Invest in Rain Barrels – A SMART Financial Move!


At this point in our economy, I feel that it is a SMART move to put your money where you are going to see some good returns. I’m not necessarily talking about getting a better interest rate, playing the stock market or any type of financial returns. I’m talking about returns that add to your quality of life and help you in your preparedness. I recently wrote about one of the best investments that I made in 2014 over at Your Preparedness Story. It was a short article, but showed that I put some money down on increasing my garden space, 30 feet of garden beds and 4 yards of dirt!

Another investment or SMART move that I feel preppers can make right now is investing in some rain barrels. They are not hard to install and provide water for your garden. This is an investment that will pay off big for a long time.

Below are pics and some commentary of my rain barrel install. I chose to purchase a diverter from Amazon and it has worked well.


This is the spot where I chose to place my rain barrels. It needed some cleaning up!

This is the spot where I chose to place my rain barrels. It needed some cleaning up!

You probably won’t have too many choices on where to place your barrels. You want them pretty close to your gutter down spout.

Balancing the cinder blocks before I set the barrels in place.

Balancing the cinder blocks before I set the barrels in place.

You’ll see that I have two barrels. The first barrel from the down spout is on a set of 4 cinder blocks. The second barrel is just on two.

Cutting out a portion of the down spout for the rain diverter.

Cutting out a portion of the down spout for the rain diverter.

I chose to use the Fiskar Rain Barrel DiverterPro. I purchased mine from Amazon. The DiverterPro comes with instructions on how much of the down spout you need to cut. You can checkout the video at the end of the post in regards to this specific rain diverter.

My son getting in on the action.

My son getting in on the action.

Why do something by yourself when you can do it with someone else? šŸ˜‰ My son helped with the install.

The Fiskar Rain Barrel DiverterPro connected to the barrel.

The Fiskar Rain Barrel DiverterPro connected to the barrel.


My rain barrel setup!

My rain barrel setup!

Here is the final setup. I purchased the first barrel off of a guy on Craigslist. I realized that I wanted more capacity, so I purchased a second one from Amazon. I paid full price, which I wasn’t happy with, but I did it because we have a pool and we often have people over in the backyard. I wanted barrels that matched!

Lessons Learned During the Install

1. The Fiskar DiverterPro needed a little silicon inside the diverter where it attaches to down spout.Ā  Before I did that, water was going down the outside of the down spout.

2. I was pretty upset after the install because it didn’t seem like the diverter was working.Ā  I used a water hose to send water down the gutter to see if rain would go into the barrel.Ā  All my attempts on the install day failed.Ā Ā  The diverter screen is plastic and needed to mold correctly to the inside of the diverter.Ā  After a few days of the install, we had a decent rain and both barrels filled very quickly.Ā  I believe a little time in the sun helped to mold the screen inside the diverter to sit and seal properly.

3.Ā  I would like more barrels!Ā  I know that a lot of rain goes down the down spout and out to the street.Ā  I believe that everyone should have a good number of barrels to catch as much rain water as possible!

4.Ā  Did you know that rain barrels could net you a tax break or two? As it turns out, many state and local governments offer tax breaks and/or rebates for certain systems installed for the purpose of harvesting rainwater. Keep that in mind when clicking through your personal tax prep software. You may end up with an additional chunk of savings!




This article first appeared on Ed That Matters.

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Todd Sepulveda

I'm the owner/editor of Prepper Website, a DAILY preparedness aggregator that links to the best preparedness articles on the internet. I'm also a public school administrator and a pastor. My personal blog is Ed That Matters, where I write about preparedness and from time to time, education. Connect with me on one of my social media outlets below.

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6 thoughts on “Invest in Rain Barrels – A SMART Financial Move!

  1. Snake Plisken

    That is one cool water retrieval system. Seriously. However, being the redneck that I am I have done the same thing for capturing rainwater but in a very much more simplistic way.

    Please let me give a little background. I live in trailer park. It’s a well established and pretty well run place but we utilize a 3rd party bunch of assholes from in Flint Michigan to provide our fresh water that is pumped through water mains from Toledo OH to Perrysburg Township OH. We get charged twice on Lucas and Wood County taxes for our water usage.

    We formed a organization called H20 Works and fought the jerks at the 3rd party supplier and won after 2 years of hardwork by the H2O and some really great local politicians. Our organization found corruption at the local and state level that led to a RICO violation by the owners of our park and the 3rd party water providers.

    I was provided a 700 dollar credit ( and many of my neighbors ) were reimbursed 200 to 400 dollars on their water bill and the 3rd party A holes had to lower their water usage rates to 2003 levels.

    Long story short: we still pay an unbelievable amount on our water use and taxes. I myself pay around 37 dollars a month with taxes on both counties. My bill used to be around 75 dollars a month. It’s only me and the dog. She does drink a lot of water in the summer though.

    What have I done to lower my water usage?

    I bought two 35 gallon plastic garbage containers with tight fitting lids. Cut out a 8 inch center in the lid and fixed screen to that 8 inch center to keep bugs and debris out. Placed them underneath my gutters. One is near my front porch and the other is at the back porch. They both are near each garden and I use an old fashioned watering can to keep my garden well watered. Yeah, it is work no doubt about that.

    It’s fine with me though. I’m lucky to produce enough food to can and give away to my neighbors.

    I know a lot of us b*tch about low flow toilets but mine in my master bath has worked out very well. Very few problems although the toilet in the front part of my home is regular pump and dump there have been no flow problems and it doesn’t get used all that often so it will stay for now.

    Winters here in N ohio can be very harsh so I empty my barrels once the temp drops below 30 degrees F. and turn them upside down and let the frigid cold kill any possible bacteria or bugs over the winter. Once spring arrives, I do a lightweight bleach wash and replace them where they can collect rainwater again.

    Rain barrels rock! If you are believer in reuse and lowering your water bill there are a plentiful amount of good ideas whether you live in city, a apartment or suburbia.


    Snake Plisken

  2. Christopher de Vidal

    Todd, you say these are a smart investment, but I’ve calculated they will take a long time to pay me back, and I live in a rainy city, and I was calculating against city water usage. (We now have a well, so payoff is even longer.)

    How much did you save with these?

    1. Todd Sepulveda Post author


      When I say “smart investment,” I’m not meaning an investment in the terms of stocks and bonds, etc… Instead, I’m meaning that your money sitting in a bank right now has the potential to lose ground. It is a better idea to invest in something tangible. The return is savings in the long run with the cost of rain barrels (which would be cheaper now, rather than later), remember you can do this a lot cheaper if you just buy some blue 55 gallon drums off someone on Craigslist. I purchased mine for $20 a piece.

      You also get the return in that rain water is better for your garden than city water you get out of the garden hose. I have seen a difference in this myself! I don’t know what your well water is like for your garden. But I bet it’s better than city water.

      I just believe that a resource like rain water coming off your roof should not be wasted. I think it is too precious. I understand that you live in real rainy area, but I bet the people in California could really see the investment in these right now…to capture every bit of rain as possible.

      I hope that clarifies a little.


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