Retiring Your Rain Barrel for the Winter

8th Dec 2014

Though a few lucky people are still enjoying the warm weather and the sunshine, for most of the country, winter is well on its way. If you live in area where the cold weather has already started to show itself, then the time has come for you to put your rain barrel up for the winter, because the cold can be damaging to your rain barrel, its valve, and its overflow piping. The following is a list of steps that you should take to prepare your rain barrel for winter:

  •  Open the valve in your rain barrel and drain out all of the water. It is tempting to try to turn your barrel upside down to empty it, but keep in mind that every inch of water in your barrel equates to around ten pounds! Be patient and let it drain as much as it can. 
  • While your rain barrel is draining, you can remove the overflow piping and disconnect the downspout. This is also a good time to clean out the filters and the screens.
  • Remove the sediment in your rain barrel by swishing the remaining water and turning it upside down. For best results, grab a buddy to help you and empty your barrel into your mulched beds rather than in your grass.
  • Store your rain barrel either safely in a shed or your garage. If you don't have the storage space,  you can also turn it upside down and cover it in your yard.
  • Don't forget to reconnect your downspout! This will keep melting snow and water directed away from the foundation of your home.