Finding the best rain barrels is not an easy task since many different options are present in the market. To ensure that you choose the right rain barrel, you need to look for many different features and specifications.
In the guide, we have reviewed some great rain barrels and their accessories. We have also prepared a well-structured guide that will give you better insight into choosing the right rain barrel and how the water can be used.
Table of Contents
Importance of Rain Barrels
Using a rain barrel is important for a gardener since they store natural roof falling water, which can later be used for watering a garden, yard, lawns, and indoor plants. This is better than using a watering can since the watering can takes up a lot of time.
The rain barrel is placed in such a way that it collects rainwater runoff from the roof. This not only collects natural water for your plant but also saves the water bill of your household.
Depending on the features of the best rain barrel you buy, there will be different ways of using a rain barrel. However, any rain barrel’s main aim is to conserve natural water and use it to grow a beautiful landscape.
Factors to Look For When Buying a Rain Barrel
When buying a rain barrel, there are many things that you need to look for. Your rain barrel may just store, but many other elements revolve around it. That is why you need to ensure that you choose only suitable rain barrels for your garden. Below are some of the factors that should be present in your rain barrel.
Before installing the rain barrels, check the space for any material that might contaminate the water. You also need to check that the yard place you will be keeping the barrel does not have any loose areas that can damage the rain barrel. Moreover, it is better to find a very sturdy place.
The next thing you need to look for in a barrel is the water storage capacity that it will store, which should be more than a watering can. For a small and medium garden, you can do well with a 50-gallon rain barrel. However, you will need a much larger capacity with no water restrictions for a larger garden or yard. Make sure that you have ample space to keep the rain barrel when buying a large one.
3. Secure Filter and Lid
You do not want the water to get filled with debris and get contaminated with unwanted objects. That is why the rain barrel you choose should have a secure filter and lid. This would ensure that no external objects such as leaves, twigs, or insects fall in the water.
4. Overflow System
Having an overflow system is a must for your rain barrel so that there are no issues when the barrel is full. With an overflow valve, the excessive water collection can be removed, and the structural integrity of your rain barrel will not be compromised.
5. Sturdy and Durable Design
To know whether your rain barrel is sturdy and durable, you need to check the material that it is made of. You can also read the best rain barrel reviews from trusted online sites to know about real customer experience. With these best rain barrel reviews, you can get first-hand views and not only depend on what the seller is displaying.
Rain Barrels Installation Procedure
The installation of rain barrels will depend on the model that you are purchasing. There will be a manual provided with most rain barrels that make the process easier. However, the first thing concerning when installing is the location where the rain barrel will be placed. The base of this location should be flat and sturdy.
It is better to mount the barrel onto a stand and not place it on the yard ground. Not only does it regulate the water’s temperature, but it also prevents bud infestation. Ensure that you take accurate measurements for the rain barrel placement and the spigot and faucet positioning.
After the placement has been done, secure the rain barrel using the lid. Now you do not have to do anything other than wait for the rainfall. Keep the spigot closed so that the water does not leak away, and check after the rainfall stops to see if the barrel is full.
How Can Collected Water Be Used?
The water from the first big rainfall is best not to be collected. This is because the first storm will clear out the animal droppings, roof pollutants, debris and prevent any of them from entering the water. If you go for this water collection, then it can pollute the water.
When you collect roof water the next time, you need to simply link the downspout with your rain barrel and harvest the water. Attach a hose for watering your garden or even for washing your yard.
Top Pick for Best Rain Barrel
The first model on the top pick list is the best rain barrel from MiRainBarrel. The company specializes in manufacturing high-quality, food-grade, environment-friendly, durable rain barrels. This product is made from food-grade, 100% recycled polyethylene plastic. You can store 58 gallons of water in this barrel and is waterproof caulk sealed from the inside to prevent any water leakage.
The barrel is equipped with an overflow valve, mesh filter, and brass spigot. When you talk about the durability of a rain barrel, you can depend on this company. The manufacturer takes extra precautions to ensure that the rain barrel’s stability is not lost in the long term.
- High durability
- Sturdy construction
- Made from food-grade, 100% recycled, polyethylene plastic
- Supply does not match the market demand
The Good Ideas Rain Wizard rain barrel is equipped with a brass spigot and can store 50 gallons of water. This Good Ideas Rain Wizard model is constructed from BPA-free plastic and is a very sturdy option for most home gardens. There is a frame made from polyethylene resin that prevents UV exposure. You can comfortably use the rain barrel in frosty winters without fearing damage, unlike wood rain barrels.
The barrel is equipped with a mesh filter that stops the impurities from mixing with the roof water. With the oak barrel texture and sturdy outer body, you do not have to worry about the rain barrel’s durability. With the brass spigot, you can attach shut-off valves that will control the water.
