How to Use a Rain Barrel for a Sprinkler System

Overview

Rain barrels collect rainwater and store it for future use in watering your lawn and garden. Setting up a rain barrel is the ideal way to cut water costs. Place the barrel under your gutter spout to collect any water coming down and to prevent flooding around the base of your home. Adding a hose and sprinkler to the rain barrel can create an efficient watering system for your lawn and garden which can be used throughout the year.

Step 1

Fill up the rain barrel to ensure you have enough water for your sprinkler. Most barrels hold 55 gallons and can adequately water your garden and lawn.

Step 2

Attach an electric pump to the bottom of the rain barrel where the spigot is located. An electric pump uses an intake hose to draw water away from the rain barrel, which is attached to the spigot. Fittings will be included with your pump. Attach the rain barrel pump to the fittings, which will then be connected to the hose for irrigation.

Step 3

Attach a hose to the rain barrel irrigation spigot and then attach the pump. All standard hoses will work. Run the hose to the section of garden or lawn you wish to water.

Step 4

Attach the sprinkler to the end of the hose. Turn the spigot valve clockwise to open up the valve inside the rain barrel and set the water flowing into the hose.

Step 5

Attach the power cord to the pump and plug into an outdoor outlet. Turn on the electric pump motor to activate the sprinkler and water your lawn or garden.

Tips and Warnings

  • To prevent electric shock, do not submerge the electric pump in water. Always use a grounded electric cord connected to a GFCI outlet. This type of outlet acts as its own circuit breaker and is specifically designed to trip in the event water and electricity are within close proximity of each other. The water you collect in the rain barrel is not suitable for drinking.

Things You'll Need

  • Rain barrel
  • Electric pump
  • Sprinkler
  • GFCI outlet

References

  • Florida Water Management District

Who Can Help

  • Clean Air Gardening
Keywords: rain barrel sprinkler, rain barrel pump, watering rain barrel

About this Author

Callie Barber has been writing professionally since 2002. Barber's love for design and writing inspired her to create Design Your Revolution, a blog that shares creative and affordable ways to decorate indoor and outdoor living environments. Her articles have appeared on Travels.com and GardenGuides.com. Barber holds a Bachelors of Arts in international studies from the University of North Carolina.