Thursday, July 26, 2012

Rain Barrel Saga: A Sad Story, With a Happy Ending

Tragedy struck the rain barrel during the period of heavy rain that blessed the area a few weeks ago.  The owners of said rain barrel were not very responsible (or really very bright), and so they did not set up Bertha the beautiful barrel in a balanced and safe manner.  Sadly, at the point when the barrel was full to overflowing with water, and the stupid owners were celebrating all that beautifully collected rain, the barrel tipped over.  Oh NOOOOOooooooo!!!!  Oh yes.  And of course not only did they lose all 65 gallons of water, but the barrel fell on, and broke the spigot, and and snapped the bits that held the spigot in place. Argh!
 So.  Here you have what we were left with.  The hole was relatively undamaged, and so we figured it was fixable.  Not sure how to proceed, I looked online and saw some instructions, but nothing very clear, and a call to the Great Outdoors where it was purchased produced sympathy, and a willingness to look at it should I take it in to the store, but nothing specific.  So I gathered up the broken bits and headed to Home Depot.
At Home Depot I held out the broken parts that had secured the spigot and asked various and sundry, experienced looking employees if they had them. I received the same response from them all: "No Ma'am, we don't have any parts that look like that here."  [?????] Seriously? The place is ENORMOUS!  Surely, surely somewhere on those shelves these three little parts would exist.  Disbelief made me wander up and down peering into boxes and drawers, but they seemed to be right.  The parts did not exist.
What I was able to get at Home Depot was a new spigot and a tube of silicone, so I left with two of the necessary elements of the fix-it project.  A few days later, just by chance, I was near a Breed and Company, and as the broken parts were still in the car I went in and held them out pitifully, and without much hope to a sales guy there.  He took one look and said, "Is it for a rain barrel?"  [Hope surged...] Yes, I replied.  Well, by golly, didn't he just walk over to a rack on the next aisle over and pick up a little plastic package containing the exact missing pieces!!!
 Holy Hannah, would you look at that!  I was one happy camper. How is it that Home Depot doesn't have these pieces when they are packaged up so nicely here? The next stage was to actually repair the rain barrel....  hmmmm.
 So with silicone in hand I crawled inside, (with Glenn making helpful cracks about going over the falls...)and secured the inside half, and then crawled back out and attached the outer bits.  As you can see I was very generous with the silicone, because I wanted to be as sure as possible that it wouldn't leak.  (Silicone white when wet, but dries clear)
Two days later I created a fake rain with the garden hose (because God knows, it'll probably never rain again), and as you can see from the final picture.... BERTHA THE RAIN BARREL IS FIXED AND FUNCTIONING!!!! HURRAY!  So now.... in a few years, when it rains again... we'll be able to collect the water.  (And yes, we did balance the barrel better this time)
[Say "Bertha, the better balanced barrel" ten times really fast, and you too will be able to makes yourself a back yard rain water catchment system!]


  1. I am truly impressed with your persistence! And the folks at Breed will almost ALWAYS be able to come up with the right part.

  2. How wonderful that Breeds had your part and the rain barrel is up and functioning again. I have found them to come through on more than one occasion and you can by one screw there instead of a whole packet. Now for some rain!

  3. Two thumbs up for Breed, and YES, bring on the rain!