Installation of a rain barrel is not a particularly complicated affair. The actual steps involved and hardware required will vary to a small extent depending on your location and the rain barrel you choose.
If you want to buy one, check out the large selection of rain barrels at Clean Air Gardening.
There are several different types of rain barrels made from recycled food barrels, varying in size, shape and color. Some of them come in a terra cotta (red orange) color, and some of them come in blue, white, gray, black, etc. The most common sizes are the 50 gallon rain barrel and the 60 gallon rain barrel.
The rain barrel installed here is a 60 gallon rain barrel that came from Clean Air Gardening.
First Step. Unpack the Rain Barrel
Use gravity to your advantage here.
First open one end of the box, fold over the flaps and turn the box open side down on the ground.
Then simply lift the box off of the rain barrel.
That was simple, wasn’t it?
Assembling the Rain Barrel
Once the barrel is out of the box, there is actually very little assembly to do to the barrel itself.
The spigot will need to be inserted into one of the two available locations. The upper location is a good choice if the barrel will be sitting on the ground.
In this installation we will be setting the rain barrel on concrete blocks, so that we can use the lower spigot location and drain the barrel fully as needed. The instruction sheet advises that you don’t use tools to tighten the spigot or the plugs in the fittings in the sides of the drums. This is a little bit misleading, as you will need to use a wrench on the fitting itself to keep it from turning as you screw the spigot in by hand.
Please note that you want to be very careful putting in the spigot, because the spigot is very easy to cross thread. If it does not appear to be going in straight, do not force it. Back it out and start over.
Pay attention to the label. In addition to traveling through the polluted atmosphere and picking up who knows what in the process, the water that you collect in the barrel also has gone across your roof in through those not exactly sanitary gutters. Great for plants or washing your car, but not so good for people without some treatment.