Sunday, May 20, 2012

Rain Barrel

The last two days have been all about the rain barrel. Sam and I found a beverage barrel online and picked it up for $25 about a month ago with all intentions of getting the pieces to make it functional. Rain came. More Rain came. And then, guess what, even more rain came. But still it sat by the gate to the backyard without any plumbing to be able to collect the rain and use it in the backyard to water the gardens.

Yesterday was the day! We were so excited to head to Lowe's with our list of things to get! We watched the below video a least a hundred times so that we could get everything.

This tutorial was the one that we felt best captured the look of the rain barrel that we wanted. Of course there are tons of different ways you can make a rain barrel, and none of them are wrong as long as it works, but this was the way we wanted it.

Lowe's was a bit troublesome when we got to one item that was in this tutorial that was said so matter-of-factly, that I thought it was just that simple to locate (this is when it helps to read the comments before you actually use anything on youtube). The "bung" was something that Lowe's has never heard of, did not have any clue what I was talking about and of course, had nothing in stock... I'll give them an A for the effort of trying to give me some ideas of alternative ways to make it work, but it still wasn't what we wanted. (Thank you Sam for sticking to your guns to make it the "right" way!)

So we went back and watched the YouTube video again to see what we were missing; but again, we got it... We understood and it sounded just as matter-of-fact the 101st time hearing it as the first. And then I said, "Hey... It looks like there's more comments about it down here..." Apparently finding the "bung wasn't so easy. Everyone else seemed to have the same problem.

Just in case you are ever looking for a bung, call it a bulkhead fitting. Don't go to Lowe's, Home Depot, a Pool Supply Store or Sears. You can look online and you'll find it. It will take about a week to have it shipped to you and it will cost a little more. Go to Ace Hardware. The cost was only $9.95 and was right on their shelves!

So again, we started yesterday on this "simple" project. This morning at about 10:00 we found the "bung" (errr. bulkhead fitting) and we were able to get home and quickly get the rain barrel all setup! Took about 1-2 hours after we got all the parts we needed.

I can barely wait for the first rain so that I can use the rain barrel for the first time!

(The bung is where the spigot comes out of the barrel)

The overflow diverts water to stop an erosion probelm that we have been experiencing.

A screen keeps debris out of the barrel.


  1. Judith BrightmanMay 21, 2012 at 8:05 AM

    Some people put a shovel of manure in the barrel and it becomes "manure tea"...fertilize and water at the same time.

    1. I have seen something like that by creating a tea bag full of manure and compost and stuffing it into a rag or cheesecloth and then using the rainwater, but not sure how it would work straight because of the Florida heat, it could promote bacterial and mold growth.

  2. What a neat setup! We only have gutters on the back of the house where the lanai is. I've always wanted to have a rain barrel. The one you have looks simple to construct. Thanks for the good advice about the bung. It really is frustrating to go to one of those big box stores. I've wasted more time looking for one simple thing and find out that they don't carry it. As you said, local hardware stores are the best option.