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Do Rain Barrels Need Pumps?

do rain barrels need pumps

Rain barrels have been around for hundreds of years, but they have made an impressive comeback lately, where homeowners are discovering the many benefits of collecting rain to save on water bills and help the planet.

A common question related to the use of rain barrels is whether there is enough water pressure, or if a rain barrel needs a pump installed? Having a pump installed isn’t needed for rain barrels, per se, but it might be highly beneficial due to significantly increasing the water pressure.

When trying to figure out whether your rain barrel could benefit from a water pump, you first need to determine what the barrel will be used for. There are some pros and cons that come with the installation of a water pump, and we have the information you need to make an educated decision. 

Why You Might Need a Pump for Your Rain Barrel

The main concern for those who have rain barrels tend to be to collect rain properly as it falls, and many forget to think about the second most important thing – water pressure. A very common way to use rainwater is with your backyard’s irrigation system, but what happens if there isn’t enough pressure?

The reason this tends to be forgotten is that we are used to having pressurized water come out of our faucets, showers, and more, and many forget that a rain barrel is just that – a barrel and that the water might not come out the way one expects.

Convenient for a Bigger Yard

When hooking a rain barrel up to a sprinkler, it is common to just place the barrel about 3 inches above ground level, which allows gravity to do the rest, but if you have a larger yard or more demanding needs, this might not be enough, and many homeowners now opt to install a pump to make the most of their rain collection.

Why Collecting Rainwater is Beneficial

The biggest benefit that comes with using a rain barrel is the money you end up saving. No, drinking or showering with rainwater might not be ideal, but it is a great option for watering your plants, trees, and lawn! Instead of getting water out of the faucet – leading to a hefty water bill at the end of the month, you can use rainwater for free.

Collecting rainwater is also great to prevent clogging of pipes and sewers, as the rain will end up in the barrel(s) and not directly on the ground. You will end up doing your wallet a favor, but also something that benefits the city sewers and mother nature.

More Money ; Less Water Waste

There are pros and cons with everything, but there are very few (if any) cons to collecting rainwater in a rain barrel. You will feel better about yourself since you will no longer be wasting water as you water your yard, and you will save money on your water bills that can be used for other (and much more fun) things.

Getting the Right Rain Barrel

Water pressure is important, and the key to good water pressure is getting a rain barrel that is big enough to hold a substantial water quantity. 50-55 gallons tend to be recommended, and larger yards may require you to have two or more barrels.

The main difference between a rain barrel and getting your water directly from a faucet is that rain barrel water isn’t unlimited. This means that if you think you will need more than one barrel can hold to keep your yard watered, then it is probably a better idea for you to install at least two barrels instead.

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.

Considering a Rain Barrel Pump

Now, let’s talk about the pump. If you are serious about replacing your current watering system and start using rainwater to water the yard, wash your car, and more, then you might want to consider adding that pump after all.

Having a rain barrel pump will make the experience smoother and less complicated, and you won’t notice much difference between using water from a faucet and that from a rain barrel. Simplicity is valuable to a large percentage of the population today, and while a pump isn’t necessarily needed – it is practical. 

Installing a Pump

Modern rainwater barrels have a faucet for a hose installed at the bottom, and since the barrel is placed above ground – it allows you to benefit from gravity to water your plants. If this isn’t enough to make watering easy and convenient, then it is time to consider a battery-driven water pump.

The first thing you need to do is to purchase a pump, and then a quick process is all it takes to install it! The best option for someone without experience is to hire a professional to install the pump, to make sure it gets done properly.

The good news is that installing a pump to aid with water pressure isn’t expensive, and once installed, it shouldn’t up your costs since most pumps run on rechargeable batteries and not electricity. It will cost you a little more upfront, yes, but the money you will save in the long run quickly makes up for it.

Final Thoughts

When you have rain barrels, you don’t necessarily need a pump for them to fill their function, as gravity does its thing when the barrels are placed correctly. This is usually enough for smaller yards or outdoor spaces.

However, if you want your rain barrels to mimic the function of a regular faucet – with pressurized water, then you are better off investing in a pump.

The handy homeowner can most likely install the pump themselves, but you also have the option to call in a professional, to make sure it is installed properly. No, rain barrels do not need pumps to function, but it can be beneficial if you want your rain barrels to perform better or work for bigger outdoor surfaces.

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