Rain Barrel Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Questions:

Question: Why is your rain barrel so hard to get inside of?

Answer:
Because people (not only children) can and do die without a secure lid or limited entry.
UPI reported that a "Woman drowns in rain barrel..." January 7, 2008.

Question: How much rain water will I need to collect?

Answer:

General guidelines for determining how much water you might use outside:
1 watering can = 3.3 gal. (15 L)
3 ft. shrub in hot weather (1 week) = 7 gal. (32 L)
18 in. pot in hot weather (1 week) = 1.8 gal. (8 L)
40 deck pots – drip water (1 week) = 50 gal (227 L)
1 sprinkler full flow (for 1 hour) = 240 gal. (1100L)
Car washing (1/2 hour) 120 gal. = (550 L)
Pressure washing (1/2 hour) = 40 gal. (180 L)

Consider your unique outdoor water uses:

Vegetable garden
Flower pots, border planting and shrubs
Car washing and outdoor power washing or deck cleaning
Hot tub refills
Extra water reserve for fire protection and earthquakes

The greatest savings (up to 50%) are achieved by selecting drought tolerant and native plants and setting up drip watering systems.

Question: Rain Barrel Rebates or discounts, what States offer them?

Answer:

Rain Barrel Rebates in Maryland, Virginia, New Mexico, Olympia,WA


Maryland

Montgomery County, Maryland
RainScapes Rain Barrel Rebate. Details here

Gaithersburg, Maryland
Rain Barrel Rebate. Details here

Rockville, Maryland
Rain Barrel Rebate. Details here

Virginia

The James City Service Authority of James City County, Virginia in the Greater Williamsburg Area began its new Rain Barrel Rebate January 1, 2008. JCSA will refund the purchase price of up to four rain barrels or materials to build them, with a maximum of $50 per rain barrel. You must be a JCSA water customer to apply.
More details can be found by contacting Environmental Education Coordinator: (757) 253-6859 bewatersmart@james-city.va.us

=========================

Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Beginning April 1, 2007, the Water Conservation program will offer rebates as part of a comprehensive outdoor rebate program. Rainwater Harvesting rebates will be based upon the amount of rain that can be stored:
* $25 for 50 - 149 gallons
* $50 for 150 – 299 gallons
* $75 for 300 – 499 gallons
* $100 for 500 – 999 gallons
* $125 for 1000 – 1499 gallons
* $150 for 1500 gallons and over

Simply download, fill out, and send in the Outdoor Rebate Form.

=========================


Know of a similar rebate program in your community? Contact us. We would be happy to post it here for you.)

Question: What kind of water pressure can I expect from a rain barrel?

Answer:
When dealing with water pressure for your rain barrel, let gravity be your friend.

The higher the elevation, the greater the water pressure at the bottom point - Ever wonder - why those water storage towers are so darn high in the sky when you go through a rural town? Gravity.

The AquabarrelAquabarrel®reg; is designed with the rain barrel garden hose asembly at the lowest point on the tank (under the bottom). This design affords you the added benefit of using all the available water weight. Gravity does the rest.

A rain barrel elevated 1 1/2 feet will discharge water at about 1 gallon per minute, while a barrel elevated 2 feet will flow at nearly 2 gallons per minute. While 1 to 2 gallons per minute won't run a sprinkler, it is certainly enough to water plants with a handheld hose.

If you choose to elevate your rain barrel, make sure that it is stable and level, and that the blocks are set on a firm, level surface. Higher is better (but be very careful of the little people because a full barrel can weight 400 pounds+-) and if you are in earth quake country use a metal band to secure the barrel to the side of the building.

Lots of technical info about water pressure and irrigation can be found at Jess Stryker's website.

Question: How quickly will my rain barrel fill up?

Answer:
Pretty darn quick is my experience. A half-inch of rain collected from just a 300 square foot section of roof will fill a 55 gallon rain barrel. But you want to know exactly how many inches (or fractions of an inch) will fill your rain barrel? Go here

Question: Why do I need a downspout diverter?

