Rain Barrels and Your Gutters

Rain barrels are used by many homeowners to collect, or harvest, the water that runs down the roof of their home and through their gutter systems. Often times, homeowners re-purpose this water for their lawn irrigation means, to conserve water or to have a store of water in case of a drought. 

Place Your Rain Barrel Underneath Your Gutter Downspout
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It’s important to know the proper place for your gutter’s downspout. Once your gutter system is in place and properly installed by a professional gutter company, all you have to do is place your rainwater tank, otherwise known as a rain barrel, underneath the downspout of your gutter. Make sure that your gutter system is free of clogs and debris so you don’t have contaminated water entering your rain barrels. It’s important to ensure that the end of the downspout goes into the barrel completely and you don’t risk losing water and having it pool at your home’s foundation. 

Retrofit Your Gutter System for Your Rain Barrel 
In most cases, you’ll need to retrofit your gutter system to properly fit your rain barrel or rainwater system to avoid water pooling outside of the barrel. You may need to shorten the gutter or even create a new downspout. This will likely require the assistance of a gutter repair or installation expert 
By shortening your gutter, you can make sure that your water is flowing directly into the rain barrel. If you can’t place your rain barrel underneath your gutter downspout easily, then it may just be easier to shorten your downspout instead of trying to retrofit your barrel or rainwater collection system. 
By creating a new downspout, you help ensure that your gutter system’s piping remains untouched and you can simply place a new pipe for the water to flow through. If you can’t fit your rain barrel underneath the downspout and you want to keep your downspout at the correct length, creating a new downspout will be your best option. To guarantee that your gutter system will be able to properly function the same, you will want to ensure that the piece you are connecting to your new downspout is sealed properly. To get an accurate water flow into your rain barrel, you may need to drill into the gutter to ensure an airtight seal. The spigot you use for your new gutter piping should match the horizontal slope of your gutter. 

Debris Filters for Your Downspout
It’s important to prevent your rain barrels from getting dirty debris and clogs into the water supply and potentially contaminating it, you can install a downspout filter for your gutter. This will help keep twigs, leaves, dirt, nuts and animals out of your gutter’s downspout, and therefore, your rain barrels. You can find filters in a variety of shapes and styles to fit each gutter’s style.

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