Best Rain Barrels – Which Is Right For You?

Did you know that using a rain barrel can benefit the environment? Did you know that a rain barrel can also benefit you and your home too? Purchasing one is a great decision if you are looking to help the environment as well as your home and garden.

When you have one of these, you can use the water that is collected to water your plants and flowers. Rain water is better for these plants, so they will grow and flourish better than when you use water from a hose hooked up to your home.

Also, if your county or city imposes watering restrictions due to droughts or water main breaks, you'll still be able to use the stored water in your rain barrel to water your plants.

Water running out of gutters can lead to runoff and increased pollution. As the water runs down the gutters, through your yard, and down the street, it picks up fertilizer, trash, and other pollutants. When you collect rain water in a barrel instead of having it run down your gutters and to the sewer, you are doing your part in reducing the pollutants that make it into our bodies of water.

There are different options and styles when you're looking to purchase a rain barrel. They are designed to go under your gutters to catch the rain water before it runs through your yard. You can then store and use the rain water as you'd like.

In the sections below, we've reviewed five different options. Read through our review to help you select the best product to meet your need and match your style.

Top 5: Rain Barrels Review

RTS Home Accents 50-Gallon Rain Water Collection Barrel with Brass Spigot, Brown

The RTS Rain Water Collection Barrel is designed to look like an old-fashioned oak barrel. This dark brown barrel has a curved front with a flat back side, so it can sit against a wall. It has a 50-gallon capacity.

It's feature a brass spigot at the bottom to hook up your hose. The top of features a screen to block insects, leaves, twigs, and other debris from entering into the barrel. The barrel has dual overflow options to prevent water flooding the outside wall of your home.

This one is constructed from commercial grade UV stabilized polyethylene. This means you do not need to worry about the barrel fading, rotting, or becoming infested with bugs. This product is also made from 100% recycled materials, so you can feel good about your purchase.

If you wish to collect more than 50 gallons of water, you can purchase additional RTS rain barrels. The barrels can be linked together to collect more water.

There is an optional stand available for purchase to make the barrel taller. When you use the stand, it makes it easier to fill up watering cans using the barrel's spigot.

Pros

  • The barrel has a flat back so it can sit flush with the side of your house.
  • The barrel is made from a strong plastic that is UV resistant, so it should not fade or crack.
  • A screen is included with the barrel so you can block objects from mixing with the rain water.

Cons

  • Some customers have complained about the quality of the barrel's plastic material and the spigot.
  • The barrel includes an overflow spout, but there is not an included hose to help route the water.
Enviro World EWC-10 FreeGarden Rain Barrel, Beige

The Enviro World EWC-10 FreeGarden Rain Barrel is a 55-gallon barrel that connects under your downspout. It comes in white, black, orange, or green, so you can find the color that best matches your style.

This product is a square design, so it has a flat back and sides. This allows it to sit flush against your house or in a corner. The barrel comes with child locking screws to keep children safe around it.

The Enviro World Rain Barrel has a stainless-steel mesh screen, designed to keep debris and bugs from entering the barrel. The mesh screen is mosquito-proof, so you won't need fear that mosquitos will infest your water.

This one also features a brass spigot that you can hook your hose up to. The spigot is at a higher level than some other products, allowing you to fill up a watering can easily. The rain barrel includes an overflow hose to prevent water pooling up along the side of your home.

Pros

  • The barrel has a 55-gallon capacity, which is more than most others.
  • The spigot is raised to a higher level than some others, which makes it possible to fill up a watering can without needing a stand for the barrel.
  • The barrel includes a stainless-steel mesh screen that will block mosquitos, other insects, and debris from entering into your water.

Cons

  • Some customers who purchased this have complained that it starting leaking within a few months or years of their purchase.
Gardener's Supply Company Santa Fe Rain Barrel

The Gardener's Supply Santa Fe Rain Barrel is designed to look like a large terra cotta pot. It can add both function and style to your yard. This has a 47-gallon capacity.

This rain barrel come with a screen to block insects and yard debris from entering into the water. The screen is corrosion-proof, so it will withstand the elements.

The spigot for hooking up your hose is on the bottom of the barrel. The Gardener's Supply Company Rain Barrel includes a four-foot hose with a shut-off valve. It also includes a hose hanger and dual overflows to prevent water pooling against your house.

Since this is a more decorative option, it is more expensive than some of the other products that are available.

Pros

  • Looks like a large terra cotta pot, so it will add style and decoration to your space.
  • The barrel includes a corrosion-proof screen, so you won't need to be concerned about it getting damaged over the years.
  • Includes dual overflows, so you won't need to worry about water damage to the side of your home due to water overflowing the barrel.

Cons

  • Pricier than other available options.
Good Ideas RW40-OAK Rain Wizard Rain Barrel 40-Gallon, Oak

The Good Ideas RW40-OAKRain Wizard Rain Barrel is a 40-gallon rain barrel that can be purchased in brown, black, green, tan, or orange. The barrel is designed to look like an old oak barrel. It has a flat back so it can sit right up against the side of your home.

This one comes equipped with a high-quality brass spigot to hook up your hose. You won't need to be concerned about the spigot rotting or cracking since it is made from brass. The barrel also has an overflow spout on the side.

