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Rain Barrels in Winter

Posted by Maude_IA z5 Iowa (My Page) on
Wed, Sep 10, 03 at 21:21

I have one rain barrel - first year of use - and wondered what happens in the winter when the ground freezes.
We have melting snow runoff throughout the winter, but any water in the barrel would probably remain frozen, and the ground is frozen solid.

Do rain barrels spend the winter disconnected from the roof? in the garage? or what?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Rain Barrels in Winter

I disconnect them from the roof. In climates like Iowa where you're going to definitely have a deep freeze, you may want to empty the barrel as well -- water expands when it turns into ice, and if there's no place for the water to expand to, it'll break through the barrel.

RE: Rain Barrels in Winter

Here in Texas there's not much rain left in the barrels by the time winter roles around. We have 2200 gallons of rain barrels and they all get dumped before the first freeze. Each downspout has a diverter so any rain during the winter is just routed away from the barrels. Soon as spring rains begin the diverters are flipped back to the barrels. The barrels are all open on the top except for screening that keeps the bugs and debris out. We have several 330 gal. barrels that have lids but those are kept empty through the winter.

RE: Rain Barrels in Winter

We disconnect and store for the winter. Long hoses take the water from the gutter away from the foundation.

RE: Rain Barrels in Winter

I disconnect mine and roll them out back and "store" them under a friendly pine tree, next to the fence. I put them upside-down so water does not accumulate. I then replace the long gutter extensions that I removed to place the rainbarrels there.

RE: Rain Barrels in Winter

Unfortunately, I did not get my rainbarrel in in time before the first freeze, and it seems that the bottom has a crack in it. It's a very slow leak, but it leaks; must be a hairline crack.

Does anyone have any ideas for how to repair it? It's made of heavy plastic. I was thinking of silicone caulk, but I don't know much about these things. Is there a swimming pool or bathroom product that might work? I hate to have to accept that this beloved and much used piece of equipment is now useless!

RE: Rain Barrels in Winter

You could try epoxy. There are products that dissolve and weld various plastics, but you first have to know what kind of plastic you have.

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