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Stacked rain barrels

by Tara Anderson (Mama2josh)

Finished rain barrel rack
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For my birthday (2 years ago) my parents bought me rain barrels. Well, technically, they got me 4 food grade barrels and most of the parts to convert them into rain barrels. And said rain barrels have sat in my side yard ever since, unassembled. Dustin decided he did not like the idea of single rain barrels lining the end of the house, and he wanted to do something different. Of course he did. But he didn't know exactly what, and so the barrels continued to sit. After nine months of thinking about it, I now present finished, stacked rain barrels!


If you're interested in building your own "stacked' rain barrel rack, here is what we (and when I say "we", I mean Dustin) did:


We started with (2) 4x4x8s, and connected them with (3) 24"long 4x4s. We cut 1/2" notches in the posts to set the cross pieces in, and then used L brackets to attach the cross pieces to the posts. We also added supports made from the 4x4s under that.


Here is one side, assembled:


Next, we created another section just like the one above, for the back. With the front and back assembled, we used (4) 3'long 2x4s between the front and back to serve as "shelves" for the barrels. These 2x4s also prevent the barrels from rocking from side to side.


Finally, we used another piece of 2x4 as a cross brace on the sides.


It only took us a couple hours to build the rack. This morning Joshua and I stained it, and Dustin installed it at the end of the house. He buried 4 concrete "pyramid supports" (I think they're also called deck supports) in the ground to set the rack on.


As for the rain barrels themselves, we are putting a T in the bottom bunghole of the bottom barrel. This is not in the picture because Dustin is at the store right now buying said T. There will be a spigot on one side of the T, and the other end will be plumbed under ground over to my vegetable bed (about 4 feet away) where I will have another spigot attached to my drip irrigation system I'm installing tomorrow.

The top bung hole of the bottom barrel and the bottom bung hole of the top barrel are connected via PVC pipe to allow water from the top barrel to enter the bottom barrel. The downspout will be connected to the top bung hole of the top barrel.

For venting, Dustin cut a hole in the back of each barrel, and ran a piece of PVC pipe to allow them to vent:


He is also installing an overflow pipe in the top of the top barrel, which will flow back into the downspout drain.

All in all, it took us about a day to complete the whole project. And now I just need it to rain! :-)


rain barrels, stacked, double, rack, rain barrel


What did you use to connect the down spouts from the roof to the barrel?? I have been contemplating how to do something like this for over a year now. I have a lot of salt in my well water so I'm wanting something greater in storage wise for my trees. I need at least 600 gallons or More to make it through the summer. I love this Idea for my raised garden Beds near the House. Thank you for the great information.
William commented on 01/11/11
Very Cool! Leave it to Justin (and you!) to figure this one out! Wish he had taught Lex this kind of stuff. Well not to be out done the old man just happens to have a few extra 4X4s and the rain barrels that oddly enough have been sitting around with the best of intentions. Great idea!!! This is a real incentive to do something about it <br/> <br/>Rick
Dirtlea commented on 03/01/10
Glad the post helped! It wasn't me though it was "mama2josh" one of the other members that did this project! She also has the coolest chicken coop in the world! You have to check it out!
FigTree replied: on 03/01/10
Sorry my mistake. Kootos to you "mama2josh" great plan!
Dirtlea replied: on 03/02/10
I am so impressed with the handiwork in your household. Wow! The stack looks so cool!
gardengirl commented on 03/01/10
Wow!! That is a pretty serious project you guys took on! It looks like it turned out great-- how does the rain water get to the barrels? Are you going to use a drip irrigation system with it? Hasn&#x27;t been raining much in PacNW, but I am sure it will pick up soon! Thanks for the great ideas...
FigTree commented on 03/01/10