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Can a Rain Barrel Power a Sprinkler?

can a rain barrel power a sprinkler

By conserving water, we make sure to do our best to protect the environment, keep the water we have clean and fresh, and aid in the protection of water for future generations. One way to conserve water is by gathering rainwater in a barrel. With this method, you can save up a generous water supply anytime it rains! Rain is a natural water resource that most people fail to take advantage of, but this might be about to change.

Can a rain barrel power a sprinkler system? The answer is yes. You can definitely use a rain barrel to power a sprinkler. You will need to invest in a few materials and perform a small installation.

By collecting rainwater and using it to water your lawn, bushes, and trees, you won’t have to worry about wasting water or about receiving a hefty water bill by the time summer comes to an end.  Rainwater is free to collect and free to use, and it is greatly encouraged to make good use of it once you have it in your barrel! Collecting rainwater in a barrel also helps prevent overwhelming the city (or town) sewers! 

With this in mind, you end up doing something positive for the environment, your hometown, and your wallet. Powering a sprinkler with a rain barrel is a great way to skip the guilt of watering your backyard when many parts of the world are struggling with extreme drought. 

How to Use a Rain Barrel to Power a Sprinkler

The good news keeps coming, and it is not very difficult to use a rain barrel to power a sprinkler! Anyone can have this set up at home, and you can either do it yourself or hire a professional to get it done reasonably quickly. In other words – you are much closer to having your own rain barrel-powered sprinkler system than you think!

Perhaps you are asking yourself how the water is going to come out of the sprinkler with pressure, but the answer is surprisingly simple! The barrel is placed approximately 3 feet off ground, and the water will have to go down to the sprinkler – allowing gravity to do its thing and push the water out the sprinkler! 

This Is What You Need

To set up a proper sprinkler system powered by a rain barrel, you need to invest in the material needed. This is a very small cost when taking into consideration how much money you will save on water bills, and the supplies can be found in most hardware stores and online.

Material Needed for a Rain Barrel Powered Sprinkler:

  • 55-Gallon Rain Barrel – Plastic (with Lid)
  • Wire Cutters
  • Jaw Wrench (Adjustable)
  • Plywood (¾ inch)
  • Wood Screws (1-inch and 3-inch)
  • Hose
  • Spigot
  • Screen
  • Lumber (2×4)
  • Drain Hose
  • Skill Saw
  • Pressure Treated Lumber – Five Pieces (3ft, 4×4)

We recommend using a rain barrel that is leak-proof and has a high capacity if you utilize rainwater for many daily chores. This collapsible rain barrel by Vingli is high-quality, portable, and reusable. It comes in 50, 66, and 100 gallon tanks.

Putting the Rain Barrel Sprinkler System Together

You have to be a little handy if you are going to put this together yourself, and your best bet is to look for a video tutorial to see if you think you can handle it. Video tutorials are superior to text tutorials for one simple reason – humans are visual beings, and it is much easier to copy something we are seeing.

Building the frame is the first step when setting up your rain barrel-powered sprinkler. You need plywood to make the base, and the key here is to make it sufficiently large to support the barrel. Two plywood squares are needed, and you will screw them together perfectly lined. Also, cut the five lumber pieces to the required size.

This is the easiest part but it does require some skills, to make sure all the pieces are the right size. After that, as you go on to assembling the frame, bracing it, preparing the barrel, attaching the fittings, positioning the tube, and attaching the hoses – that’s where you might need the help of a tutorial, or a professional. 

Easier Than It Sounds

For someone with limited skills or experience, it can sound complicated to put all this together, and it is easy to get discouraged and to continue using water the way you always have. Don’t be discouraged! It is nowhere near as hard as it sounds, and the benefits of having a rain barrel-powered sprinkler are many!

Keep in mind that all the work and effort you put in now is going to save you money down the line, and that is something we all need every once in a while. The effort it takes to put the system together is a small sacrifice considering the benefits.

Size of Your Rain Barrel

Rain barrels can only hold so much water, and if you have a very big yard or land that you intend to water, then you are most likely going to need more than one barrel. Do your research to see how many barrels you need for them to fill their function, and plan according to the size of your yard and your watering needs.

There is always a possibility that you won’t be able to use only rain water to water your yard, as it might not be enough, but even if you can only use your rain barrel for two days out of seven, it is still going to save you money.

Final Thoughts

Being kind to mother nature is important, but saving money is just as important for many families in the United States and worldwide. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to do both at the same time?

Luckily, there is! By collecting water in a rain barrel and using it to power your sprinkler, you can now water your yard without adding to the water bill, wasting water resources, or putting a strain on the city sewer system.

Gravity is a pretty great thing, and thanks to the placement of the rain barrel – which should be placed a couple of feet off ground – you get natural water pressure as the water makes its way down to the sprinkler!

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