- Solid BPA-free polyethylene construction
- Flat-back design lets you set the rain barrel on the wall
- Equipped with a brass spigot
- Not suitable for heavy-duty water storage
The best rain barrel model from Commyee can store up to 66 gallons of water and is one of the strongest rain barrels on this list. This rain barrel is perfect for medium to large home gardens. A mesh screen to keep away residual debris in the water is used. There is also a double-way zipper that makes breakdown and assembly easier.
Support is provided to the rain barrel using tough polymer rods and a PVC liner that is UV-resistant. Both these support factors make the rain barrel weather-resistant and highly durable, unlike wood rain barrels. This rain barrel is equipped with a brass spigot, switch, faucet, and overflow kit.
- Double-zip on top
- Collapsible design
- Garden hose and faucet connection
- Not suitable for a small garden
- The barrel is not permanent fixed
Algreen is a very well-known manufacturer of rain barrels for home gardens. The Cascata is a 65-gallon rain barrel model and is perfect for medium and large home gardens. This barrel is made from long-lasting and sturdy roto-molded plastic that gives a modern feel. There are double walls in the barrel that enhances durability.
The plastic can withstand high temperatures and comes with a screen guard that keeps the barrel corrosion-free. It also has a brass spigot and a hose of 6 feet along with one shut-off nozzle. There is also a crown planter placed at the top, which is easily removable.
- A double-walled durable rain barrel
- Value for the price with high-quality plastic
- Easily assembled and equipped with a removable planter on the top
- The drain hose is of cheap quality
- Lack of overflow hose
Algreen has another amazing model, which is the 50-gallon rain barrel wicker basket. This rain barrel is made from high-quality BPA-free plastic, which is quite safe for your water condition. The rain barrel is good for most home garden sizes and comes with a brass-material spigot. Moreover, the material used for the construction of the barrel is recyclable.
The barrel has a mesh screen to keep the roof impurities from contaminating the rain barrel water. You will also find a proper drainage system that prevents the overflow of water during heavy rain. There are UV inhibitors on the barrel that keeps it safe from UV exposure and harsh temperatures.
- BPA-free plastic rain barrels
- Water and stain-resistant
- Mesh screen prevents entry of debris and insects
- Lack of hose in the package
Another product from Good Ideas is the IMP-N50-DBR which looks like an urn and has a wicker design. This gives the rain barrel a sophisticated feel which is perfect for a modern home. This is among the 50-gallon capacity rain barrels made from durable BPA-free material and has a planter of 4 inches on top.
The planter ensures that any excess water is drained to avoid the risk of root rot. Equipped with a mesh screen, you can keep away debris and insects from contaminating the water supply. There are dual brass spigots in this barrel which can be used with a bucket or hose.
- Installation is easy
- It can be placed near flower beds that make watering easy
- Sophisticated design and strong construction
- Lack of flat-back design
If the design is not your primary concern and needs a rain barrel that gets the work done, then the Suncast Corp rain barrel is perfect for your home. This squared, simple design has a 50-gallon capacity and is a practical option for your garden. A very attractive feature of the barrel is its resin construction.
You do not have to concern yourself with breakage, cracks, or leakage with this barrel. Moreover, you can keep it outdoors for years without wearing out the barrel. Equipped with an overflow spout and shut-off valve, this barrel will be a great addition to your garden.
- Cracks and leakage prevented with the resin construction
- The secure lid makes the barrel pet and child-proof
- Equipped with a hose
- May have difficulty in installation due to the squared design
The 75-gallon rain barrel from Gardener’s Supply Company has he large storage capacity in this list. Built with thick quality plastic, this barrel is UV-resistant and has a stone look and feel. The Gardener’s Supply Company barrel’s top is very wide and makes the placement more versatile. There is a hole-covered lid in place of a mesh screen to prevent the entry of debris.
Equipped with an overflow opening, the barrel can diver the water supply during heavy rain. However, you should attach a pipe or hose to make sure that the overflow is directed in the proper direction. This barrel comes with an attached spigot.
- The top filtering lid is removable
- Additional plug present to clean out the much and debris
- Several complain about the quality of the spigot
The Algreen Products Athena rain barrel has a very elegant design. Its texture is that of rock and looks of granite; however, these are roto-molded plastic rain barrels that do not fade, crack, break or chip easily. Moreover, the material is not only very sturdy but also BPA-free making it completely safe.
The rain barrel is equipped with a screen guard that is corrosion-proof and a brass-material spigot of high-quality. You can link different rain barrels using the linking kit from Algreen. With this, you can make sure that the overflowed rain water goes into the right channels in your garden. There is also a dual overflow feature that ensures that the rain water escapes the barrel.
- The narrow structure does not take up much space in the garden
- Roto-molded plastic is highly durable
- A circular shape with no flat back can restrict the placement in crowded spaces
Last on the list for the best rain barrels is the Emsco Group Whiskey with a 50-gallon capacity barrel. This barrel looks like it belongs to a distillery and is high-quality plastic rain barrels with a flat back. However, it does not look like plastic but rather a classic oak whiskey barrel.
You will find this rain barrel equipped with a diverter kit in the package, which is absent in many other rain barrels. This means there are no other parts you need to purchase to make this rain barrel work properly.
