Best rain barrels

Rainwater harvesting is a process in which rainwater from roofs or areas of hard surfaces is collected and stored for future use. In western countries, surface runoff has been the main method used to dispose of excess run-off from storms. However, the practice of capturing rainfall for use in gardens is growing more popular.

The stored water can then be used to meet a variety of needs in your household such as flushing toilets, washing clothes, and other activities that require large amounts of water.

Water collected from a roof is often cleaner than a typical outdoor tap, as it has been filtered through leaves and debris. This water can also be used to irrigate household gardens or yards, which reduces the need to use municipally treated water for these purposes.

You can even choose to install a simple faucet beneath your rain barrel that allows you to directly access the collected water. Some types of rain barrels require only minimal construction, while others are more involved. One way to reduce your effort is to buy barrels that are constructed by someone else, just ensure that the barrel you purchase came from sources free of contaminants.

In this guide, we have compiled a list of the best rain barrels available today. We have included a variety of price points and features, so there is bound to be one that matches your needs!

Our Recommended Rain Barrels

ImageProductOur RatingPrice
RTS Home Accents 50-Gallon Rain Water Collection Barrel

RTS Home Accents 50-Gallon Rain Water Collection Barrel

9.7
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FCMP Outdoor Rain Catcher RC4000 Rain Barrel, 50 Gallon

FCMP Outdoor Rain Catcher RC4000 Rain Barrel, 50 Gallon

9.5
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KMJETNIVY Collapsible  Rain Barrel

KMJETNIVY Collapsible Rain Barrel

9.1
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KYOTO RBSS-75 75-Gallon Rain Barrel, Brown

KYOTO RBSS-75 75-Gallon Rain Barrel, Brown

8.8
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55 Gallon Blue Water Barrel

55 Gallon Blue Water Barrel

8.6
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Good Ideas IMP-N50-DBR Rain Barrel, 50 Gallon

Good Ideas IMP-N50-DBR Rain Barrel, 50 Gallon

8.2
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Good Ideas RW40-OAK Rain Wizard Rain Barrel 40-Gallon, Oak

Good Ideas RW40-OAK Rain Wizard Rain Barrel 40-Gallon, Oak

8
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Rain Barrel, DIY Kit Recycled, 58 Gallon

Rain Barrel, DIY Kit Recycled, 58 Gallon

7.7
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Algreen Products 85231 Barcelona Rain Barrel , 100-Gallon

Algreen Products 85231 Barcelona Rain Barrel , 100-Gallon

7.4
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Algreen Products Athena Rain Barrel 80-Gallon, Brownstone

Algreen Products Athena Rain Barrel 80-Gallon, Brownstone

7.2
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Last update on 27th September 2021 / Affiliate Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Why Rainwater Harvesting Is Important?

The main benefit of rainwater harvesting systems is that they reduce demand on municipal water treatment plants. This is especially pertinent in areas where many people live and also during periods of drought. When these systems are in place, people can still use water for daily living activities by using the collected rainwater instead of having to rely on water supplies bought from suppliers.

It is an increasingly popular practice, partly because it reduces the use of natural resources and associated energy usage for treating and transporting water supplies. This is major because the collected water is relatively pure and does not require much treatment to be safe for human consumption. The main process that needs to take place is the filtration of any solid particles in the water, which ensures it doesn’t cause any harm when used.

It is also a cost-effective option in situations where you do not have access to drinkable water. In western countries, rainwater harvesting has been popular with people looking to take advantage of green energy solutions for their homes. Rainwater typically contains low levels of alkalinity, hardness, and salinity. This makes it ideal for use in areas where water supplies require purification before they can be used.

What are the Benefits of Rain Barrels?

  • Some people decide to install these systems as a way of conserving the environment. Water is a natural resource that must be managed carefully to prevent shortages. It sounds straightforward, yet many people still engage in practices that result in water wastage.
  • Others use them as part of household water systems to ensure that all their needs are met without having to rely on municipal sources. Using harvested rainwater can significantly reduce the amount of water you need to purchase for daily activities.
  • Harvesting rainwater is also an effective way of controlling runoff. Preventing the flow of water over hard surfaces reduces the number of pollutants such as fertilizers, pesticides, and pollutants washed from streets during storms entering local waterways.
  • The water collected can also be used to reduce the amount of potable water you use for irrigation and other household purposes. Using harvested rainwater reduces demand for groundwater supplies, which is especially important during periods of drought when people may need to rely heavily on these sources for their daily activities.

How to Install a Rain Barrel?

