DIY Multiple Rain Barrel System

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  1. It’s obvious this guy lives in the warmer climate where he doesn’t have to be concerned with hard freezes. My own system of rain barrels lets the water overflow from the top of the first one into the second one. This allows me to easily separate and empty them in the winter so they won’t freeze and bust the fittings. I also put a faucet on each barrel a couple of inches from the bottom. Allows room for sediment to build up. All told, this guy has a good system IF you live where it doesn’t freeze real hard. I live in West Michigan and it does get pretty cold at times.

    • JP in MT says:

      It would be nice not to have to worry about freezing, but we would have the same problem. Since I live in town, our system is a backup, not quite as extensive, and would have to be concealed or it would get stolen.

      • Kin_of_Sgt. Alvin C. York says:


        But, Dang! JP! I have had my walnut and cherry trees cut down and swiped, gas cans as well. Even had the crooks torch and yank out my steel I-Beam entrance gate at my gas well head…

        but stealing rain barrels–man, that’s pretty low, ‘specially in MT!

        • Doris Jones says:

          Theft. When I lived in Calif. (San Bernardino) I came in one Sunday after church to find my next door neighbors in an absolute fit! Someone stole their YARD while they were at church. I had not known, until then, that a YARD could be stolen. Our neighbor was a true outdoor fanatic, with wonderful bushes, flowers and outstanding grass. Guys had come in while we were all gone, cut up the sod and he had a nude yard with no grass. Craziest thing I ever saw. Thieves will steal anything apparently.

      • Sw't Tater says:

        I saw one video, of one concealed in an outdoor bench, and it was covered with concrete/rock like the outside of his patio. Might be an option…as could placing water storage in a reinforced attic, or digging a hole and sinking the barrels underground.

  2. Good idea, Also consider plumbing several hot water heaters in series between your main water supply valve and your water distribution plumbing. This way, not only will you have a large supply of water on hand if your supply is cut, but the water will be replaced every time you use water in your home. Remember to elevate your tanks, preferably on concrete to support the weight, and plumb “standpipes” with valves above the pipes between each tank so that when the main water pressure is off you can allow air to enter the system above the water line and allow easier drawing of water from the drain valve on each tank.

  3. Hmm I think I like 1 ibc tote better. About 275 gal . and already has cutoff valve. Just build an insulated box around in.

    • Exile1981 says:

      I use two of those 275 gallon totes and a 500 gallon tank. all are feeding hoses and have drains; last winter forgot to drain the 275 ones and neither broke or was damaged. We get hard freezes here (-60F in February last)

      On the theft thing – A few years back I got a call from a neighbor that a local contracting company was digging up my 8′ tall trees and he wanted to know if I knew.. I got there in time to deal with it but the trees became evidence for the cops and never got any of them back. The company was fined $100 for “accidentally” stealing my trees.and I was out over a grand to replace them all.

  4. TN Mommy says:

    I discovered a crazy easy cheap way to collect rain water… inflatable kiddie pools. Left the kids’ pool out on the deck and one night it rained like crazy. Next morning, that pool was almost FULL. It was a big one too, probably had more than 30 gallons in it. Of course there is always the challenge of hauling the water somewhere so it doesn’t all evaporate, but it’s a good way to collect some extra water for washing, bathing, etc…

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