Rain Barrel Maintenance .pdf

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Original filename: Rain Barrel Maintenance.pdf
Author: Rosemary Howard

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Rain Barrel
General Maintenance Checklist
Summer & Fall:
Keep your gutters free from leaves and debris. Clogged gutters can keep your rain barrel from filling
Hook up a hose to the bottom spigot or use the higher spigot to fill a watering can. Use the water on
any non-edible plants but don’t use it for your pets.
Remember! Empty your rain barrel after each storm so it is ready for the next rainfall. Full rain
barrels can’t capture stormwater!
Before temperatures consistently drop below 32°F, disconnect your rain barrel from your
downspout. First, drain your barrel by opening the spigot at the bottom.
Next, use a Phillips head screw driver to remove the two screws connecting the downspout diverter
to the downspout. Pull out the diverter and replace with the rubber winter cap that was provided during
the installation. Screw in the cap using the same two screws you removed from the downspout diverter.
Store the accordion tube and downspout diverter in a safe place until spring (they can also be left
attached to the barrel itself)
Once temperatures stop dropping below 32°, it’s time to reconnect your rain barrel.
Use a Phillips head screw driver to remove the two screws holding the rubber winter cap into the
downspout. Remove the winter cap and store in a safe place for next winter.
Attach the downspout diverter to the downspout with the same screws and to the rain barrel. The
accordion tube should fit snugly into the downspout diverter and into the rubber gasket on the side of
your barrel near the top (no screws required to attach the tube to the barrel.)
Make sure the barrel sits firmly on the ground or on your base.
Check the rain barrel after the first storm to make sure it filled properly. When the storm is over,
don’t forget to empty your barrel!
Spring is also a great time for arts and crafts. Be creative by painting or decorating your rain barrel.
Great weekend activity for kids!

Please contact PHS at rhoward@pennhort.org if you have any questions.

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