís opening. Depending on the make and model of the rain barrel, you may be able to run the down spout directly into the top of the unit.
  6. Be sure any exit points (spigots, hoses with valves) are closed.
  7. If you have purchased a rain barrel with an overflow port you have two options. You can either connect multiple units together (using appropriate tubing, creating a rain barrel chain), or you can fasten a hose or drip line to the over flow port. Whatever option you choose, you are trying to prevent the rain barrel from overflowing during heavy rains, and spilling water in and around your foundation. Using each method, a hose attached to the overflow port on the last rain barrel in the chain diverting the water away from the home is a very smart precautionary method to ensure no excess water leaks around your foundation.
  8. Once youíve attached the hose to the overflow port, you can run the hose wherever you feel needs water on your property. A drip hose or a garden hose with holes/punctures is a great way to ensure even distribution of this excess water.
  9. The installation is complete! Bring on the rain!