Last Updated: February 8, 2020

My First Rain Barrel

By Published On: January 18th, 20201.5 min readCategories: Garden

Last Updated: February 8, 2020

Water can get expensive here in San Diego so I’ve been talking about getting a couple of rain barrels. Then my wife gave me a couple for Christmas. Nice, big 55 gallon barrel kits with all the hardware needed. All I had to do was hook them up to the rain gutter and, boom, free water.

So I cleared out an area under the eaves by the back of the house and got the first barrel set up on some cinder blocks. Then it rained a little the night before last. Not much, maybe 1/3rd of an inch, but, as it turns out, enough to fill the rain barrel to the top. Winning!

This morning I went to use some of that free water and found the barrel empty. When I installed the spigot on the barrel I forgot to close it. Worse, it all drained under the blocks and caused it to sink on one side taking the barrel off-level. Newbie mistake.

Moral to the story: rain barrels are awesome, but before you get too proud of your installation work, make sure the spigot is closed.

UPDATE January 21: I didn’t get around to re-leveling the blocks under the rain barrel because it wasn’t supposed to rain this week. Last night we got 1/2 an inch of rain and the barrel filled up again. The ground already soft and wet from the accidental dump of last 50 gallons of water, sank even further under the weight of the full barrel (which is about 400 lbs).

The rain barrel that I now have to drain and re-level.

So after being an idiot and losing the first barrel fill, now I have to intentionally drain the barrel in order to re-level. Argh.

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About the Author

author avatar
Sage Osterfeld
I’m just a guy with nearly an acre of dirt, a nice little mid-century ranch house and a near-perfect climate. But in my mind I’m a landscaper survivalist craftsman chef naturalist with a barbeque the size of a VW and my own cable TV show. I like to write about the stuff I build, grow and see here at Sage's Acre.

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