How to Winterize Your Rain Barrel
Hello friends. It’s Jessica, from Decor Adventures with some easy tips to get your home ready for the cooler months ahead. I’ll show you how to winterize your rain barrel, which goes perfectly with Brittany’s recent guides on ways you can keep your home warm this winter and how to protect pipes from freezing.
Rain barrels have been growing in popularity and are now a common way to save money on water use for your landscaping. They are also great for corralling water way from certain areas of your property. If you have been looking for a rain barrel, check the local environmental non-profit organizations in your area. They often sell them at a discount.
Now that winter is approaching, those barrels must get properly put away so they can last for many years to come. We’ve been using our barrel for five years to collect water from the 1-car garage and help water the garden all summer long.
Here are a few tips on how to winterize your rain barrel:
Connection of a rain barrel to the gutters of a building can be via a few methods:
- Gutter diverter – an attachment you can connect to a downspout to easily close off the water supply to the barrel and return it to a straight downspout once you aren’t using the barrel over the winter or when it gets full.
- Flexible gutter – connects the downspout from the gutters on the garage to the rain barrel. These are also called flex-a-spout or vinyl elbow at the home improvement store and are very handy for diverting water in a non-straight path.
First, disconnect or divert the downspout or flexible gutter that leads the water into the barrel. If needed, reconnect your gutter to maintain the water flow.
Next, remove the top cover and screen. Hose off the screen to remove any dirt and let it dry. Look for any holes or signs of wear.
If there are holes in the screen, it is easily replaced with a new piece from the home improvement store.
After the cover is off, drain your rain barrel. This can be done in two ways. You can empty out the water by hand using a bucket or you can empty it through the spigot with a bucket or connect a hose to the spigot to drain the water.
To get the remaining amount of water out, tip the barrel to its side and then upside down. You can hose out the barrel to remove any residue at this time. Dirt will tend to build up in the barrel and it’s a good idea to rinse it out every year.
Then you can remove the spigot. Twist it off, wipe it clean, and remember where you will store it for the winter.
Our rain barrel has several scratches since it is well-loved and used often. You can cover these up with a coat of exterior paint if you want it to look new again.
Turn your rain barrel upside down to prevent water from collecting inside over the winter. Or you can store it inside for the cold months. Since we don’t have room in the garage, we leave it outside for the winter.
You may notice that we place our barrel on a platform of pressure treated wood so that we can easily fit a watering can underneath it when it’s right-side-up and in use.
Follow these steps and your barrel will last you for a long time. Be sure not to leave it upright so that water can collect otherwise the barrel will expand with the ice inside of it and break.
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We use ours to water our hens and goats in winter. So, we do NOT remove them. We just empty and put in place! It does not stay below 32 here for long so we do not have ice in the big barrel.
Your post inspired me: I will get more barrels because why waste the water?