Although you can buy rain barrels, you can also make your own. You need hard plastic barrels, screens and lids to cover the barrels and an optional faucet to connect to the barrel for ease of harvesting. The Master Gardeners (see Resources) is a comprehensive guide to making your own rain barrel. Whether you purchase a plastic rain barrel or make your own, you can connect two together with minimal effort.
Things You'll Need
- Plastic rain barrels
- PVC sealant
- PVC pipe (3/4" thick)
Before you begin, empty your rain barrels. If you try to connect two barrels together while they're full of water, you'll only make a mess.
Using your drill, drill a hole that is 15/16" wide two-thirds of the way down the side of one rain barrel, and then drill the same-sized hole in the same location on your second barrel. If you make a larger hole by accident, you will need to purchase a larger diameter of PVC pipe to fit the hole.
Place your rain barrels in their desired location, and measure the distance between them. Cut the PVC pipe with your saw so that it will fit between the two barrels.
Coat the end of one side of the PVC pipe with sealant, and slide it into the hole in the rain barrel. Hold the PVC pipe until the sealant begins to set.
Repeat this step on the other side of the barrel.
Allow the sealant to dry. The sealant will swell up so that the PVC pipe fits the hole exactly and there will be no leaks.
Tips & Warnings
- You can employ this technique with metal barrels also, but you'll need to use metal pipes. You can connect two or more rain barrels together in this fashion.
- Always place a screen over your rain barrel to filter out impurities in the water, such as bugs and leaves.
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