What's Involved in Rain Barrel Installation?
It is very straight forward. Once you have prepared the site (see above), cut off the downspout and elbow with a common hacksaw at a height that allows the barrel to be slid underneath. Reattach the 45-degree elbow. Some people prefer to also install a short piece of the removed downspout from the elbow to the strainer.
Orient the rain barrel into the desired position and install the valve(s) and strainer. Be sure the valve(s) are in the closed position. You are ready to collect rain water!
While not necessary to collect rain water, this is a good time to consider what to do with the extra overflow water.
How Big of a Barrel do I Need?
This is very user dependent.
The site where your barrel will live could be the determining factor.
Unless a special need exists, new users usually start with smaller ones. Seasoned users generally buy the largest one they can afford.
What is the Difference Between Valves?
Our best is a brass butterfly valve used exclusively on our Agua Fria Series barrels. This valve does not trap freezing water.
Also, on our Agua Fria Series barrels, we use a brass throttling gate-style valve that is very tolerant of freezing temperatures. Internally, we call it the “Bucket-high Valve” because it’s primary use is to refill watering cans for house plants.
Finally, all other models use a quality brass ball-style valve. This style will trap freezing water, so it is important to properly winterize the barrel for a long life.
Why are most rain barrels round?
How well your rain catcher stands up under adverse weather conditions depends on the shape of your rain barrel.
Cylindrical with vertical parallel sides is the design utilized on all our rain barrels. Expanding ice MUST be dealt with or it will rupture your rain catcher, no matter what it’s made of.
Vertical parallel sides offer less resistance to expanding ice than constricting shapes. Plus, this shape allows very high hoop strength for the quantity of resin used. This is the reason that all large tanks are round.
Why Capture Rain Water?
Did you know, according to the U.S. Geographical Survey, the average American uses 80-100 gallons of water a day? That means a typical family of 4 could use up to 146,000 gallons of water every year.
We are all aware of our sky-rocketing water consumption along with our changing weather patterns. Finally, after all the years of conspicuous waste, as private individuals and as elected representatives, we recognize that it is in everyone’s best interest to intelligently use our dwindling natural resources, especially water. It is becoming more and more expensive for our cities to provide clean drinkable water to our increasing population.
Collecting, storing, and intelligently using rain water is a great way to do your part in helping to preserve our environment.
How to Reduce Freight Costs?
While freight is always going to be a factor in any item’s total cost, there are some general guidelines to help minimize it.
The single most effective way to reduce freight per item is to order as many items as you can. If your order allows, we will “hide” one barrel inside of another to reduce freight charges.
Our website asks our visitors who are considering ordering many items to let us provide a custom freight quote. It is usually cheaper!
Also, any shipment that needs a lift tailgate on the delivery vehicle or is shipped to a residential address will incur added charges.
What material is used to Mold the Rain Barrels?
Food-grade virgin Polyethylene. This material Is 100% recyclable and fully UV-protected.
Why Use Welded Fittings to Connect Valves?
We do not screw our high-quality brass valves directly into the barrel wall.
Because the hole cannot be easily fixed if you ever over-tighten the valve, we only use welded (not glued) fittings with integral standard pipe threads to locate valves. These fittings are not only a lot stronger, they allow repair to the threads.
Why are your overflows so large?
Tijeras Rain Barrels are professional grade rain barrels. Some of our competitors use a common garden hose for an overflow. There is no way a garden hose or two, or even three, can handle the water from a common downspout in a heavy rain. If the excess water is not properly eliminated through a properly-sized overflow, it will overwhelm the barrel inlet and run down the barrel wall to undermine the barrel’s base, or worse, flow into the house!
All of our overflows terminate in a common U.S. Standard 1-1/2″ female pipe thread. From this large professional outlet, your local hardware can supply many options to move the extra water wherever you want it (such as into a vegetable or flower garden). Lay-flat hose is very popular.
The Agua Fria and Cubo models contain a large 1-1/2″ INTERNAL overflow. Notice how the large 1-1/2″ PVC pipe is almost completely invisible from the outside. There’s nothing pretty about PVC pipe and we intended to minimize its appearance. It’s all about moving the excess water AWAY from the barrel as efficiently as possible.
Our Villa Series enjoys the same large 1-1/2″ overflow as our other rain barrels, except they have an EXTERNAL overflow, rather than internal. This is due to their fixed, non-removable tops.
How to Prepare a Site for a Rain Barrel?
From the rain barrels perspective, this is very simple.
All our rain barrels only require a flat, level area slightly larger than the barrel bottom. It should not have any protrusions (rocks, etc.) sticking up that could potentially pierce the bottom. The barrel bottom must be completely supported. That’s it!
Can I Request a Custom Top?
Yes, please call or contact us to request a custom top.
What about Maintenance?
- Keep gutters and downspouts free of debris
- Clean and maintain filters regularly
- Regularly flush debris from the bottom of storage containers
- Keep landscaped holding areas free of debris
- Control and prevent erosion
- Clean and repair if necessary
- Make sure your rain barrels are big enough to hold the amount of water you need
What About Safety?
Is the barrel you’re considering safe? Let’s be clear – “safe” can be construed to mean a lot of things. However, “safe” to us means that your rain catcher should provide reasonable measures against intrusion by children and animals.
You should be concerned about animals because many of you live near wild animals and they can smell water. Animals will frequent the areas that provide the easiest source of water. It is best that your house not be known, in the animal world at least, as a source of plentiful, easy to get water. Concerning animal intrusion, barrels must be built well.
Please think about what you are doing. Yes, using a trash can with a cover made of scrap plywood and held down with a rock will certainly capture water. And yes, that cute, and probably cheap, used wooden barrel would also collect rain water. However, think about using them.
Children are naturally curious. If they drop something into the water, the temptation will be to retrieve it. Worse case, a young child can innocently get upside down in the water and cannot get out. Fifty gallons of water weighs over 400 pounds. A full-grown adult might not tip it over. This is every parent’s nightmare.
On our removable-top versions, the tops are mechanically fastened to the main body to present a challenge to young children and animals. Ditto for the hole placement in our screened tops. We offer an exceptional balance between large straining area and animal/child resistance.