rain barrels, anyone have them?

rain barrels, anyone have them?

PostBy: lowfog01 On: Tue Jul 13, 2010 7:54 pm

I'm considering putting rain barrels on my downspouts. Anyone have any experience with them? Lisa
lowfog01
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Mark II & Mark I
Coal Size/Type: nut/pea

Re: rain barrels, anyone have them?

PostBy: grumpy On: Tue Jul 13, 2010 9:38 pm

Why do you want to do that?
grumpy
 

Re: rain barrels, anyone have them?

PostBy: lowfog01 On: Wed Jul 14, 2010 7:30 am

Good morning,

The water collected can be used in the garden and around the yard cutting my county water bill. If you boil the water before using it, it can be used for human consumption in an emergency. Here in Northern VA we have Tstorms or showers practically every afternoon so keeping them full wouldn't seem to be a problem. My back spout clears 3/4s of my house.

The ones I've looked at on line gather the run off water through a diversion elbow from the main downspout and once the barrel is full the water resumes down the spout. They also have a connection for the garden hose so you can easily access the water; no trying to "dip" the water out of the bottom of the barrel unless you want to. Gravity does the job. Most have a closed lid so mosquitoes aren't a problem.

I was just wondering if anyone had experience with them and if there were any tips they could pass on. The pictures I've seen show them all sitting on cider blocks or a platform for accessing the hose connection. They seem to be relatively easy to make. The deverter elbow costs about $40. I can easily save that much on my water bill considering the amount of watering I do. The barrels themselves should be food quality plastic. I think I'm going to do it. I'll let you know how it turns out. Lisa
lowfog01
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Mark II & Mark I
Coal Size/Type: nut/pea


Re: rain barrels, anyone have them?

PostBy: cabinover On: Wed Jul 14, 2010 7:40 am

My only thought concerns the hose connection part. Up here I am surrounded by Pine, Maple, and Oak trees which love to drop their seeds in the spring and leaves in the fall. If they end up in the bottom of your barrel via the gutters eventually they'll plug the hose outlet and you'll end up scooping all that water out just to clean it anyway.

Other than that it's not a bad idea. Lots of people up here using them, don't know how the leaves affect them.
cabinover
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Hybrid Axeman Anderson 130
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Re: rain barrels, anyone have them?

PostBy: samhill On: Wed Jul 14, 2010 8:04 am

There has to be a way to either divert the water directly into the downspout in winter or you will have to drain & remove the barrel so it doesn`t freeze & split. Just something to think about, it will get cold again.
samhill
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: keystoker 160
Hand Fed Coal Stove: hitzer 75 in garage
Stove/Furnace Make: keystoker/hitzer
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Re: rain barrels, anyone have them?

PostBy: CapeCoaler On: Wed Jul 14, 2010 8:46 am

Only problem is with how much water they hold...
My drip irrigation will do 500 gallons per hour...
The DI runs at least 3 hours per week...
I would need a rather large tank due to the rain patterns here...
Do the caculations on how many gallons of water your roof produces...
Water is produced at a rate of 0.6 gallons per square foot of roof area per inch of rain...
And how much water the garden needs...
http://www.phys.ufl.edu/~liz/water.html
Rainfall...

http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/online/ccd/nrmpcp.txt
This link is broken, either the page no longer exists or there is some other issue like a typo.

other info...

http://www.bewatersmart.org/RebatePrograms/rainbarrelrebateprogram/FAQ.html
This link is broken, either the page no longer exists or there is some other issue like a typo.
Last edited by CapeCoaler on Wed Jul 14, 2010 9:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
CapeCoaler
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: want AA130
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine BS#4, Harman MKII, Hitzer 503,...
Coal Size/Type: Pea/Nut/Stove

Re: rain barrels, anyone have them?

PostBy: lowfog01 On: Wed Jul 14, 2010 9:16 am

Thanks for all the input. Those are things I certainly hadn't thought about. On the debris - leaves and stuff - we have a gutter filter system which should keep most of that out. Some of the diverters have mesh filters on them, too. I hadn't thought about having to drain the barrel in the winter. Maybe there is a way to plug the diverter elbow so that the water doesn't go near the barrel if it's closed but rather just goes on out the downspout. I could plug it in the late fall and leave the barrel spigot open. Certainly all things to consider but before I do anything.

Thanks Capecoaler for the formula to find just how much water I could expect to collect. I'll take a close look at that and see if there would be any benefits.

Thanks again for any and all input. I appreciate it. We are expecting 90* temps and at 7am the humidity was so thick you could cut it with a knife. I'm sure T- storms are in the forecast - again. Have a great day! Lisa
lowfog01
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Mark II & Mark I
Coal Size/Type: nut/pea

Re: rain barrels, anyone have them?

PostBy: Poconoeagle On: Wed Jul 14, 2010 11:06 am

I have a 210 gal white translucent water container in the yard, several feet above the garden level, which was designed to fit in the back of a pick up truck between the wheel well's. It was to transport water for the mixing of concrete in the remote's of NH during the construction of celullar tower slab foundations.

I took the down-spout and just stuck it in and it gets filled in a day! when it rains. a 25 ft garden hose at the base hose connection and the free trick of gravity allows me to water the garden when ever it needs it.!! a few friends now have done the same and one has even placed the "tank" up on a large rock for the height needed. Lawn service and or fire companies often use such tanks as does mobil car washing and or pressure washing biz......... 8-)
Poconoeagle
 
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Re: rain barrels, anyone have them?

