From Gardener's Supply (

Rain-Saver Water Barrel

This 50-gallon water barrel is made of 95 percent recycled plastic and comes equipped with an angled lid to lead water directly into the barrel. The rim of the barrel features an integrated clip system that locks the lid into place for a child-proof fit. The 4-1/2" opening in the center of the lid can accomodate both 2"x 3" and 3"x 4" downspouts.

The following components are included:
Spigot with nut and washer
Two-part stand

1. The barrel should arrive with a lid, a two-part stand and a spigot. Lay out all the components on the ground.

2. Make sure the ground or area where you will be installing the water barrel is level, solid and has good drainage. When the rainwater reaches the top of the barrel, it may overflow. After you finish the assembly, you can place gravel or pieces of slate around the base of the barrel stand to help prevent water from washing soil away.

Two-part, interlocking stand
3. The two parts of the stand have notches on the bottom that interlock. Turn the two sections upside down. Connect the two parts by lining up the notches in the center and slip the lip of one section over the lip of the other section. Turn the assembled stand right side up and place it on the ground.

Attaching the spigot
4. Attach the spigot to the barrel by first unscrewing the nut from the spigot. (Do not remove the washer). Place the threaded end of the spigot through the small hole near the bottom of the barrel. Then lay the barrel on the ground and reach inside to screw the nut back on the spigot. You may need a second person to hold the spigot on the outside as you tighten the nut inside the barrel.

5. Place the barrel on top of the stand. Notice the stand has two indentations. These are provided as a space for your watering can to rest while you draw water from the barrel. Make sure the spigot is lined up with one of these indentations.

Securing the lid
6. The water barrel lid is held in place by three clips inside the rim of the barrel. The lid snaps into the three clips. To remove the lid, push one of the clips inward to release the side of the lid, then pull the lid up from the rim.

Attaching a downspout
7. Insert the downspout through the hole in the top of the lid. Depending on its size, you may need to cut off the end of the downspout to fit it inside the top of the lid. If you are attaching the Flexible Downspout, please follow the directions for cutting that are provided with the downspout. If you are not attaching a downspout, you can cover the hole with screen to keep out debris and rodents.

Collecting Rain
The Rain-Saver Water Barrel has a 50-gallon capacity. This may seem like a lot of water, but when you consider that a roof area of 1,000 square feet sheds 625 gallons in a 1" rainfall, you can imagine how quickly the barrel can fill up. If you find the water barrel is filling too fast, there are a couple of things you can do: Instead of a house roof, collect water from a smaller surface area such as the roof of an outbuilding, garage, shed or playhouse to decrease overflow.

Attach a second RainBarrel to capture overflow by using a Rainbarrel Linking kit.

By doing some basic math, you can determine how much rain water your roof generates. The constant to remember is: 1" of rain will provide 625 gallons of water from a 1,000-square-foot roof, or 625 gallons/1,000 square feet. So if your roof is 50 square feet, here's how to estimate the volume to expect from a 1" rainfall:
Multiply 625 gallons by 50 square feet and then divide by 1000: 625 x 50 = 31250/1000 = 31.25
You can expect 31.25 gallons of rainwater from a 1" rainfall on your 50-square-foot roof.

Drawing Water
The spigot is equipped with a handy thumb valve for filling watering cans or buckets. It can also be used to drain the barrel. If you know that you?ll be filling a tall container or tank, elevate the barrel to take advantage of the gravity feed.

Winter Storage
If you live in a cold climate, drain the barrel and spigot completely and place the barrel in a secure location and upside down to avoid freezing and cracking during the winter.

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