So last week I had a couple posts about rainwater collection. If you haven’t read them, the first one covered basic concepts of rainwater collection, while the second one covered how to plumb rainwater storage barrels together.
Today I’ll cover how to get the water from your roof to the storage barrels.
If you recall we set up our barrels on a platform at the end of our shed. This makes it relatively easy to get water to the barrels.
Rudy’s Note: Make sure you use PVC that’s rated for potable water usage. Look for markings on the pipe. You want ‘NSF-PW’ or ‘NSF-61’ rated pipes.
For this you’ll need 3″ PVC pipe, a couple of ‘L’ elbows, and an adapter to couple the downspout from your gutters to the PVC pipe. Most hardware stores have a pretty neat one that is flexible which makes our life a bit easier. It looks like this.
Attach the adapter to the downspout right up by the gutter. Leave it there for now.
Now take a 6″ length of the 3″ PVC pipe and glue it to one of the 45 degree elbows. While it dries, open up one of the two fill holes on the top of the barrel. Insert the 6″ length of PVC into the hole.
It should fit fine, but you may have to widen the hole a bit with a file or rasp or something.
This next part is a little harder to describe, and the lengths involved are going to vary from setup to setup. But what you’re looking to do is build an ‘L’ shaped pipe assembly using the 3″ PVC.
You’ll want the vertical run to be along the wall of the shed. You may have to put in some blocking to get the right set-off from the wall.
Connect this all together, but leave it dry, don’t glue it. You may need to change it later.
Now you should be good to go!
A Couple Additions To Consider
The first thing you should consider, and in my mind isn’t really optional, is a filter. You want this to keep debris and bugs out of your water.
You can pick them up pre-made at the hardware store, or you can make your own with some hardware cloth and window screens.
The second thing to think about is using the OTHER side of your roof as well. Hooking up the other gutter isn’t all that hard. Put another downspout adapter on the other side, and use an ‘L’ elbow to put a horizontal run that connects into the main water feed. Obviously you’ll need a ‘T’ joint in there at the connection point.