Thursday, October 30, 2014

Winterize Your Rain Barrel

Now is the time to winterize your rain barrel (ideally before first frost). Rain barrels, especially the plastic Orbis barrels we’ve sold, are not meant to stay outside all winter long. If left in freezing temperatures, any residual water will freeze and crack various parts of the barrel. Rain barrel owners have to make sure that the barrels are properly stored during the harsh Superior winters. Here are winterizing instructions from Orbis:
Discontinue use of rain barrel BEFORE the first frost by:
(1) Open the faucet to drain most of the water
(2) Remove the lid and tip the barrel to empty any residual water (overflow hose can remain connected)
(3) Clean both lid and barrel using brush with dishwashing detergent and warm water
(4) Clean screen by running hose onto it from the underside of the lid
(5) Store the barrel upside down so water cannot accumulate (preferably inside a shed/garage)

Same rules apply to rain barrels you may have created. These may even be less fussy in the winter because typically spouts connected to them are metal would less likely crack compared to the plastic ones that come in the Orbis system. 

Ice formation will damage rain barrels

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