The time has come for you to transform your resilient front yard. Hiding a rain barrel in plain sight may be a good thing to do to prepare for a possible survival situation. This way, you will have water storage and nobody will know about it. Moreover, water is the one element you can’t live without for more than 2 days.
Here’s what you will need:
- One 3 x 4-inch PVC reducer
- One 3/4-inch PVC male thread to glue adapter
- One 3/4-inch PVC tee with glue ends
- One 3/4 inch PVC 90 degree bends with glue ends
- One ¾-inch PVC 90 degree bend – one-end female threads – one-end glue
- PVC cement/glue
- One 3/4-inch PVC cap – if you plan on adding more rain barrels at a later date as I’m planning to do
- One 3/4-inch PVC ball valve with glue ends
- Teflon and pipe dope
- One 3/4-inch male thread (brass) adapter with a male threaded garden hose on the other end
- Burlap and twine
- Window screen and hose clamp
- Bunghole wrench – homemade from scrap lumber
- Adjustable wrench or pliers
- Drill and bits
- Tin snips or metal-cutting blade a circular saw
- 3 feet of 3/4 inch PVC pipe – I’d recommend heavy walled schedule 40 for this application
Remove the two-inch bunghole so you can rinse the barrel out. Some recommend a Clorox-water mix.
Turn the barrel upside down so that the lid is on the ground. Place the 3-inch side of the 3×4-inch reducer on the barrel bottom a couple of inches from the edge of the barrel – trace the circle of the fitting on the barrel. After that, drill a starter hole on the inside of the circle. This allows you to insert the blade of your jigsaw to make the circular cut.
Flip the barrel back over. Then, remove the bunghole with your 2×2 wrench. Clamp the bunghole in a vice and cut through the 2-inch and ¾-inch threads with a hacks saw. This will remove the extra non-threaded portion allowing you to attach a 3/4-inch male adapter in the center of the 2-inch bunghole cap. Do not cut through the threaded part of the bunghole cap.
Once the cap of the 3/4-inch female center is removed, add Teflon and pipe dope to the 2-inch threads of the bunghole cap and screw the cap back into the barrel hole. Tighten with your 2×2 wrench. Be careful not to over tighten and strip the treads. The next step is to apply Teflon (5 to 7 revolutions) to the 3/4-inch male adapter. Tighten hand-tight and just a half turn with a wrench.
Built a stand for the rain barrel out of old 4x4s and half a shipping pallet. You can use cement blocks or whatever material you have available. You can also simply put it on a table or in a place that you already have.
Once the barrel is in place on its stand, you’re ready to start cutting and putting together your drain assembly. Cut two pieces of ¾-inch PVC pipe 5 inches long. These measurements depend on what your stand measurements are.
It is time to assemble the drain. With the adapter tightened into the center of the bunghole cap, apply PVC glue to the female end of the adapter and the end of one of the 5-inch pieces of pipe you just cut. Mate the two together and give the pipe a 1/4 turn (do this to all your glue joints) to ensure a good seal.
Next, glue a ¾-inch elbow to the end of the other 5-inch piece of pipe. Then glue the elbow to the 5-inch drop piece attached to the bunghole cap. This should give you an inch or so of pipe sticking out in front of your pallet stand.
Glue the ¾-inch PVC tee to the stub-out with the open ends running parallel to the stand. On one end of the tee, glue a 3-inch piece of ¾-inch pipe. Then, glue the ball valve to the other end of the 3-inch piece. Cut another 3-inch piece and glue it to the open end of your ball valve.
Now you need to attach the threaded end of the brass fitting to the female end of the last 90-degree elbow before gluing it to the open end of the pipe sticking out of the ball valve. Remember not to over-tighten.
Now glue the 3/4-inch glue end of the elbow to the end of the pipe.
Cut an 8-inch piece of pipe and glue it to the open end of the tee. Glue the cap on the end of this pipe. Your drain assembly is now complete. To add more barrels, simply cut the pipe at the capped end and couple it to your next rain barrel drain assembly.
Attach mesh screening to the 4-inch side of the reducer with a hose clamp. This will keep debris and mosquitoes out of your barrel. Place the 3-inch side of the reducer back into the hole on top of the barrel.
With the barrel on its stand, measure the distance between the downspout and the 3 x 4-inch reducer sitting in the hole on top of the barrel. Cut a piece of gutter the proper length and secure it to the wall so that it directs rainwater into the 4-inch opening at the top of the barrel.
Note: Leave about two inches of space between the downspout and the top of the 4-inch reducer. This allows you room to remove the reducer to wash out collected debris periodically.
Camouflage your barrel (optional). You can purchase a material of your choice and cover it up the way you want it. Here’s where your creativity comes in.
And you are done. There you have you own camouflage rain barrel. Rainwater is very healthy and available for everyone. However, not everyone knows how to take advantage of this benefit. Make sure you are among those who do know how to benefit.
How would you camouflage yours? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.