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Linking rain barrels

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussion' started by Netmonkey, Jun 27, 2016.

  1. Jun 27, 2016 at 1:58 PM
    #1
    Netmonkey

    Netmonkey [OP] New Member

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    Hey guys,

    The previous owner of my house had installed 5, 60 gallon rain barrels. The rain gutters at the roof all funnel into the brown barrel on the end of the row. All five of the barrels are linked at the top with 2 inch pvc pipe. In order to fill all the barrels, each previous barrel has to fill up. However, to use the water, each barrel has a single connection to plug a hose into. Instead, I would like to link all the barrels at the bottom into a single connection so they all drain fairly evenly. What would be the best way to do this? I would like to keep the existing lower connections. Adding new connections might prove to be difficult since all the barrels are full.

    Thanks for the help.

    Here are a couple of pictures.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    UPDATE: 7-2-2016
    Thanks for all the input everyone. With what I had to work with, I think I can up a good solution. However, if I was going to setup rain barrels from scratch, I think I could have come up with a better system. The quick disconnects that the previous owner installed are not very good. The stopper in them sticks so they will stay open. They leak even when the stopper does pop out. and they are pulling out of the rain barrels.... so, at some point, they are going to totally fail.

    so, I used Y connections out of each quick disconnect so that I don't have to fiddle with the QD's anymore. The Y connections have valves on them, so I can pull water from any combination of the barrels. And there is a single end point and valve to turn on the water. With this setup, I was also able to stop all the leaks.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Here is the single connection point to access all the barrels.
    [​IMG]

    Here is how the previous owner connected all the barrels at the top. The sealant that he used is failing and the PVC pipes are loose.
    [​IMG]

    Also, the barrels were used for food products in the past (vinegars and condements https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mizkan). Because they are sealed, you cant get inside them to properly attach the pipes at the top and the connections at the bottom. Everything is just drilled or screwed into the barrel. At some point, I am going to replace the entire system and do it right.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2016
  2. Jun 27, 2016 at 2:03 PM
    #2
    csuviper

    csuviper Moderator Staff Member

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    Pics arent showing up at the moment. Would love to see this setup.
     
  3. Jun 27, 2016 at 2:04 PM
    #3
    Nor7

    Nor7 Chilton Manual Guy

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    Daisy chain the lower connectors together using 3 way splitters and use a 4 way on the last, which your hose will hook up to.
     
    15whtrd and csuviper like this.
  4. Jun 27, 2016 at 2:05 PM
    #4
    csuviper

    csuviper Moderator Staff Member

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    Yep ^^^
     
  5. Jun 27, 2016 at 2:05 PM
    #5
    Nor7

    Nor7 Chilton Manual Guy

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    Oh wait, you can use a 3 way on the last one and it will still work, you get what I meant.
     
  6. Jun 27, 2016 at 2:07 PM
    #6
    Netmonkey

    Netmonkey [OP] New Member

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    pics there now
     
  7. Jun 27, 2016 at 2:25 PM
    #7
    Netmonkey

    Netmonkey [OP] New Member

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    Ya, I found several connection options, but what about in between the connections? PVC pipe? Can you cut custom lengths of garden hose? I am a noob to home ownership and I have much to learn :)
     
  8. Jun 27, 2016 at 2:35 PM
    #8
    csuviper

    csuviper Moderator Staff Member

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    Yea all 3 way.
     
  9. Jun 27, 2016 at 2:38 PM
    #9
    csuviper

    csuviper Moderator Staff Member

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    You could use a male fitting to 1" PVC tee and run rigid pvc pipe between them all. The last one tee could have the 1" PVC to female fitting that the hose can connect to.
     
  10. Jun 27, 2016 at 2:39 PM
    #10
    csuviper

    csuviper Moderator Staff Member

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    You could also cut the flexible hose to the lengths you need and buy the fittings to clamp on your own male and female fittings.

    All of this can be found at home depot.
     
  11. Jun 27, 2016 at 3:01 PM
    #11
    Netmonkey

    Netmonkey [OP] New Member

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    Right... I just found the various pieces that can make this all work.

    I have been renting for decades and I am so out of practice doing work around the house. I need to build up my "tool box" of skills :)
     
  12. Jun 27, 2016 at 4:31 PM
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    bobeast

    bobeast really old member

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    Use something flexible. Getting PVC to line up without moving the barrels would be a nightmare.
     
  13. Jun 27, 2016 at 5:39 PM
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    csuviper

    csuviper Moderator Staff Member

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    True
     
  14. Jun 28, 2016 at 6:22 AM
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    Nor7

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    Nah you don't need to get all fancy. All the pieces are there you just need some adapters and those plastic QD's (quick disconnects) are the answer. They will adapt any male/female to another. You can buy some flexible short pieces of hose, they are normally used to hook up a hose reel to a spigot. Then you need a splitter (below) and then you'll just need some adapters. If you keep it all QD it should make it easier.

    QD's
    [​IMG]

    10 ft hose
    [​IMG]
    3/4" nipple
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Jun 28, 2016 at 7:28 AM
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    Over the LINE

    Over the LINE New Member

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    I have an off the grid camp and so I have a good deal of experience with catchment systems. I would typically set up a system similar to what the previous homeowner did, filling from the top with separately valved drains. The reason being, if you have a leak in one barrel you only loose one barrel. Face it, this is not code worthy plumbing so the chance of leakage is high. I suggest if you do connect them all, you valve the barrels so that you have the ability to equalize them but they remain separate.

    I am not sure you can use it with the current fittings you have, but I have had great success using PEX piping. It does not need to be dry to make connections, it is flexible and is as easy to cut as PVC but you must make the minor investment in a crimp tool.
     
    ramonortiz55 likes this.
  16. Jun 28, 2016 at 2:14 PM
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    ramonortiz55

    ramonortiz55 New Member

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    +1 on the pex fittings.

    I would personally let the barrels fill at the top.

    Easier to maintain fittings up there than at the bottom.
     
  17. Jun 29, 2016 at 4:41 AM
    #17
    Netmonkey

    Netmonkey [OP] New Member

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    hrm... they do fill up at the top. I am looking to link them at the bottom so I can connect a single hose in one spot for use with the whole system.
     
    ramonortiz55 likes this.
  18. Jul 2, 2016 at 7:56 AM
    #18
    Netmonkey

    Netmonkey [OP] New Member

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    Original post updated. Thanks for the help, everyone.
     
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