Frequently Asked Questions
Here are questions that people often ask about our rain barrels. Do you have some good questions? Email them to Aaron and he will answer you directly, if it is a good one, he will add it to this page, thanks!
Question: Can I paint my rain barrel?
Answer: I have a page with easy instruction to follow, so yes, you can paint a rain barrel!
Tip: Want to hide your rain barrel the natural way? Get some plastic mesh and plant a hardy ivy near bye, allow the ivy to climb up the mesh and cover the rain barrel or build a simple box or fence out of trellis.
Question: I am concerned about mosquitoes and the west nile virus are your rain barrels safe?
Answer: Yes, this was also a major concern of ours so we designed ALL our rain barrels to be mosquito safe. Related: mosquito hawks.
Question: Can I use Armor-all car plastic preservative on my rain barrel?
Answer: Yes you can. We recommend using a product like this a couple times a year to brighten, condition and protect your rain barrels giving them a long life. All our rain barrels are also vented to stop expansion from hot and cold temperatures which under the right circumstances could crack a rain barrel. We have yet to have a single complaint about a rain barrel cracking (and we have many customers in northern regions) but if the conditions are there the vent will save a barrel from harm.
New: Interested in learning what products we use for rain barrel care?
Question: We have had rain and the barrel has about 8 inches of water in it. The flow of water from the spigot is minimal. Any suggestions?
Answer: All rain barrels rely on gravity for flow. They are not pressurized like the water in your house. The more water in your barrel the greater flow. If you want a flush valve installed on your rain barrel simply purchase the irrigation rain barrel , it is a super deal!
Question: If your barrels are sealed how can I clean mine inside?
Answer: Simple, just drain your barrel and pull it away from the house. Stick a hose in the open down spout hole and spray it out. You can also connect a garden hose from your house directly up to the spigot on the rain barrel (it’s threaded) and flush it out. We find the barrels water is usually clean. The "food grade" quality of the plastic makes them not friendly to germs and microbes.
Question: How does one use these barrels to water a lawn? Can some type of pump be hooked up to a lawn sprinkler to spread water over lawn?
Answer: There isn’t a way to pressurize a rain barrel without some major expense. Use the water tower principle. Place your rain barrel up high on two leveled cinder blocks using gravity to your advantage. Aaron wrote up a great tutorial on how to build a rain barrel stand recently.
Question: How do you ship these with out the faucet breaking off in the process?
Answer: Each fitting on my rain barrels are drilled, threaded, wrapped with Teflon Tape and glued tight with liquid weld. They should hold tight even in the harshest shipping conditions. Our rain barrels are made to last. You don’t know how many people order rain barrels from us after their other rain barrels spigot snapped off. We have yet to have a single issue with damage during or after shipping. Aaron’s Rain Barrels are insured 100% for travel via the outstanding Fed-ex Ground Service, they arrive in a big brown box made from recycled materials.
Question: I live in the mountains at 8,000 feet and would like to purchase a rain barrel from you. Will the plastic crack if I leave it out all winter?
Answer: We live in New England and had one of the harshest winters last year. We left a rain barrel connected to a gutters downspout on the sunny side of the house to test it. It survived the winter without a crack and we used the water for my indoor plants. Read about rain barrels in winter.
Question: I’m really impressed with your rain barrel design and commitment to quality. I was planning to make my own rain barrels, but now I’m thinking of just buying yours instead!
However, I am not sure if I should order the Rain Mammoth (summer item, feel free to contact us about this), or two barrels that can be attached to separate down spouts. I am thinking that 2 barrels, each hooked up to separate down spouts, would gather water more quickly than the 2 joined barrels attached to a single down spout. Any thoughts on that?
Answer: Yes indeed, if you have two places to connect barrels, buy two individual units but make sure you choose the larger overflow option. You might be surprised how fast these thing fill from average sized rooftop runoff.
Question: How long does it take to fill a rain barrel?
Answer: One inch of rain on a 1000 square foot rooftop yields 600 gallons of water. To calculate how much rain water your rooftop will produce multiply the square footage of your roof by 600 and divide by 1000. You will quickly see that it is not out of the question to own more than one rain barrel. Here is a page of interesting rain barrel facts.