Now that you are familiar with the benefits of rain barrel systems, there is one more question to consider. How do you install these systems? Many people wonder whether they can install these systems themselves or if they need to hire a contractor for this job.

The good news is that installing your own rain barrel is not difficult to do. However, you might need to spend a little money on the initial setup. In most cases, you can install these systems in one afternoon. This is how to do it:

1. Determine where you want to place the rain barrel in your yard. It should be away from any potential sources of contamination such as roads or industrial areas. The location you choose should have a bit of a downward slope so the water can flow from the barrel to your garden.

2. Drill a hole in the rain barrel and thread the overflow spout through the hole you drilled in your container. This enables excess water to flow directly into your garden without spilling onto hard surfaces and potentially causing damage to your property.

3. Use a pump, siphon, or another device to direct water from your roof into the rain barrel.

What to Look For and How to Prevent Problems?

While rainwater is considered to be relatively safe for use in your garden, there are some potential problems that you should consider. The most apparent potential problem is pollutants in your roof gutter entering the water supply.

Cleaning materials like bleach, chlorine, and paint can cause long-term damage to your soil when used over an extended period of time. You should use a solution such as vinegar or baking soda with water to remove these contaminants from your barrel before using them for irrigation purposes.

Another potential problem is the development of algae in your rain barrel if you leave the lid off while it fills up with water. Algae can develop in your garden soil if you don’t clean it. To avoid this, you should install a screen or cover over the top of your barrel while it is being filled.

Another problem that some gardeners have experienced is rats crawling into their rain barrels and drowning after they’ve eaten through the metal sides. Installing traps around the outside of your rain barrel to catch these animals will solve this problem.

If you are using your rain barrel to harvest water for drinking purposes, it is important that you keep the water contained in the barrel inside your home. This reduces the possibility of mosquito larvae developing in your garden soil after they have hatched from eggs laid by female mosquitoes who were able to get into the water supply while it was being harvested.

What’s The Best Rain Barrel Material?

1) Plastic rain barrels are the most affordable option for most people, but they are also the most fragile. These barrels can develop cracks and split apart in a short period of time, which is definitely a problem if you want to use them for more than a single season.

2) Wood rain barrels are much more durable than plastic versions. They can be quite stylish when designed with attractive wood types like cedar or redwood, and they blend in nicely with many garden designs. The downside to these displays is that wood is much more expensive than plastic.

Many gardeners who have been using rain barrels for more than a few years have experienced some of the problems with plastic and wood versions. These problems can lead to leakage as well as damage from animals, insects, and debris that become trapped in the bottom of your container.

3) Metal rain barrels are a popular choice among many gardeners because it doesn’t develop these problems or need to be repaired as often. You are still going to have to clean out your barrel regularly, but you don’t need to worry about finding hiding places for bugs.

Choosing between galvanized steel and copper rain barrels is much like choosing between plastic, wood, or metal. Both types of material will last for many seasons if they are taken care of properly. Copper is more expensive, but it can add a touch of style that will blend in beautifully with your garden design.

4) If you are looking for ways to add a natural touch to your garden, stone rain barrels can provide the perfect decorative accent that also helps boost the efficiency of your irrigation system. They come in many different shapes and sizes, but all of them have a watertight lining on the inside that allows you to use them as reservoirs for collected rainwater.

5) One of the most interesting options for people who are looking to add a decorative touch to their garden is an old clay water barrel. These containers were popular with farmers in the 19th century, but they have slowly disappeared from farms across North America because more modern options tend to be sturdier and less likely to break apart over time. If you can find one of these older items, they are worth adding to your garden design.

6) The most durable type of rain barrel is one that is made out of stainless steel, but these types of barrels are much more expensive than other materials. They can last for decades if they are cared for properly, but it is important to have a backup plan in case your stainless steel container develops problems over time.

Things to Consider When Looking for the Best Rain Barrels

Capacity

The average rain barrel can hold around 50-55 gallons of rainwater. A barrel this size will be perfect for watering a small garden, but it may not be large enough to sustain a larger plant or lawn area.

If your garden demands a larger water supply, you should consider buying a rain barrel that is at least 100 gallons in size. Remember to check the dimensions of your container so you can easily find a space for it in your yard.

Size of the Spigot

Most rain barrels come with one standard spigot, but you can buy models that have double or even triple taps if you need to fill multiple watering containers at the same time. Look for a faucet that is either made out of plastic or brass because these materials tend to be more durable than other types.

The spigot’s size is also a concern. If you plan on draining your container while it’s raining, you should make sure that the opening is large enough for the water to drain easily.

