Progress Photos (contains info on levelling the ground and Youtube video links)
Manifold Rain Barrel System Part I
Manifold Rain Barrel System Part II
When we last left off, I showed you how I set up the barrels themselves. Connecting them to the gutter was simple; I unscrewed the downspout and put it aside to re-connect in the winter, and used a flexible downspout extender instead (that ribbed green thing in the photo).
|The green downspout extender attaches to the downspout.|
|Top view of the downspout extender in position. You can also see how I very informally screwed down a round section of screen with the lid.|
As I mentioned before, I should have installed the overflow pipe initially. Here's what I came up with:
Some of the problems I ran into have not quite been solved yet. I dismantled the whole system to try a different sealant on the bottoms of the barrels, but am still having leaks. Though frustrating at first, these leaks are extremely slow and have not resulted in any noticeable water loss. The fact that the barrels are not perfectly flat on the bottom may be the main issue, but I also think that I just can't find a sealant that bonds properly to the material the barrels are made of.
After another nice little rainstorm, the first barrel again tilted back toward the house, but not nearly as drastically as the first time. This I attribute to not making the sand below it compact enough. We've solved this for the moment by shimming under the bottom of that barrel.
After taking the barrels down to repair the leaks, I did manage to prop them up higher by adding a couple bricks to the tops of the concrete blocks, which made the five gallon bucket fit under the spout and gave me the added benefit of better water pressure in the garden. I've found that water pressure is directly related to both the amount of water in the barrels (weight) and height difference.
By the way, I am contemplating doing away with Weekend Updates. Since we are juggling so much right now, I'd rather just wait and blog about what I think all of you will find to be most interesting and beneficial, instead of just giving short blurbs about what we've been doing.