|Project by Harold and Pam||posted 10-09-2011 04:00 PM||6923 views||4 times favorited||12 comments|
Pam has wanted rain barrels for a long time. We actually built one from a garbage can. However I soon found that even a heavy duty trash can will not stand up to the weight of water. So a friend gave me two barrels. I then began viewing rain barrel ideas on You Tube. As always, there is more than one way to do this. I found lots of ideas but this manifold system was intriguing. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUhox1ORlRk
I copied his basic ideas and of course made a few “design improvements” a long the way.
I removed the bung, drilled out the center, sealing the bung with silicon, and returned it to the barrel. I then screwed in a threaded male coupling, again using silicon on the threads. Using scrap 3/4 inch PVC I had around the house, I cut several 2 inch sections to make all the connections needed.
Below is what I consider a “stroke of genius”
This connector (with pipe thread on one side and hose thread on the other) will allow me to disconnect the manifold WITHOUT breaking any pipe. This will come in handy should I ever have to remove a barrel or move the whole system.
Ready to re-connect.
I covered the fill spout with screen to prevent dirt from getting into the barrels.
To connect the fill spout to the barrel I used a four inch hole saw.
Next time I’ll tighten the chuck on the drill better. If you look hard you will notice sitting on the bottom of the barrel are the two bungs, the plastic hole I cut, and the hole saw. Mind you – my barrels do not have removable lids – so getting this out was a chore. Just had to laugh!
I found a guy in town on Craig’s List that sells and delivers new food grade barrels for $25.00 each. I got 4 more barrels giving us about 310 gals of useable water.
I have two down spouts filling the barrels. In between the 6 barrels are two covered bins that PJ uses to hold potting soil and other stuff needed for her garden. I also attached two 1.25 inch PVC (NOT IN THE PHOTO) on each fill barrels as over flow. Every barrel has its own shut off valve which allows me to isolate any barral I wish. This comes in hand should I need to empty one and remove it (I don’t loss all the water.) Also when Pam wants to limit the amount of water she uses, she can open one barrel. When the barrel is empty she’s used 50 gals. Open two valve and she has 100 gals to use. To fill it up again we simply open the shut off.
While we do get a good steady flow, I do not feel that we get the pressure I was hoping for. What I may do in the future is run some electricity out there and hook up a small pump. This should give Pam enough pressure to run her drip irrigation. In the meantime, it fills up the watering cans just fine! If anyone has an idea, I’d love to hear it.
-- Pam grows 'em - I cook 'em...... Melbourne, Fl