Rain barrels: Mind your faucets

One of the best things about our homemade rain barrel has turned out to be the faucet. The type shown above is a ball faucet, but the handle, which swivels 45 degrees from off to on, is much easier to turn than the standard wheel shape. This is very valuable both for Jenni, who has a hard time unseating stuff that I've overzealously screwed tight, and for Z, who has a much gentler grip at the age of 3.5. This kind of faucet is actually physically impossible to tighten too much.

I found it by poking around in the plumbing section of my local home improvement store. If you do this yourself to find a faucet with particular qualities, make sure the outlet is 3/4" and take it to the garden hoses (another section of the store, naturally) if you have any doubts about the threading. Also, make sure you don't pick a "gate"-style faucet, unless you want to have to turn it about a thousand times to raise the gate completely and get maximum water flow.


ConstructionCrusader said...

I put the same valve on my rainbarrels. They really do work great. Neat family project.

Anonymous said...

Any suggestions for keeping the rain barrels not completely algae filled and gross inside? Or does it matter? Ours has green slime along the interior walls and Im not sure if I should do something to eliminate it.

Aquabarrel said...


The algae is a sign that you are holding on to the water too long before releasing it from the tank. The algae are using up the oxygen in the water. You may want to shade or paint the tank a dark color to limit the penetration of light into the white barrel.

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