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Thread: Rain Barrels

  1. #1
    Grow Pitcher Plants! DroseraBug's Avatar
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    Rain Barrels

    I recently purchased a 65 gallon rain barrel for my plants. It serves my bogs great.
    See below:

    http://www.rainwatersolutions.com/rainbarrels.html

    Anyone else using these? You can purchase them in just about any City in NC now and probably U.S. wide. I think their more common overseas. I've been thankful for the rain here in NC lately. I actually paid $40 less than the website post. In my opinion these are great for people with many plants and no more using tap or buying distilled water with rain (knock on wood). I'm gonna buy another soon and up it to 130 gallons.
    "And this is what happened, and this is why the caribou and the wolf are one; for the caribou feeds the wolf, but it is the wolf that keeps the caribou strong."
    Farley Mowat

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    scottychaos's Avatar
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    Nice!

    as an alternative, you can build your own for about $5.



    http://gold.mylargescale.com/scottychaos/CP/page5a.html

    it doesnt hold as much as the commercial version, mine probably hold 10 gallons or so. (I have never bothered to measure it.) I have never run out of water..I use a gallon or two every time I water, but it rains enough around here that the bin is almost always full to the top.

    I keep 3 gallons in reserve in the shed, in gallon jugs filled from the rain "barrel", in case I do ever run out, but I have never needed the reserve..I just dump them out every fall.

    Scot

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    Cardiac Nurse JB_OrchidGuy's Avatar
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    Scot how long have you had yours? I am wondering how long it lasts in the sun. I like the homemade version. Especially if its only around 5 bucks.
    JB
    Friend me on facebook with JB_orchidguy@yahoo.com.
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    feedme's Avatar
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    Sorry as this may be a dumb newbie question, but will the water go bad if it is sitting in that barrel for long? Do you put screens on the gutters to prevent debris from going in the barrel as well? If debris does go into the tank, does it decompose and add nitrogen to the water?

    Sorry for all the odd questions. I am trying to set up a rain water collector for my mothers orchids since she is on a well with softened water.

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    scottychaos's Avatar
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    Josh,
    the one in the photo above was version 1, set up last spring (spring 2007)
    I took it down for the winter, drained it, cleaned it, and stuck it in the shed, and replaced it with a regular downspout extension for the winter months, because my CPs need no water November - February.

    I set it back up this spring..it was doing fine, until I knocked it with the lawnmower and punched out a dime-sized hole, right at the bottom..it drained and was ruined.

    I replaced it with version 2, which is identical except for the drain valve at the bottom.
    I discovered that valve is unnecessary, because I fill the watering can by lifting the cover and dunking the can.

    So sorry, I cant give you a long-term report yet, because I havent had one up and running for more than a year.

    I have a feeling the plastic might get somewhat brittle over time, its not designed for outdoor use, and might eventually crack easily... but with care, and not bumping into it with the lawnmower, I imagine it should be good for several years..and if it does crack, a new one is $5 at target..I just re-use the same PVC drain pipe.

    If mine eventually fails "from natural causes" I will report it here.
    but even if it does, I consider $5 once every three years (or however long it lasts) to be a worthwhile investment.

    Scot

  6. #6
    scottychaos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by feedme View Post
    Sorry as this may be a dumb newbie question, but will the water go bad if it is sitting in that barrel for long? Do you put screens on the gutters to prevent debris from going in the barrel as well? If debris does go into the tank, does it decompose and add nitrogen to the water?

    Sorry for all the odd questions. I am trying to set up a rain water collector for my mothers orchids since she is on a well with softened water.
    speaking for myself, my gutter has a coarse screen at the top, at the top of the downspout where it meets the gutter, which prevents "big" stuff like leaves from coming down.
    I have no trees within easy range of my roof though, so my roof stays fairly clean.

    bits of "shingle grit" and random dirt does wash into the bin however..it just falls to the bottom, and the water on top remains very clean.

    If I know rain is coming, sometimes I dump the bin and wash it out with the hose, to clear out the dirt, I do that a couple times a year.

    When I fist set mine up, I did put some nylon screen over the drain pipe, thinking I could prevent mosquitos from getting in and breeding..but the silicone caulk I used to seal the screen in the pipe degraded fast, and the screen came loose..

    but then I realised that every time it rains..which is at least once a week in the summer around here, the bin fills to the top and LOTS of water rushes out the drain pipe..during an average summer rain storm, hundreds of gallons wash into and right out of the bin..half the roof area! its a lot of water...only 10 gallons remain in the bin when the rain is over..so any mosquito larva that might be in there get washed right out into the lawn, where they die..I have never seen any mosquito larva in there..

    so for my set-up, debris and bugs isnt a major concern..the system is quite "open and drafty"..its not sealed up at all..hasnt been a problem...and the water doesnt stick around long enough to "go bad"..because every time it rains, the whole system is washed out, all the "old water" is washed away and replaced by "new water"...the longest we ever go without rain is maybe 2 weeks..and thats unusual..it rains, at least a mild thunderstorm, at least once a week.

    Scot

  7. #7
    scottychaos's Avatar
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    I just went out and measured the bin..
    the water doesnt fill to the top, because of the drain, but measuring to where the water *does* fill its 14" wide X 11" high X 22" long.
    doing the math, thats 15 gallons.

    even though its a small bin, because it re-fills every time it rains, its essentially an "endless supply" to me.

    D.B.,
    sorry to hijack your thread!
    didnt mean to..

    Scot

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    feedme's Avatar
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    The hijack was my fault. Sorry. I was just very curious about this process. Thanks for answering my questions. I will try to look into it further. I do have a lot of trees to contend with though.

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