Rain Barrel Platform

You may recall that we put together our rain barrel in July of 2008 and added a pump and sink in June of 2009. I LOVE that rain barrel. The pump allows me to water the garden and the greenhouse plants uphill from where the rain barrel resides. It does a wonderful job.

Even though the barrel holds 305 gallons, it was quickly filled with our very wet spring last year. 305 gallons weighs in at approximately 2400 pounds – something we didn’t consider when we built the original platform. As a result, the barrel collapsed on one side.

rain barrel repair

It still worked just fine, but it really bothered Bernie. So we disconnected the barrel from the down spouts, and because it’s been so dry for so long, I managed to drain the barrel the past week. Bernie and I decided to work on a new platform for it today. This is the barrel upside down – you can see the area that collapsed pretty clearly.

rain barrel repair

Mirrie and Georgia came out to help for a while – not with the rain barrel platform, but with clearing some undergrowth next to the woods.

rain barrel repair

Bernie laid out cinder blocks for the foundation, and then he laid down some 4X4s.

rain barrel repair

He put some OSB on top of the 4X4s and nailed them in place.

rain barrel repair

After sitting in the sun, the barrel became a little more pliable, and we were able to push out the area that was collapsed. Then we used the power washer to clean the inside of the barrel.

rain barrel repair

We put it up on the platform, but didn’t completely hook it back up. We are leaving it open to air out completely. We’ll finish it up in the next few days.

rain barrel repair

Even though I was fine with it as it was before, I’m really much happier with the rain barrel now. It sits up higher so i can easily fit watering cans under the spigot if I need to.

Now all we need is a little rain………

14 Responses to “Rain Barrel Platform”

  1. Angie says:

    Where did you find a barrel that size? Someone was telling me about soy sauce square 250 gallon containers but I haven’t been about to find one.

  2. basicliving says:

    Angie, B ordered it online, but it’s been so long he can’t remember from where. He said he’d look. He found it in the clearance section of the website – the shipping was almost as much as the cost of the barrel – and the whole thing came to just over $100. We wanted a large barrel, and after shopping around we realized we couldn’t find a better deal than that. He said he’ll try and find the site for you. You may need to visit it regularly to find what you want on clearance. It was worth it to us!

  3. Chai Chai says:

    Does it freeze in the winter? Why doesn’t the expansion damage the barrel? I would love to have one of these by the goat and/or sheep shed to use for water.

  4. basicliving says:

    Chai Chai – it would have to be a very deep freeze for a very, very long time to freeze 305 gallons. Some of it does freeze – but we’ve not had the whole thing freeze and I don’t think we will in this area. Because it doesn’t freeze solid, it doesn’t expand. What it DID do was collapse on one side from the weight of all that water. We should have accounted for that. But we just didn’t really realize the water would weigh over 1 ton when the barrel was filled! With the new platform the weight of the water will be better distributed and there should be no more issues with collapsing. Even though the barrel is a dark green, there is still algae that grows in it. I wouldn’t use it for drinking water for my animals. But I do use it to wash their dishes and to water gardens. You could add clorox or oxine to sanitize it, but I just tote drinking water to the animals.

  5. Ben says:

    I have 55 gallon water barrels and I was thinking of getting some sort of hand pump. But couldnt figure out how to work it.

    I’d like to run a hose from my barrel over to the coop and then be able to hand pump some water out.

  6. basicliving says:

    That would be cool Ben! I’m not sure how you’d do that either…. but it’s worth thinking about….

    Angie – check out plastic-mart.com Bernie says keep an eye on the “clearance” and the “yard sale” area. He said he watched it for a month or so before finding our barrel.

  7. basicliving says:

    Bernie said TSC also has large barrels and if you find one that is damaged or off color or somehow flawed, you could probably talk them down. Between cost and shipping, TSC may have a better deal…..

  8. Julie says:

    Wow, you two amaze me!

  9. frugalmom says:

    Okay, so I love the idea of a rain barrel. Sadly, we wont get more than about 5to 7 inches of rain here per year….soooo, Im thinking it wont really benefit me too much. 🙂 Now, In IL I could have used one…but then in IL we didnt have any trees….so I could have had a rain barrel, but no trees…here I have trees….lol. Im cracking myself up here.

    But what I want to know is why that very fancy platform is slanted like that? Is that so you can get more water out of that barrel when it gets low?

  10. CeeCee says:

    I would have rain barrels. Heck, I would have a rain water collection system for the whole house if not for two things: We don’t always get a lot of rain, and we don’t have one gutter on the whole house.
    Can B. build anything? He cooks and lets you have any animal you want. Does have have a gene for those attributes that we can slip into my hubby’s coffee? 🙂

  11. Kelly says:

    When Bernie finds that web site please post it. I think that rain barrel is cool. Glad he wants to fix things. It is great.

  12. basicliving says:

    Frugalmom – believe it or not, that platform is level! It’s just a little hilly here…..

    Kelly – Told Angie, check out plastic-mart.com Bernie says keep an eye on the “clearance” and the “yard sale” area. He said he watched it for a month or so before finding our barrel. The barrel he got is normally around $250 – but he found it (he thinks in the “yard sale” area) on a super sale and even with shipping it wasn’t much over $100.

  13. Oz Girl says:

    I’m with Jill… you two amaze me. I just love all the sustainability options you come up with. You’re my heroes! 🙂

    (We don’t have any gutters on our house either, otherwise I would love to have a rain barrel!!)

  14. marmitetoasty says:

    Bernie is ‘A Jack of all trades’ 🙂 thats of trades NOT a ‘Jack the lad’ LOL


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