It includes a screen to prevent debris, animals, insects, and children from entering into the barrel. It is rotationally molded to help prevent cracking, even in the cold months.

If you want to collect more than 40-gallons of water, you can link this barrel with other Good Ideas Rain Barrels.

Pros

  • Comes in a variety of colors so you can match your style and lawn décor.
  • Features a high-quality brass spigot, so you won't need to worry about it cracking.
  • Comes with a screen that will prevent insects, debris, and other objects from getting into the water in the barrel.

Cons

  • This barrel only has a 40-gallon capacity, so it holds less than many others.
  • The barrel only includes an overflow spout, but does not have an attached hose.
RTS Home Accents 50-Gallon ECO Rain Water Collection Barrel, Made with 100% Recycled Plastic and Plastic Spigot, Black

The RTS Home Accents Rain Barrel is a black, flat-backed barrel. This barrel, designed to look like an oak barrel, will sit flush against the wall of your house to collect rain water. It has a 50-gallon capacity.

This is crafted from 100% recycled plastic, so you are helping the environment with your purchase. The plastic material is designed to have an oak barrel texture, adding to the realistic look and feel of the barrel. The plastic is designed to be durable, so it won't rot or fad.

The rain barrel features a plastic screen that is designed to prevent bugs, debris, and other items from entering into your water. If you would like to be able to collect more water, you can hook multiple RTS Rain Barrels together.

This product includes a shut-off valve for hooking up your hose. It also has dual overflow, to prevent water from pooling against the side of your home.

Pros

  • Constructed from recycled plastic, so you can feel good about helping the environment when you purchase it.
  • Designed to look like an oak barrel, so it can add style and class to your yard.
  • Includes a screen to stop bugs, animals, and debris from entering into your water.

Cons

  • Has a plastic spigot, so it will not necessarily last as long as barrels with brass spigots.
  • There is no overflow hose, just an overflow spout.

What to Consider When Looking for Rain Barrels?

When you are looking for a rain barrel, there are a few important features you should consider. First, you'll want to think about the quality of the materials used to create the barrel. You'll want to be sure to find something that has high-quality materials, otherwise, your barrel may crack and be rendered useless.

You will also want to look at the spigot's material. Some spigots are made from brass and will be more durable and last longer. Other barrels have a plastic spigot, which may be more likely to crack and cause leaks.

Since the rain barrel will likely be visible in your yard, you'll also want to look at the designs of the different barrels. Some look like oak barrels or large pots, while others have a more basic design. You'll want to find a barrel that will complement your style and look good in your space.

Best rain barrel

When you're ready to purchase a new rain barrel, we recommend the RTS Home Accents 50-Gallon Rain Water Collection Barrel with Brass Spigot. This one is crafted from high-quality UV resistant plastic, so it will withstand the elements. The RTS Rain Barrel features a flat back, so it will sit flush against your house to prevent water pooling.

RTS Home Accents 50-Gallon Rain Water Collection Barrel with Brass Spigot, Brown

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It has a high-quality brass spigot, so it won't crack and cause a leak in the barrel. On the top of the barrel is a high-quality screen which will prevent bugs, leaves, twigs, and other debris from entering into your water.

Plus, the RTS Rain Water Collection Barrel will look great in your yard. It is fashioned to look like an old oak barrel. It even features a wood-like texture in the plastic to make it look and feel more realistic.

Commonly Asked Questions

Are rain barrels worth it?

If you live in an area where it is dry, arid, and has undergone periods of drought, there’s a good chance that a rain barrel will be worth the investment. Especially when you need a lot of water for your home or garden. Water is essential for plenty of things. And a lack of water might not be what you want to face in either the short-term or long-term.

Rain barrels are often used as a workaround for water usage restrictions. These restrictions will often come into play if you live in a drought-stricken area. You might also save yourself a ton of money using a rain barrel if you live in an area where water usage can be expensive. A 4,000-gallon rain barrel will cost an upwards of $15,000 (including installation costs). But the savings will definitely stack up in your favor in the long-term. 

Why are rain barrels illegal in some places?

While rain barrels are used in drought-stricken areas, they might not be legal in areas where water might be plentiful enough. That’s because the purpose of capturing water in barrels diverts the water from its original destination. And it can harm water supplies for local areas. For example, it is illegal to collect rainwater in the state of Colorado.

As of today, there are 12 states in the US that allow water collection but with restrictions. Colorado is one of those states. Other states are mostly situated in the western half of the country. States east of the Mississippi River that have these restrictions in place include Ohio, Illinois, Georgia, and North Carolina.

What are some states that encourage collecting rainwater?

Water collection is encouraged in 17 states for the purpose of keeping your water supply intact for the purpose of use in the event of shortages. These states include Florida, South Carolina, New Mexico, Montana, Minnesota, North Dakota, Nebraska, Missouri, Indiana, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire.

While most of these states have plenty of water in most areas, it’s important to note that collecting rainwater is perfect for any kind of use away from your main watering source. This can be used for the purpose of gardening, camping, and other outdoor uses. You can use rain barrels for the purpose of saving water and keeping your water bill to a minimum.

