Great American Rain Barrel – Instructions & Tips

American Rain BarrelsFirst, attach the spigot to the rain barrel. Place one of the washers on the end of the spigot and slide the spigot into the hole below the label. Reach into the barrel and place the second washer over the threaded end of the spigot. Thread the nut on the end of the spigot and hand tighten.

Take the black L-shaped elbow (overflow fitting) and screw it into the pre-threaded hole on the top, right hand side, of the barrel.

Now select a downspout that is easily accessible.

Level the ground where the barrel will sit. If needed use bricks or pressure treated wood. (Caution: The barrel should be placed on a level surface or it may tip over upon filling, causing bodily harm or property damage. If your rain barrel is elevated , make certain that it is secure so that it cannot tip over.)

Remove the elbow and run-off pipe from the end of the downspout. If you are using a Save the Rain Diverter follow directions on diverter. Draw a line on the downspout 9″ above the top of the barrel. Move the barrel away. Use a hacksaw and cut the downspout at the line. Note: If a downspout bracket is below your cut, remove the bracket and place it above the cut. Squeeze or crimp the downspout end, so that the elbow will fit over it.

Attach the elbow to the downspout and move the barrel back against the house, so that the end of the elbow is over the center of the lid. Rain water can now flow out of the elbow and down onto the cover of your rain barrel and drain into it.

Caring for your barrel. To insure a long life for your barrel clean it out occasionally to eliminate clogs and other debris from building up inside.

Winterizing your barrel. Remove the spigot and drain plug. Empty barrel and store in basement, garage or under porch. If barrel must remain outside turn it upside down and secure it with a concrete block or bungee cord.

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Helpful Tips:

To prevent ground saturation near your foundation, we recommend attaching at least 6-feet of 3/4″ hose to the overflow fitting and directing the water away from the structure.

To save even more water, you can link your first barrel to a second and a third barrel.

To keep insects out, a Teflon window screen can be draped over the barrel before screwing on the lid.

If odor or insects become a problem Clorox is an age old remedy. Use approximately 1/4 cup to harmlessly disinfect the water.

In order to avoid clogging, empty your barrel at least once a year to remove leaves and other debris that may have accumulated inside.


ICE IN THE BARREL can cause permanent damage and is not covered by the warranty. Please be sure to winterize your barrel.


The Great American Rain Barrel is intended for garden use only. DO NOT USE THE BARREL TO STORE DRINKING WATER.