Cheap Rain Barrel | Upcycle a Recycling Bin

A friend gave us a few recycling bins that 
were headed for the dump 
(quite the oxymoron eh?)  

We decided to turn one of them into a rain barrel.  Zuki picked up the supplies and all the fittings cost $10.  About an hour of work and we had a great rain barrel.  I used an old feed sack and filled it with compost, zip tied it shut and placed it in the bottom (like a giant compost tea bag).  After the rain we had today I now have a huge bucket full of compost tea to water all my plants!



Here are Zuki's directions:


I thought it would be relatively easy . . . run into a hardware store, pick up a rain barrel faucet, drill a hole and pop it in . . . not so much. I checked three of the big box home improvement stores and there was no such thing as a rain barrel faucet . . . so I had to create one from plumbing parts. From top left going clockwise: ½ inch galvanized coupling, ½ inch galvanized nipple, ½ inch rubber washers, faucet lock nuts and a ½ inch threaded faucet.


Tools needed was a crescent wrench, tongue & groove pliers (pipe wrench could also work), 5/8 spade drill bit and drill.

I took white plumbers tape and wrapped the ends of the faucet and the nipple. The tape was wrapped in a counter clockwise direction so that it would not unravel when threading in the coupling.


This is the final unit with the faucet lock nut installed.


I then drilled the 5/8 inch hole near the bottom of the barrel. The hole was a little small so I got a half-inch drill bit and slightly reamed out the hole so that it was only slightly smaller than the outside dimensions of the nipple. I placed a washer over the nipple and slowly threaded it into the hole. It was a very tight fit, but as the threads were metal they grabbed the plastic and screwed in flush with the surface of the bucket. I then crawled inside the bucket, installed another washer on the inside and put on the faucet lock nut to ensure that it would not come out.  We installed it with the treads to the side to make it easier to screw on the hose.


And here it is in use:



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