Thursday, March 19, 2009

Rain Barrel Factory

I have a dilemma. All my gardening friends know I have rain barrels and they want one. I can find them for free in the river and I am happy to turn this riverbank garbage into something usable. The dilemma is that I am not very good at making them. The barrel in this photo is one of perhaps two barrels that I have successfully made that don't leak. I have always tried the easy and cheap approach to rain barrel construction - drill one hole, screw in a hose bib, caulk heavily with silicone. I think this approach can work if the hole is the perfect size, but as time and use of the rain barrel adds up, the hose bib sometimes loosens and the barrel begins to leak. I have tried every hardware store to find a 3/4 pvc hose bib thinking I would glue it with PVC cement. I can't find one anywhere. Last week I bought $15 of silly little fittings and stuff from Eilers in the hope of jimmy rigging a pvc bib. I think I'm going to return them. Too many fittings cost too much, look too silly and would probably leak anyway. The one thing I think I may have to do to ensure a good tight fit is to put some rubber washers and nuts on the inside of the barrel. The only way to do that is to be able to reach down in. The only way to do that is to cut a hole in the top. That complicates everything. Now we have to worry about screens and drowning critters and babies. I'll keep searching the internet. Some internet entreprenuer has a magic elixir somewhere, I just know it.

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