Material and Shape

Stainless steel barrels are much more expensive than their plastic and wooden counterparts, but they can last for decades if they are taken care of properly. Galvanized metal is an economical choice that will hold up to regular use, but you may have to make some repairs after several seasons.

Plastic barrels are the most affordable option, but you may need to replace your container after it gets damaged by insects or animals. Wood is a great choice if you want to give your garden a natural touch, but regular cleaning and repairs are needed.

Look for a rain barrel that has an interesting shape or pattern so it will blend in with the rest of your yard. For example, a round or square container can fit nicely into most flower beds, while irregularly shaped barrels add a touch of antiquity that is perfect for both wild and formal gardens.

Location

Before you buy a rain barrel, think about where you’ll put it. The container needs to be placed in an open space so it can catch the rain as soon as it starts to fall from the sky.

Make sure that there is enough clearance above your barrel so it won’t get damaged when strong winds blow through your yard. The container must be set so that the rainwater will flow into its opening.

If you can’t find an ideal spot for your rain barrel, you should consider buying a collapsible version. These containers are usually made out of vinyl or nylon fabric, but they are designed to be compact enough to take up very little space when they are not in use.

Overflow Protection

If your rain barrel has a large opening, you should make sure it is fitted with an overflow valve. These safety components prevent the water from draining too quickly if there is an unusually heavy downpour.

If you are unable to find an overflow valve, use your garden hose to create a siphoning effect. This process will send the excess water into another container or directly onto your plants.

Lid and Filtering Screen

You should also think about the type of lid that comes with your rain barrel. A solid cover will protect the water from dust and debris, but it won’t allow air to circulate through the container. This can cause some water to evaporate, providing you with less overall rainfall.

The mesh cover is a better choice for most gardens because it allows both air and water to move in and out of the container. It also reduces the amount of sediment that builds up over time, which can damage your plants’ roots with too much exposure.

Price

Most rain barrels are priced between $30 and $300, but you should look for a model that has special features or comes from a well-known brand. For example, a simple plastic barrel may be the cheapest option available at your local garden center, but it will require repairs after several seasons. In contrast, a metal container with an extended ogee rim and a brass spigot can cost as much as $150, but the quality materials will ensure that it lasts for decades.

Budget is always a concern when it comes to buying garden products, but you should make sure you buy a rain barrel that is both practical and affordable. If you want your container to last a long time, spend a little more and get the best quality one you can afford.

Some manufacturers also offer discounted prices if you buy two or more barrels at the same time, and they may offer special deals if you buy a rain barrel and other types of garden equipment.

FAQ

How Frequently Does a Rain Barrel Need to Be Emptied?

The frequency of how often you need to empty a rain barrel will depend on the amount of rainfall in your area, and it also depends on the size of your container. You should regularly check your barrel so you can remove any sediment or algae before it builds up and starts to affect the water quality.


Is it Possible for My Rain Barrel Water to Get Moldy

?Unless you have a lot of algae or other organic materials in your barrel, it should remain relatively clean all the time. If you use a mesh screen for your overflow pipe, you can also prevent insects from getting inside and laying eggs that will hatch into larvae later on.


Is It Illegal to Harvest Rainwater?

Most states in the U.S. allow people to collect rainfall for their own use, and you can work with your local authorities to find out more about the specific rules in your community.


Is It OK to Leave Rain Barrels Outside in the Winter?

If you live in an area that is prone to heavy snowfalls, it is best to bring your rain barrels inside or install a cover around them during the coldest months. If they freeze, the water can expand and crack the container, which will cause it to leak when it thaws.


Is It Safe to Water Vegetables With Rain Barrel Water?

Rainwater is better than tap water because it contains less chlorine or fluoride, which can be harmful to your plants if too much is used. Always use rainwater for sensitive vegetables, but you could use tap water for more hardy plants like carrots.


Is It Possible to Drink Water From a Rain Barrel?

Rainwater is safe for watering plants, but you should not drink it if your water tap is not filtered. It can contain bacteria or other impurities that are bad for humans to ingest unless it has been purified or sterilized inside the barrel.


Will a Rain Barrel Attract Mosquitoes?

Mosquitoes like to lay their eggs in stagnant water, and they will also drink the fresh drops of rain that collect on leaves, branches, and other objects outside. Having a mesh screen over your overflow pipe will reduce the amount of standing water around your rain barrel and minimize mosquito activity near your garden or home.


Does a Rain Barrel Require Maintenance?

A rain barrel generally does not require much care or maintenance, but you should inspect it every few months to make sure there is no rust or algae inside. You should also clean your container regularly with a mild cleaner so it does not attract mosquitoes.