PostBy: lowfog01 On: Wed Jul 14, 2010 12:01 pm

Great idea! Maybe I need to think outside the envelop a little more in reference to the type of container I need. Lisa
lowfog01
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Mark II & Mark I
Coal Size/Type: nut/pea

Re: rain barrels, anyone have them?

PostBy: Rick 386 On: Wed Jul 14, 2010 12:08 pm

Lisa,

This Old House did a segment on using them a while back. Here's a link to one of their articles:

http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/article ... 89,00.html

We are fortunate to live on an old farm where we have 2 underground cisterns (sp?) Each is fed by a rain gutter. One off the barn, the other off the entire south side of the big ole farmhouse. These babies are about 10' in diameter and 30 ' deep. They had been getting low but the past 4 days with over 6" of rain has filled them back to the top.

We installed shallow well pumps to each that have been supplying water to the flower beds and garden, and even keeping the pool level where it needs to be.

Any type of rain collecting devise is to be considered eco friendly and well worth the investment.



Rick
Rick 386
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AA 260 heating both sides of twin farmhouse
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Coal Size/Type: Pea in AA 260, Rice in LL Hyfire II
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Re: rain barrels, anyone have them?

PostBy: tvb On: Wed Jul 14, 2010 12:17 pm

I have them, Lisa. There are two in series and the second one has a run-off spigot at the top. That spigot has a hose connected to drain away from the house for days like today. I have a third barrel to add to the mix but haven't gotten around to adding it in.

You can find decent unused or food grade 55 gallon barrels cheap on Craigslist and they are super-easy to construct. I think I paid $10 each for mine (new) from an exporter in Jersey City. I have very fine mesh screening over the top where the downspout enters the barrel to keep out debris and insects. In the winter, I simply leave the spigots on them open and disconnect the downspout and reassemble it for normal draining as if there were rain barrels.

You'll want to have them elevated on some cinder blocks or something else that works for you so you can gravity feed. I don't recommend the black oozing type of soaker hoses; rather, recycle your old ones by drilling tiny holes in them at the spacing you need. With splitters and a few dollars of connectors for the old hoses you can cut and route them for your best purposes.

Like Rick, I am also lucky to have a cistern that I pump water out of for the vegetable garden. As long as Mother Nature supplies the rain, I hardly ever use city water in the garden.

If it ever stops raining today, I'll take a picture or two to show you my set-up (which isn't nearly elaborate as I normally do because I didn't get much of a garden in this year and I'd only be watering weeds).
tvb
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: Channing III

Re: rain barrels, anyone have them?

PostBy: tvb On: Wed Jul 14, 2010 12:21 pm

Rick 386 wrote:We are fortunate to live on an old farm where we have 2 underground cisterns (sp?) Each is fed by a rain gutter. One off the barn, the other off the entire south side of the big ole farmhouse. These babies are about 10' in diameter and 30 ' deep. They had been getting low but the past 4 days with over 6" of rain has filled them back to the top.

We installed shallow well pumps to each that have been supplying water to the flower beds and garden, and even keeping the pool level where it needs to be.


Rick, How do you clean yours out (if you ever do)? Mine are accessed through about an 8 inch hole cut in the sidewalk. I pump using an above ground irrigation pump. There is quite a bit of muck down in there I would love to pull out so I could fully access their true capacity.
tvb
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: Channing III

Re: rain barrels, anyone have them?

PostBy: lowfog01 On: Wed Jul 14, 2010 1:01 pm

Thanks for the information about Craig's list. I'd have never thought of them and the barrel is the big expense. Lisa
lowfog01
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Mark II & Mark I
Coal Size/Type: nut/pea

Re: rain barrels, anyone have them?

PostBy: CapeCoaler On: Wed Jul 14, 2010 1:29 pm

Rick, How do you clean yours out (if you ever do)? Mine are accessed through about an 8 inch hole cut in the sidewalk. I pump using an above ground irrigation pump. There is quite a bit of muck down in there I would love to pull out so I could fully access their true capacity.

Suction truck aka Honey Wagon...
Have them use a clean hose for the cistern...
Yo do not want any black water backwash... :sick:

Lisa check craigslist for used plastic tanks, water tanks or water totes...

http://sacramento.craigslist.org/grd/1839227208.html
This link is broken, either the page no longer exists or there is some other issue like a typo.


http://nh.craigslist.org/grd/1831641010.html
This link is broken, either the page no longer exists or there is some other issue like a typo.
CapeCoaler
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: want AA130
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine BS#4, Harman MKII, Hitzer 503,...
Coal Size/Type: Pea/Nut/Stove

Re: rain barrels, anyone have them?

PostBy: Rick 386 On: Wed Jul 14, 2010 2:30 pm

TVB,

Never cleaned ours out in the 20+ years that I've been living there. The one by the barn used to catch runoff coming from the outdoor corn bins and would smell. We pumped it dry once and lost the smell.

I'm not sure what the bottom is made of. The one just sitting outside the house has some old piping that I can see once the level goes down. I think I remember hearing that there used to be a hand pump over the cistern. Maybe the pipes are from that ???? But it was hand constructed. All of the walls consist of hand laid stones to line it. Amazing to think of them hand digging and then lining it on the way back up and then backfilling....Someday I may get adventeurous and lower myself or someone else down in there. If I do, I'll be sure to take some pics.


Rick
Rick 386
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AA 260 heating both sides of twin farmhouse
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: LL Hyfire II w/ coaltrol in garage
Coal Size/Type: Pea in AA 260, Rice in LL Hyfire II
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