- The top planter is integrated and has a flat-back design
- Equipped with a diverter kit
- Includes a hose that makes watering plants very easy
- The sturdiness of the barrel is low
Tools and accessories generally aid the user in getting the work done smoothly. You can buy various accessories with your rainwater barrel to assist you in your rainwater harvesting process. Let’s look at the best rain barrels accessories you can utilize for this.
The Oatey rainwater collection system is one of the best rain barrel accessories that one can use for directing rainwater from downspouts into barrels meant for the collection of water. You can use this water again for watering lawns or gardens. This tool is a design that contains two pieces.
This tool comes along with a hose that is 4 feet. This design is made using PVC plastic. This tool comes in white color and can be easily painted to the color you want. It easily fits into the standard residential-based downspouts measuring 2 x 3 inches. This collection system is very sturdy and offers excellent value for money.
- Easy to assemble
- Great value for money
- No warranty available
This spigot kit will help you in converting water tanks and plastic-based barrels into a good rain barrel. A bulkhead installation can be done with a top barrel that is closed. The Abilith rain barrel comes with an adapter and is handy in aquariums, plumbing purposes, water parks, and swimming pools.
There is an excellent quality rotating head and thread that will help with no leaks. The PVC used is long-lasting and does not get loosened easily. The handle turns smoothly without much effort from the user.
- Easy to install kit
- Good sealing properties
- Made of durable and safe to use materials
- Requires careful installation for ease of use
The EarthMinded rain barrel diverter kit is a DIY rain barrel kit that you can use to create your very own rainwater collection system in your home or garage. You can use this system for converting a simple container into a useful product like a rain barrel. You can use the water that is collected to water plants or complete household chores.
The technology used is patented and is called the Flexifit technology. It is a diverter that helps in preventing the possible overflow of water that can damage your home. The job of the diverter is to pass excess water into the downspout.
- Uses patented technology
- Quick and easy to install for anyone
- Includes the saw set, screw, instruction manual, hole cover, and hose
- One cannot use it along with metal drums
How to Clean?
It is essential to clean any product, which includes a rain barrel. Here, we will be giving you a step-by-step process that you can follow to clean your rain barrel.
- The first step is to remove the downspout from the barrel.
- Next, you will have to do some cleaning of the gutter system that might have debris. Simply attach a hose for cleaning the gutter system. There might be large debris that could create a blockage to the downspout.
- You will then need to replace any dirty filters, including the filter screen for leaf guarding.
- Replace or remove the mesh screen that is present on the rain barrel.
- It would help if you inspected the rain barrel to check for algae, crack, and debris.
- Spray rinsing the interior of the barrel by laying it down on the side is very useful.
- You can take help from a brush with a long handle to clean the interiors of the barrel.
- You can make a mixture of water and vinegar and use it as a cleaner solution.
- Rinse the barrel and air dry it.
- The threads can then be checked and replaced if required.
- After drying the barrel, you can attach it with the downspout.
Maintenance of your equipment will contribute to increasing the durability of it without problems. Timely maintenance will make sure you don’t need to get constant repairs or replacements done.
Frequently Asked Questions
There can be many doubts regarding the rainwater harvesting barrel and the procedure itself. We have compiled the most frequently asked questions that you might have on your mind!
1. What Can You Put In A Rain Barrel To Keep Mosquitoes Away?
Mosquitoes would love to breed in a rain barrel. What can you do to prevent it? Well, we got you covered.
You can add any oil such as olive oil, dormant oil, or horticulture oil to your rain barrel. You can also try attaching a net or mesh to the rain barrel to keep mosquitoes out of the way. Make sure you do this to prevent the spread of diseases.
2. Can You Drink Rainwater?
This might have made you chuckle, but yes, you can drink rainwater. Rainwater is pure water that is evaporated from water bodies and is safe for consumption. However, after rain water falls on the ground, it gets polluted and is unsafe to drink.
3. What Do You Do With Rain Barrels During The Winter?
It would help if you had a proper way to store your rain barrel in the winter season. It would help if you started by draining the water in the barrel and keeping the spigot open.
Remove the lid that is present on the barrel and detach the barrel from the downspout. You can then move on to storing your barrel upside-down someplace sheltered.
Now that you know what a rain barrel is, how to install it, the benefits of it, and how to buy it, it is time for you to leap! Rainwater harvesting is a noble deed for the environment and the entire world, with the best rain barrels and tools required for rainwater harvesting.
You can decide to install a rainwater barrel on your own or choose to ask an installer to do it for you, depending on the difficulty level. There are many tools available, such as the ones given in this article, that will help you harvest rainwater.
As you get used to rainwater barrels and harvesting, you might get new ideas on how to do it and DIY ideas that you can proudly implement.
James Fields is the founder of Gardener to Farmer. His passion for gardening goes back to his childhood days when he would visit his grandfather during the holidays and help him with the plants in the backyard. This has now translated to creating a dependable resource for gardening.