Saturday, February 2, 2008

This page shows how to make a single stack of 55 gallon barrels.

The basic unit of my rainharvester is the Single Stack Of Barrels (SSOB). This saves space and allows for greater water pressure.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Air escapes and water enters...


This connection allows air to escape from the lower barrel (which is sealed at the top), and allows water to enter from the upper barrel (which has a gutter inlet at the top).

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Step1: Tap the barrel.

1. Drill a 1/2" hole into the barrel with a Forstner bit. Place the hole about 1 or 2" from the edge of the barrel (this will allow some water to stay in the barrel so wind won't blow it over; it will also leave room for connecting the top barrel to the bottom barrel). Drill straight into the barrel - don't let the drill lean to one side:

2. Optional step: use a tap-n-die tool to create threads in the hole. (At first, I didn't have a tap-n-die tool and I skipped this step. They leaked a drop a minute for a few days but then the tefflon sealed them up.) :

3. Coat a 1/2" threaded connector with tefflon:

4. Carefully hand-turn the threaded connector into the hole. Keep the threaded connector sticking straight out of the barrel (don't let it lean to one side). Once the hand-turning becomes too hard, you can use pliers. Leave a thread showing so that if a leak occurs, you have another chance to tighten another turn to seal it in place:

5. For each stack of barrels, add 1 connector to the top barrel (at the bottom), and 2 connectors to the bottom barrel (one at the top, and one at the bottom). See Red Arrows:

Friday, January 25, 2008

Step 2: Seal the bottom barrel's top.

Tighten the screwcaps on the bottom barrel.

1. Clean the threads and put some water on them to make it easier to tighten.

2. Use some pieces of wood and vice-grip pliers as a screw driver to tighten the screw caps. (The piece of wood in the background is some closet shelf trim. The piece of wood in the foreground is walnut and took about an hour to make with a radial arm saw. They also sell a "bung wrench" which is metal: See the link. A bung wrench is better.)

3. Be sure to tighten it enough so that water won't escape.

Step 3: Connect the stack together.

1. We will make a connector that uses 2 elbows and 3 pieces of 1/2" irrigation pipe:

2. Press the irrigation pipe into the elbows:

3. Connect a top and bottom barrel together.

4. WARNING - a barrel full of water weighs over 400 lbs! Be sure to make the bottom barrel level and make sure the top barrel is leveled on top of the bottom barrel. You do not want the top barrel to fall on anyone (especially kids who might play on the barrels)! If your bottom barrel does not provide a stable platform for the upper barrel, you can make a wooden table top to set on the bottom barrel so that the top barrel will not fall over.