How much is a rain barrel?

The price of a rain barrel will depend on the size. Smaller rain barrels will range anywhere between $120 to $160 at the lower end of the price scale. If you’re lucky, you might snag one for free if you manage to come across one in local ads posted online or offline. The rain barrels of a much larger size will be anywhere between 1,000 gallons or more. Keep in mind that the larger tanks will cost more money. You will have to pay more if you wish to have it professionally installed.

If you wish to install the rain barrel yourself, it will save you a ton of money in the long run.

Do rain barrels attract mosquitos?

While collecting rain to put in barrels is always a plus, it comes with a common downside. Because you are collecting water, it might become a hotbed for mosquito activity. Mosquitos are known for residing or breeding in areas where there is plenty of standing water. It’s important to keep yourself protected from mosquitos when maintaining your rain barrels since some mosquitos can carry diseases such as West Nile Virus.

How fast does a rain barrel fill up?

It will depend on the size. For example, if a barrel is measured at 10 ft by 20 ft, it will take at least the entire day to fill the barrel itself. Of course, smaller sized barrels will take less time to fill and larger sizes will take longer.

Is rain water the same as distilled water?

With distilled water, it doesn’t have the kind of minerals that can be found in other forms of potable water. With rain water, it will contain some impurities that are originated from the atmosphere. That’s because rain water is a condensed form of atmospheric water vapor.

What is the point of a rain barrel?

The point of a rain barrel is to collect stormwater runoff. The runoff will fill into a rain barrel that will be used for future use. Some uses include but are not limited to gardening, general water usage, and other residential or commercial functions. It will basically depend on your intent with what you plan on doing with the water. Most of the time, rainwater can be used for the usual purposes such as irrigating your garden.

Rainwater can also play a huge role in making sure that your garden is free from any harmful chemicals that may be hazardous to your health like pesticides. It can also pick up oils, fertilizers, and other contaminants from the surfaces and landscapes. In other words, it pretty much does the same thing as if it were raining outside.

Is rainwater safe to drink?

Believe it or not, rainwater is actually safe to drink. In fact, it might be much safer to drink compared to regular tap water. However, if you want to take an extra step in being cautious, you can collect rainwater in jugs or bottles. Once you plan on drinking it to get rid of any impurities, all you have to do is pour the water in the pot and boil it for a few minutes. That will be enough time for you to get rid of any extra impurities and be able to make the water a lot safer to drink.

Regardless if you boil it or not, rainwater will be the perfect option if you are looking to stay hydrated whether you are near or far away from a potable water source.

What happens when a rain barrel gets full?

If the rain barrel gets filled up, the diverter will automatically shut off. At that point, any excess rainwater will run off the gutters like it normally does. However, if the rainfall is heavy enough it may cause the rain barrel to overflow because the valve that prevents it from happening can’t simply keep up. The excessive water can bubble over the barrel rather than exit through the barrel’s release valve.

Do rain barrels save money?

Short answer: yes. Rain barrels will save you a ton of money on your municipal water bill. That’s because you are able to use the rainwater more frequently than compared to using the water supply that is provided by your local area. In fact, according to environmental experts using a rain barrel will save you an average of 1300 gallons of water each year that would otherwise be used or wasted. So it’s easier on the wallet when you save up that much.

What can I use in my rain barrel for mosquitos?

You can use a non-toxic product known as BTI. This is better known as “mosquito dunk”. This can be used to kill off any mosquito larvae and lessen the amount of breeding that occurs near your rain barrel. On top of that, “mosquito dunk” is non-toxic and is harmless to trees, plants, animals, and even people. Be sure to apply an amount as directed so you can be able to prevent a large presence of mosquitos from harming your rainwater supply.

How many rainwater barrels should I get?

It depends on how much water you want to use. One barrel that might be of a large size (100 gallons or more) might be sufficient depending on the size of your home. You might also want to consider what your plans are for using the amount of water you need. If you feel like one barrel may not be enough, you can consider the idea of getting a secondary rainwater barrel. That barrel may be smaller in size compared to your primary barrel or roughly the same size. That decision is entirely up to you.

Does a rain barrel need a pump?

Most rain barrels will need at least 10 PSI for most moderate water levels. For example, an amount like that can be needed if you are regularly irrigating your garden. However, your barrel’s water level will need to be at least 23 feet above your garden to ensure that it has enough water pressure to pump through your tank.

How many inches of rain does it take to fill a barrel?

According to one rule of thumb, one inch of rain can be able to fill 600 gallons of water. A 60-gallon barrel of water will only need a half-inch of rain in order for it to be filled rather quickly. This will also depend on the measurement of your roof. The measurements mentioned above are based on the measurements of a roof that is measured at 1000 square feet.

Final Verdict

Whether you choose to purchase the RTS Rain Barrel or think one of the other options is a better fit for you, it is time to make your decision and purchase your new rain barrel. Once your new barrel arrives, you'll be able to start collecting rain water and conserve your city or well water.

The rain water you collect will be better for your garden and plants, so a water barrel really is a win-win investment!

REFERENCE & RESOURCES


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