Answer:

Downspout diverters add a touch of class to any rain barrel installation. A downspout diverter allows you to place the rain barrel in location other than directly in front of the downspout. It also makes it easier to take the barrel off-line when it is full and you want the water to continue on another path. Diverters really come in handy for taking it off line for the winter too. Just flip the switch.

Question: Why do I need a downspout filter?

Answer:
Downspout filters are great at reducing the amount and size of leaves and debris that are coming down from the gutter headed to the rain barrel or underground drainage system.

Question: Can I leave the rain barrel out during the winter?

Answer:
Yes, however we suggest that you empty the rain barrel and take it "off line" so that water does not enter during this time.

Question: What about mosquitos?

Answer:
AquabarrelAquabarrel®reg; is not a hermetically sealed system. It is wise to consider using Mosquito Dunks. We hear stories (but have yet to see a photo or confirmation) of folks that have used guppies and feeder gold fish to combat mosquitos and reduce algae in the tanks too. Bat houses might help too.

Question: Why is the rain barrel overflow port so big?

Answer:
With a large overflow port, most anything that gets into the rain barrel that floats will float out the huge overflow port. With 6 square inches of water coming down the downspout, this overflow port can re-direct all of it.

Question: What is not included in the price you show on the website?

Answer:
NOT Included: level, elevated platform (shown as a wooden platform in the promotional photo - most folks are using a couple of cinder blocks), Flex A Spout diverter (shown in the promotional photo as a white plastic pipe attached to the downspout and terminating at the black adapter mounted on the top of the barrel), 4-inch diameter black corrugated hose (appears in the photo attached to the left side of the barrel), garden hose (appears coiled in the bottom left corner of the promotional photo)

Question: Do you install?

Answer:
Installation services are only available in the Maryland, Northern Virginia, and Washington, DC at this time.

Question: Can I link more than one rain barrel together?

Answer:
Yes, you can, check out the linking kit.

Question: Why is shipping so expensive for a rain barrel?

Answer:
Our products are very large and do not weigh very much. We are charged "Dimensional Wgt." and "Over Girth" fees. The additional charges from UPS, and others include: Not shipping in a cardboard box (no we did not make that up), shipping to a residence address, and fuel surcharges.

Question: Can I drink the water from my rain barrel?
Answer:
No!

Question: What type of maintenance is required?

Answer:
The barrel will require periodic cleaning. A safe cleaning solution is 2 teaspoons of castile soap and 2 teaspoons of vinegar per gallon of water or 2 teaspoons of lemon juice per gallon of water.

Do not use a rain barrel if you use chemical moss killers, spray a large volume pesticides or herbicides, have a Zinc anti-moss strip on your roof, or if your roof is made with treated cedar shakes. These products are toxic chemicals that you might not want to store in your rain barrel.

Question: Where are your Aquabarrel rain barrels made?

Answer:

Fabrication of an Aquabarrel Rain Barrel is completed in Gaithersburg, MD. Parts and pieces are purchased from USA sources.

What is your return policy?

Answer:
We are unable to accept any barrel for return or exchange. ALL Aquabarrels® have had a previous life in the real world. They may come to you with previously attained bumps, bruises or scrapes. None of these cosmetic imperfections will effect the barrels ability to hold liquid. Keep in mind, you can always change the appearance of the barrel.
All other products are subject to a 25% restocking fee (not including shipping) and must be in 'like new' resale condition. You must email us with your request to return an item within 7 days of purchase. We will generate a Return Authorization Number within three business days. The RAN must be placed on the shipping label. Items returned without an RAN or not considered in 'like new' resale condition will not be accepted for return and will be disposed of upon receipt. Orders accepted for return are at the customers expense and should be sent "signature requested" and properly insured.

Question: When will it rain?

Answer:
Weather forecasts and USA weather maps can be found on this official NOAA website
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