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Do Rain Barrels Have to Be Elevated?

do rain barrels have to be elevated

Rain barrels can be used for a multitude of different reasons. They are a very effective way to capture a lot of rainwater very quickly, but they also double as storage for said rainwater. This means that the process of getting and storing the water is incredibly easy.

However, there are a few things that need to be considered when you decide to collect, store and use rainwater. One of these things is where, and how, to properly place your rain barrel. 

The most common question is do rain barrel have to be elevated? The simple answer is that they do not have to be elevated. But depending on what you are using the rainwater for, elevating the barrel can be very useful. Here we will tell you everything you need to know.

Why Should I Elevate My Rain Barrel?

The exact placement of your rain barrel will depend on what you plan to use it for. If you are simply collecting rainwater to dip a watering can into to water your plants and flower then no, you will not necessarily need to elevate it.

However, if you plan on doing anything that involves a hose then it will indeed be a good idea to elevate the barrel. This is because gravity will help the water flow down through the pipe, reducing the need to install any form of pump. That way you can keep your set up as simple as possible without the need for any costly additions.

So, if you plan on using your rain barrel to water your garden then elevating it would be a good idea. You should set up your irrigation system, elevate your rain barrel and connect the two together by using a hose. The elevation here means that you will need to do very little work to water your garden thoroughly. 

Indeed, the only addition that you may need would be a value. This would then allow you to turn the water supply from the barrel on and off as you wish. 

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.

How High Do Rain Barrels Need to Be?

One of the most important things to consider when elevating your rain barrel is just how high it needs to be. You want to make sure that the gravitational force is strong enough to actually allow the water to flow down through the pipe and that it does so freely. 

The height that your water barrel should be elevated depends on exactly how efficient you want it to be. The recommended elevation height is actually 23.1 feet. However, for most household needs this is simply unnecessary. Often you can simply raise the rain barrel off of the ground by a few feet to get enough of a flow to meet your needs. 

How Should I Elevate My Rain Barrel?

Elevating your rain barrel just a few feet off of the ground is a rather simple and easy process. You should first decide exactly where you will place your rain barrel. You should choose a spot that is easy to reach, close to where you want the water to go and on level ground.

Once you have chosen the perfect spot you can simply place cinder blocks or bricks on the level ground. Make sure that these are indeed level as the sheer weight of the rain barrel means that it can easily fall over if on uneven ground. 

Then simply place the rain barrel on the top of this stand. You can make it as tall as you like, but remember that the base must always be stable. Do not place the rain barrel up so high that it can potentially become a hazard. 

Alternatively, you can also buy rain barrel stands. This will save you any worries about the stability of your homemade base.

Can You Use a Rain Barrel Without a Downspout?

A downspout simply connects your guttering system to your rain barrrel. So, depending on how much rain there is in your area you may or may not need to install a downspout.

If you live in an area where there is often heavy downpour the chances are that your rain barrel will fill up rather quickly. So, you should not need to install a downspout to ensure that your barrel is filled.

However, if you live in an area with little to no rain then adding a downspout can really help the amount of rainwater that you are able to collect. It essentially acts as a funnel for your rain barrel, making the collection process a lot easier and reducing the amount of time that it takes to fill it up.

Are Downspouts Clean?

If you do indeed need to use a downspout then you should consider adding a filter to your rain barrel. The reason for this is because once the rain hits your roof and/or guttering system it can be contaminated by anything already there.

For example, if there are leaves and bugs in your gutters then these can easily be flushed down into your rain barrel. If you are planning on using this rainwater to drink or to clean your clothes then obviously you will want to remove anything of this nature.

Final Thoughts

The position of your rain barrel will largely depend on its use. If you need to attach a hose to your barrel then elevating it, even a small amount, can greatly improve the ease with which the water flows through the pipe. You can also add a valve to make this process easier. 

To elevate your rain barrel you should ensure that you rest it on a stable and level surface in a location that is easy to get to and close to where you want the water to end up.

For example, if you want to use the rainwater to irrigate your garden then placing the barrel near your flower beds and raising it up a few feet will make your rainwater collection and usage process much easier. 

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